Want to be a superstar, but no time for social media? Fake it with Ghost Tweeter.

ghost tweeting

By Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

What if I told you that you could become an industry “thought leader” without ever writing a blog post. Or, that you could achieve Twitter stardom without personally sending a single tweet.

I didn’t believe it either, but some people are apparently doing it. Maybe even some people you follow. And you may never guess how they’re doing it.

Ghost Tweeting is one of a number of companies that have emerged to outsource the writing and distribution of all your blogs, tweets, and posts. They will even handle all the social media engagement for you.

“All the benefits, none of the work,” reads the tagline on their website.

Fake it ’til you make it

“I’ve basically done nothing,” reads one testimonial, “and I’ve gotten results that make me look like I spend hours a day on social media.”

“Anything that can be done on social media, we can do,” says Ghost Tweeting co-founder Nika Stewart, “including blogging.”

How quickly you ascend to online celebrity status depends on how much engagement you purchase. The company offers packages ranging from less expensive, entry-level programs to comprehensive packages for large enterprises. Want to supercharge your personal brand? Buy the “Thought Leader” package.

“People who have a message to spread may have a community of people who already love them,” explains Stewart, “but they want to get on a bigger stage, have more people hear about them. They want to spread their message and maybe improve the world in some way, so we help them spread their message in a bigger way.”

Even if you don’t have any original content to offer, you can buy a package and Ghost Tweeting will establish your status for you through entirely curated content.

“We do get clients who haven’t written anything at all,” says Stewart. “They might have a website, but there’s not much information there. If they don’t have a blog—or if they have a blog they haven’t written for in two years—that’s the most challenging, because we have to go online and find content that’s in alignment with who they want to be known as, but it isn’t their own.”

Building an online persona

Once a ghostwritten blog post is published, Ghost Tweeting shares it across the different social networks, re-posting at intervals to achieve maximum visibility for the client.

“We often develop content with the client. We’re not really writing in the sense that we’re not coming up with content from scratch,” Stewart said. “We’re taking the client’s words and thoughts from existing content, and just making it social media friendly.”

A Ghost Tweeting writer and account manager study client websites, blogs,  articles, videos, and interviews, scouring the Web for content. “We write down what they’ve already said, so no one ever says to us ‘I never would have written that or said that,’ because they have,” says Stewart.

Sometimes, even the clients forget that they didn’t write a particular social media post. “That’s our best compliment,” according to Stewart. “Our clients will say, ‘I just saw this tweet go out and I thought I wrote it myself.'”

Currently, all Ghost Tweeting plans are monthly, and prices range from $265/month for 5-8 Twitter posts per day, to $1,000/month to make you a “Thought Leader” by cultivating “celebrity-status social media for you” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

“There are some people who are critical, who say it’s inauthentic,” says Stewart. “But we’re not pretending to be you,” she insists. “We’re just saving you the time of going on to post what you already said. Nobody really [takes issue with] or is against hiring a marketing agency to help you put together marketing materials. That’s what we are for social media.”

What are your thoughts? Would you pay a company to do the work to make you a social media star?

kerry gorgoneKerry O’Shea Gorgone, JD/MBA, teaches New Media Marketing in the Internet Marketing Master of Science Program at Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida. Follow her on Twitter:@KerryGorgone

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  • When I read the heading for this article I thought it was a tongue in cheek article that would actually include how NOT do use social media and a blog.

    This kind of ghost writing came up a few years ago when people realised that certain celebrities didn’t really tweet themselves, it didn’t go down well with their fans.

    I wouldn’t use this service for personal branding but might for business. For individuals, if you can’t be bothered to spend the time engaging with an audience, then don’t. Building up an engaged audience should be the reward for hard work, not because you threw money at an agency.

    As Mark said yesterday, people predominantly visit his blog to read Mark Schaefer’s articles (and those excellent articles from his guest authors!), it’s the same for social media, I follow individuals for THEIR work, not an agencies.

    Rant over, nice informative article 🙂

  • Chuck Kent

    Are they like an agency – which is typically tasked with creating obvious marketing messages versus supposedly personally-generated thoughts and communications – or simply intellectual property pick-pockets, particularly when they say “…we have to go online and find content that’s in alignment with who they want to be known as, but it isn’t their own.” I’m with Barry Chignell… I read this thinking it would be tongue in cheek.

  • Thanks Chuck, I also notice form their pricing (just checking, no interest!) that if you want any social network other than Twitter, you have to go with their top package.

    I would rather automate Tweets myself than pay an agency £100’s to do it for me.

  • Hi Kerry, interesting article! I have built great relationships through twitter and relationships are key to business success. If you outsource you are giving away this amazing opportunity. I think their success is going to be communicated in terms of twitter followers, klout scores etc but both of them are easy to game!
    Ian

  • douglasburdett

    A quick look at their site brings to mind the Texas expression “all hat and no cattle.”

    I say that because there doesn’t seem to be much of a content foundation behind this, just social media. It refers to Twitter as “The anchor of your social media program.” Noooo! Content needs to be the anchor. As Jay Baer likes to say “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”

    Happy medium suggestion: Write one post a week and use SocialOomph ($30/month) and Tweetadder @$75, one time). Then check your social media once a day (in other words, be social!).

  • Really?

    The idea of Fake it ’til you make it implies that you are doing the work until you are good enough to have the confidence and ability to step into whatever role/position you want for yourself.I guess you can buy your way into something, but I think the term fraud is pretty relevant for what you are talking about.

    I seriously doubt the longevity of someone who builds a brand without lifting a hammer.

  • Well, this doesn’t come as a surprise as I see tons of such request on many freelancing sites as well as few groups/communities on the social platforms. There have been offers for bulk commenting too!

    And Ghost Writing has been around for a while and will go on.

    But I would seriously doubt the quality of engagement that happens with such ‘thought leaders’

  • Frederic Gonzalo

    Thought-provoking post, well-done. But was it really you, Kerry, that wrote it or some ghost-writer? Hmmm… 🙂

  • Mike Rudd

    I enjoyed the post, for me it’s about creation and providing value for my people and my whole thing is about “being yourself” so probably not best for me! But I try not to judge others without walking in their shoes so it may have a purpose for some but either way very interesting!

  • Gordon Diver

    I concur Ian. If being used for personal branding, I would hope that the “perceived” author of the content had a hand in the thought process, selection and editing of the piece, if written by someone else. If for your brand, whether it’s an internal or external team is not the issue, it’s how you are controlling the message in line with your brand and business goals.

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  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    I completely agree, Ian! So much of the benefit of social media has to do with the relationships you build and the insights you gain from doing the work and talking with people. If you’re not doing the interacting yourself, you’re missing the point.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    I wrote it straight, because I think the practice speaks for itself. Clearly, there’s a demand for the service, but I wouldn’t use it.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Thanks for your comment! I agree that people don’t like being snowed. “We don’t pretend to be you,” is the company’s stance on it, but I don’t know what else you’d call it when people tweet from your account and there’s no indication in your bio or in the tweet itself that other people sometimes share for you.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Hahahahahaha! Wise guy. 😉

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    I do see your point. Dorie Clark (a genuine thought leader) says that “fake it till you make it” really means “fake it until you become it,” in which sense the saying wouldn’t apply if the client has no designs on actually taking the reins at some point.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    But that’s so much work. 😉

  • Agreed 🙂

  • To be honest, I’d rather fake it til I make it for free using Buffer, Feedly, and IFTTT. $1,000 a month? Seriously?

  • shankman

    Oh, yeah, absolutely NOTHING can go wrong with this brilliant idea…

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    This doesn’t sound like you, Peter. Not snarky enough.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    If you’re using Buffer, you’re not faking it! You’re actually doing it, just on a time-shifted basis.

  • douglasburdett

    I can’t fault these guys for what they’re doing. It’s just revealing that there are a lot of companies who think this is going to make an impact and who are willing to pay for it. Another reminder, I guess, that all of us leaving comments here sometimes lose the perspective of folks who aren’t so close to it as we are.

  • Tweets are sent out automatically using an IFTTT recipe that pulls content from Feedly and puts it into my Buffer. I don’t personally spend any time scheduling updates, though I am active on my Twitter account engaging people, replying to mentions, etc. (a necessity for anyone who cares to be successful on Twitter).

    I can’t fathom why someone would pay hundreds of dollars to have a handful of updates scheduled and I question the financial prowess of anyone who would.

    Aside from the updating aspect, I don’t see any way to fake engagement if you’re trying to give your brand a genuine personality on social.

    I simply don’t believe a “ghost tweeter” could build a personal brand as Mark has done. Or Gary Vaynerchuk. Scott Stratten. Derek Halpern. The list goes on. Part of the reason these people are successful on Twitter is because they show their true personalities and expertise both online and offline. A ghost tweeter can’t replace that.

    But to each their own…

  • I agree, but sadly a lot of people don’t want to be social. they just want to see the numbers and the $$$. Granted we all want money but I think some of the relationships I have built are worth more than that. It might sound sappy to say, but I would rather have the friends I’ve made than have the money. But I’ll take your money to if you want.

  • So true. I have found that people like to interact with a person not a logo. So if your the boss of your company I would suggest becoming “the face” or one of the faces of the company. I would rather talk to you than to a logo. However with this service you not talking with the real person anyway. So more power to the people that want to use it, but I’ll pass.

  • Also the problem with this is that you can fake it till you make it, but when you jump in it is likely to fail, because you’re not practiced in the ways of social media. You can’t pretend to play baseball and then step up to bat in the big leagues and expect to hit a home run.

  • Mayhemstudios

    You have to enjoy social media. If not, why even do it. This falls under fake social media experts. I know many people at the top gaming the system. Someone is running their social. They can’t even answer simple questions about what they do.

  • I’m with the masses on this one. If you look at the company’s “Ghost Stories” (very clever for testimonials), you will see these “Thought Leaders” openly revealing that they used the service to build their personal brands. My question is, “How do you suppose their fans and followers would feel about seeing that web page?” They’d probably feel cheated, right? I think that’s the acid test–if you’re audience would consider it inauthentic, not whether or not you would.

    That being said, I would also call into question the validity of the service. If they come up with content by pulling from their clients’ “sites,” why would the clients need them in the first place? Clearly, they’ve already created content online. If they can blog or write “about me” pages by themselves, certainly they can Tweet by themselves. Aren’t the people who really need this service the ones who actually DON’T have any content on the web? Isn’t that kind of the point?

  • Well Hmmmm. If you want to fake it I guess that’s fine. But it reminds me of the movie “When Harry met Sally” the famous restaurant scene. Sally could fake it and sure it seems real enough, but inn the end it’s still fake and not real.

    I think people would prefer real interaction and engagement over the fake stuff anytime. Plus what if it came out that you where faking it, it would hurt your fake relationships that you didn’t really build.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Cute pic, Cal! (Proof of Twitter Authorship.) 😉

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Interesting comparison, Barry!

  • Martin Lieberman

    Whenever I hear someone mention ghost tweeting, my palm gets reintroduced to my forehead. These days, people want to work with, buy from, and hire people they know, like, and trust. If someone else is tweeting for you, then people are going to have a hard time getting to know who you really are.

    Want to know why you should tweet for yourself? Sorry for the self-promotion, but I recently wrote a blog post about just this topic: http://martinlieberman.com/2013/07/10/no-more-ghost-tweeters/

  • Christine Webber

    Hi Kerry. I like the personal touch and want to get to know a blogger through what they write about and think. It may work OK for big businesses but for SME’s it is important to build a following on authenticity and personality. The latter would not come across in ghost blogs or tweets. It would definitely put me off using a brand even if they are open and transparent about it!

  • Well I like movies. 🙂

  • David Schwartz

    I am shocked, while at the same time not surprised at all. The issue I have with this is that the customer doesn’t understand what social media is about. The long-term benefit of building relationships through a network will be lost. Plus, this is no way to humanize a brand or be transparent.

    However, is this any different than an internal marketing department or PR agency repurposing the words of the CEO?

    This tactic is nothing more then using a newer medium to blast out messaging, if there is no interaction or engagement. I see no problem at all with Ghost writing a blog or someone helping you post content. Just don’t pretend it’s you, what happens if you meet a person IRL that you have (supposedly) been talking to on Twitter for a while?

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Kerry.

  • nikastewart

    I was really hoping to get this assignment, but Kerry wanted to write the article herself. Oh well. 🙂

  • nikastewart

    It may seem shocking coming from me, but I actually agree. Relationships can NOT be outsourced. But marketing can. Nobody takes issue with contracting marketing experts to help create messages, publish ads, run promotions, etc. That is what a good social media marketing firm will do for a company: spread YOUR message in the most effective way. The personal relationship building must always come from… well, personal relationships.

  • We missed an opportunity for an illustration for this post!

  • well done sir!

  • Haha nice, I’ll include one next time!

  • I disagree Nika. Ads are ads and spin is spin, but when somebody posts something as themselves on the social web, it is implied that it is real. There certainly is a difference between that and “creating marketing messages.”

    We have seen this ruse implode over and over again … when somebody “fakes it” on the social web and it becomes discovered, it is not accepted, it is not understood, and it is not readily forgiven. It’s worse than lip-syncing a musical performance because in that case at least the entertainer shows up to make an appearance!

    Anybody who promotes a strategy of chronic inauthenticity is doing a gross disservice to their client. Period.

    I recognize that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive here and if you can make a buck by duping clients, I suppose there is a market for everything. But there is no logical or ethical way to pass off what you’re doing as smart or ethical business in the long-term.

    I thank you very much for making an appearance on the blog and for providing your time and support for Kerry’s post. I applaud your entrepreneurial energy but we will have to disagree on your business model!

  • ross_boardman

    Hmmm, horses for courses. If you don’t “do” social media then maybe this is for you. I consult for a business that hasn’t really developed a notion of how to blog, tweet, write newsletters etc. The difference is that my work for these guys is authentic because I used to own the business. So I know them inside-out and the voice has always been ours.

    Once you loose authentic or feedback, then there is no point in social media for you. The “media” bit is something agencies have stuck on the end of “social” for too long. Get back to social,

  • Exactly what I meant.

  • But what if it works? Mark, this makes me think of your post about being unfollowed by 100,000 people and the exchange we had in the comments.

    Most people commenting here won’t be fooled (or at least that is what they want to believe). But are they really the target audience of a company using this? Is the general public as discerning when it comes to social media marketing as the people that follow social media as a marketing practice?

    Let’s not ignore the truth: big brands outsource social media today. Most people don’t know it until something goes wrong. Where was the outcry about Chrysler’s handling of social media before someone tweeted about drivers in Detroit?

    Keeping social media in house doesn’t eliminate the mistakes (although you could argue it improves the handling of them). Remember some staffers gettin slizzard? And is a rotating group of social media interns other companies lean on that much closer to your business than someone you outsource too? (do a search for social media internships and read the descriptions. It is eye-opening).

    So cue the outcry. But the point of advertising isn’t to advertise, and the point of social media marketing isn’t to be active on Facebook. I suspect outsourced solutions like this are far more effective than most people here want to believe.

    #ducking

  • Eric,
    I doubt it. The post wasn’t talking about Chrysler or another big company. It was framed to the individual. Most of the comments here talk about having to develop skills before becoming whatever you want to be. Just paying someone will work for the short time. Maybe if the objective is to make a quick buck it might be effective. Is that the legacy someone wants to leave?

  • I think it can work. Absolutely. Until you get uncovered as a fake. Who would want to risk that? I’m not a purist when it comes to ghost blogging etc but you just can’t have a sustainable business propping up fakes.

  • Well said Michael.

  • Wow, I guess this shouldn’t amaze that there are still companies out there selling services such as these but it still does. I will never give up on the hope that brands will choose to be human, that they will recognize and keep close to heart the fact that real relationships are born via human being to human being, and investment in people, not ghosts.

    We get calls, leads and wind up with many customers who once were fooled by these type of tactics. They invest thousands over the course of a few months or a year only to find they are left with nothing but “celebrity status.” What is thought leadership when you aren’t even engaging in the conversation as a human being. I just don’t get it. How can you be a thought leader for $245/ mo? I think it is selling a wrong message and taking advantage of brands and people who don’t know better.

    Yes, I trust their intentions may be good but the positioning and damage it can do to the brand just doesn’t sit right with me.

    I’d rather be a thought leader because I interacted a few minutes a day than pay to be one via fake ghost like behavior.

    There is no social media easy button and no magic carpet ride to success online. Brands must invest in real relationships and be patient, period. Without goals, objectives, and an integrated plan they will not sustain long term.

    Cheaters may win the sprint but they will never beat you in the marathon. Life and business is a marathon.

  • I’ve never been a believer in “fake it until you make it.” How about be you, be humble and let us all help you grow! Human brands and human people who are authentic shouldn’t fake it. Makes me sad to see these posts and a title of such as I am sure it grabs attention but for all the wrong reasons.

  • I agree 100% Mark. Faking it will make it only so long. As I said in my comment “cheaters may win the sprint but they will never win the marathon. Life and biz is a marathon, not just a sprint.”

    Relationships last longer than a short spike in Klout or self proclaimed thought leadership. Makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit! 😉 ha ha

  • Rachel Strella

    Being an outsourced social media manager, I would typically side with the ‘ghost’ tweeter. But, there’s a fine line between outsourcing specific social media tasks and claiming to be the voice/author of a profile.

    My company helps to create and post content for our small business clients. But we don’t create it out of thin air. We work with the client via meetings and calls to determine their message and help them execute it effectively and consistently to their audience. There’s not a single blog post, tweet, or acebook message that’s sent without their knowledge. In fact, I find some of our clients prefer to even call us or email us with what to say – they do not know how to post it on the social sites. They don’t want to get into in the echnicality of posting content, which can take valuable time away from their core business operations.

    On the other hand, I’ve witnessed the downfalls of outsourcing an entire social
    media entity. While I could get slaughtered for saying it, Hubspot can be part
    of the problem. They have a ready-made management system that pushes content to the masses day and night and even ‘tracks’ ROI by the second.

    While some Hubspot tools are effective for helping a small business effectively manage their social media presence without being chained to the computer 24/7, some of these tools also inhibit the authenticity that’s the core of establishing a relationship on social media. It’s more about pushing content to the target audience than establishing any sort of real connection.

    A business that lacks authentic content also lacks voice. And, to me, voice is
    established in content. If you were to give me 10 anonymous blog posts and ask me which one was written by Mark, I could pick that blog out of a line up any day. Mark has a distinct, yet humble message that’s indicative of his character. Wannabe superstars lack this kind of transparency making them unsustainable in the long run.

  • Thank you for the very honest and for going against the grain of most of the other commenters Rachel. Good job.

    I think you bring up a good point. It’s a concern that has been weighing on my mind a lot these days — how can you possibly win in the content marketing world if you are going up against a content machine like Hubspot? How can you possibly make a dent without some professional help. It’s an enigma and somewhat sad that the social web has turned into nothing more than an arms race. If you missed it, you would enjoy the conversation Tom Webster and I had about this on the podcast: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2013/07/22/the-content-mill-can-quantity-beat-quality/

  • I think you would be surprised at some of the big names who do fake it. A lot of their image and engagement is built on a house of cards. I know of one guru who is paying people to comment on his blog and write reviews of his book. Kind of disheartening sometimes but I keep plugging along! : )

  • Agree Douglas. 95% of the businesses I come in contact with don’t get it. That is a huge customer base isn’t it?

  • Rachel Strella

    Mark – I had to laugh when you sent me this link. It’s been lingering in my inbox for a week. The line about Hubspot caught my attention and I’ve been meaning to give it a listen. It’s now on my list for this evening. I’ll let you know my thoughts! Thanks!

  • I’d like to order the “thought leader package” please. One huge helping of success & notoriety! Throw in 2 orders of instant-million-customers package too. Then send me the bill! LOL

    But seriously when you think about it, if sites like these could deliver instant fans, prospects, leads & customers they would cost a whole helluva lot more. On the other hand I do believe there is a place for ghost writing.

    I hired an assistant to help me with ghost writing. Though they were great to bounce ideas off of, provided a critical eye, and helped edit for a broad audience they really couldn’t go the distance on ideas & concepts. These I had to come up with and that’s really what takes time. Thinking through your history in business, thinking of the war stories, and those that illustrate something you learned, only you can really do this.

    At the end of a couple of months I decided to forgo the social media assistant & do most of it myself. At the end of the day social media is about virtual relationship building, networking and so forth.

    You’re not a commodity. Let’s hope your message isn’t either.

  • Oh, they’re definitely out there. We all know Guy Kawasaki isn’t the only one. He makes no attempt to hide that his social presence is largely outsourced, though I think he has handpicked his social media managers in a way that is different from outsourcing to a group like the one mentioned in this post.

    On one hand, delegation and rabid automation are necessary to maximize efficiency. On the other hand, if you’re doing it in a way that isn’t authentic and doesn’t allow your true personality to be expressed, I think there’s going to be a real disconnect should people meet you offline. If that happens, I guess the questions becomes, “What’s the point then?”

    I don’t care for it, but like I said, to each their own. If it works, it works 😉

  • I had to look at the date of the post to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. This kind of thing is so sad but true. Like @businessesgrow:disqus said, 95% of businesses don’t get it… STILL.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Thanks for adding your perspective, Rachel. I was open to the idea that sharing existing client content was akin to PR right up until the packages included establishing thought leadership without so much as a blog or an existing social media footprint. I do agree that there’s a line, although where it lies differs for each person and company.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    No joke, Shonali. The thing is, I even meet people I “know online” at events, and sometimes don’t recognize them right away. Imagine if I really wasn’t doing any of my own engaging: it would be immediately apparent that I had no idea who you were, and that would kill the potential relationship, thereby eviscerating the “value” of using ghosts to establish social media prominence.

  • Rachel Strella

    Truth! Thank you for pointing this out!

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    There are packages for both types, Douglas. Some involve repurposing a client’s existing online content, others involve creating new content or curating others’ content based on what the client wants to be known for. Also, I agree regarding the testimonials. One is from “Identity Magazine,” and I couldn’t help but chuckle.

  • Can’t argue with that, it is definitely a short term strategy (at best). Unfortunately short term is a common marketing view.

    I’m not meaning to support things like this (personally, I believe it is the wrong decision), but to point out that many people outside social media may see it differently. If we are going to sway those people, we need to acknowledge that it works in the eyes of an audience focused on end results over a short to medium time frame. Saying this is fake, false, hollow, short term, etc doesn’t do it with an audience focused on end result over a short to medium time frame.

    (And to your credit Pam, you do a great job of making this case in some of your posts).

    cc @businessesgrow:disqus

  • Atomic Reach

    How can a company truly engage with their clients/customers/fans if they have someone else managing their social media for them? Have any users reported the negative results of using such an application? Interesting idea though.

  • Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

    Thanks for posting! You make an important point: relationships can’t be outsourced. As far as negative results, I think the clients who opt to use services like Ghost Tweeting aren’t engaging online, so they probably wouldn’t cross-post or cause confusion by answering the same question online inconsistently. That’s my guess, although there could be some negative results in terms of fan sentiment shifting once they learn that the person / people posting from your social networks isn’t you.

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  • You are getting thought leadership, massive visibility, torrents of traffic and engaged audience. You have become a “Social Media Rock Star” without knowing the password of your Twitter account.

    But what happens when a member of that engaged audience doesn’t get their order shipped out on time, or has a problem with the monthly bill, or wants to know something specific about your return policy and uses Twitter to reach out to you?

    Does that tweet get a response which solves the problem? Or does your account goes on posting “thought leadership and engaging tweets” that guarantee you an “engaged audience” without so much as a by your leave?

  • I had to dissuade a client from buying Facebook Likes, although it is intoxicating to think you could catch up o a competitor quickly. I asked them: “If an investor wants to know how you caught up so fast and asked if you bought Likes, what do you say? If you say no, you’re a liar. If you say yes, you’re a cheat. If you say no comment, you’re indirectly admitting deceit. Is that how you want to run a company? Is that worth it?”

  • Amanda Steeley

    Hi Kerry,

    Congratulations on making your business work! I have a very similar business model (content development and engagement for online media) but my challenge is not knowing where to start with my own marketing. How do I get knew clients? I know you can’t give away all of your secrets, but do you have any advice for accruing clients in this industry? Thank you so much!

  • In case you didn’t see it, check out this article on Business Insider today. Basically buying likes from sweatshops.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-low-paid-workers-at-click-farms-create-appearance-of-online-popularity-2013-8

    Maybe we need to start talking about it like a business’s supply chain. Who are the vendors you are working with and what are their business practices? What are your dollars supporting? There is definitely a history of this approach influencing the behavior of large companies…

  • Buying likes is a complete waste of money and will actually cost you money. Think about it. You want your message going to people in your niche. When you buy likes you get just a bunch of zombies sitting on the list. When a post on Facebook goes out, it only goes to a small percentage of the page’s fans. When you have a bunch of fake likes you are getting your message to a very small sample of your real fans.

    The best thing to do for Facebook is to start a small ad campaign that targets fans of pages similar to yours. This works very quickly and you will have a base to message to that will at least be real.

  • I see this being useful for brand pages, blogs and accounts, because it is now a different set of people doing this work for the brand than the ones who used to do it before. It is akin to outsourcing social media management. But at a personal level (for an individual), I don’t see this working at all.

  • RhondaHurwitz

    Rachel, why do you think Hubspot “pushes” content? The whole idea of inbound marketing is “pull, not push” … in other words, attract the right target to your website with blog content designed to solve real problems, and invite prospects for further engagement. I am a Hubspot partner, and we don’t use a system to push content to the masses … far from it. We use social the way anyone here does … one to one, and authentically.

  • Rachel Strella

    Having worked with a client who uses Hubspot, I see the merit in using this system to help distribute blog content. I believe part of the problem was my client. He was viewing social media like
    traditional advertising – thinking he could replace real interaction and connectedness with a ‘system.’

    Client aside, I believe Hubspot puts too much emphasis on ROI/leads/conversions. I wouldn’t be a marketer if I didn’t
    believe in tracking ROI, but to make it the central focus, takes away from the point of social media.

    A colleague – whom I respect very much – advocates Hubspot for the reason that ‘it makes the phone ring.’ There’s a lot of value in that, but how much is too much?

  • RhondaHurwitz

    We are all in biz to serve our customer’s business goals … but without creativity and a personal touch, we’d all be replaced by machines:) Thankfully, software is just the enabler for our marketing talents!

  • Rachel Strella

    Well said! This whole discussion has prompted me to write a blog on the topic. I am not of fan of bashing companies or anything of the sort, so of course, it will be objective. I’ll make a note to share it with you once it’s live.

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  • Rachel Strella

    I promised to share this once it was live! http://bit.ly/13wB9Zo

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