The sad attraction to phony social media experts

screenshot_82There was quite a debate on LinkedIn around a post by Gary Vaynerchuk, the self promotional social media marketing expert who continues to be worshipped by fart sniffing marketers who are too ignorant to understand how to market their products.  Now that social media marketing is all but defunct, he continues his down the path to self importance.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s fame happened by design and by years of meticulous planning—and it has drawn vocal critics for a style that is loud, bombastic and blatantly self-promotional. A common line of criticism against Vaynerchuk is that he is a snake-oil salesman, one of a growing number of Internet celebrity marketers who make their money telling marketers that they can get increase key brand metrics using social media.  His successes?  Hmmm…can’t name any.

The Wall Street Journal called him “continually overexposed.” The New York Times called him a “tireless self-promoter.”

snake-oil-2So why did this happen? Hype and marketers who have poor skills.  Promoters like Gary told us over and over we had to be on social media which in turn built his personal brand and recruited clients for his agency.  Even now the experts are telling us how we have to be on mobile even though consumers don’t want us there.  Rather than address the current problems in digital marketing such as the use of BOTS, ad fraud and ad blockers Gary is busy talking to people who worship him.

The question you should ask every proclaimed expert is “what have you accomplished?”.  The answer should be in real, concrete, business terms not in vanity metrics like followers.  Real business people with accomplishments are the real experts not phony’s like Gary.