Now I’ll tell you why.
In the last quarter of 2013, I began to get an increasing amount of mail from financial services companies just starting out on social media requesting guest blog posts on this site. After an email or two it becomes apparent that the social media management of most of these firms has been outsourced to a “professional” social media marketing company. It is therefore obvious that in these email exchanges I am not talking to the company’s management itself, I am talking to a “professional” outsourced social media expert.
Being the curious type, I always check out the company and look into their social media and digital marketing activities. Most of the time I find a bunch of things they could be doing better… scratch that… I find a bunch of things they do wrong.
Without fail, when they implement my suggestions, their engagement levels on social media improve and their relevant following increases. Those who ignore my advice continue to get no traction and I am absolutely sure will end up eventually giving up on social media as not being effective and ending any business with the firm they hired to manage their social media. (Twitter and Facebook is already littered with companies whose social media pages have fallen silent)
This brings me back to Dominic Hiatt’s post, which states, “say no to the pro”
I am certainly no pro. Social media is the domain of corporate marketing departments. In marketing I am a rank amateur. I have never properly studied marketing, nor has my career ever been in marketing. Like Manuel from Fawlty Towers - “I know naaaaathing”
The closest I got to anything marketing-related was a single course in college, which my friends and me signed up for simply because the hot girls in the school were studying marketing. I spent most of those lessons learning nothing, but trying desperately hard to get a date. As I recall, I failed at both.
Despite having zero experience of marketing and having completed my education when Mark Zuckerberg was still drinking from a sippy cup, this blog gets more traffic than most banks. In addition, the social media following and engagement levels for the Banker's Umbrella are growing at a percentage rate companies can only dream of.
This is all because I am an amateur. Amateurs rule baby!
As an amateur I’ve had to learn this social and digital racket by actually doing it. Most importantly I’ve made a whole bunch of mistakes. Unlike so many companies, I’ve pushed the envelope and then learned.
It’s a bit like this:
The professionals stand on the beach saying, “Look! The world is flat, it’s evident, you can see it ends over there” while pointing at the horizon. At the same time the stupid, laughable, reckless, amateur has jumped in a boat and said “Maybe, but I’m going to go and find out for myself. You never know, it might be the shape of a grapefruit. Anchors aweigh and cheerio chaps!!!”
So understand this. Hiatt is right: You are an amateur.
On social media and in the digital world you, the amateur, can take on the big companies and more importantly you are at an advantage. It is in fact you who are more powerful than the corporation.
Beware the power of the amateur.
Don't believe me? Click on the big blue button below and I'll tell you how.