TECH TALK: Let’s put an end to social media consulting fraud

Published: November 20, 2012


The biggest growing tech fraud in recent years are companies or individuals selling social media to companies as the biggest marketing tool of all time and charging upwards of $10,000 a month for it.

From guarantees to get your website to the top of any search engine or promises to post random material on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In – all in efforts to drive traffic to your business online versus actual customers – I have seen it all.

As a marketing consultant with more than a decade of experience, I get to see the insides of this ever changing industry and often review some of the hottest marketing pitches making the rounds, or empty promises as I like to call them.

Here are some tips I’ve given to businesses in recent months on who to hire and how much they should be spending on social media marketing.

1. Hire someone who you have met in person and will be present at your business. The best pitches I’ve seen are from fancy offices in the states or India. People who sit in their PJ’s from their homes and update random material for companies they have never met. As a rule of thumb – I meet with my clients at least twice a week. I work with their existing staff to come up with content for their social media interests and/or blogs. In fact, at Surrey Honda, I get to work with the sales team in generating content pictures of every deal and posting that online, sharing, retweeting etc. The more of us doing this, the better.

2. Hire someone with experience as a writer and photographer. I can not stress this enough. A writing degree and experience as a writer goes a long way when creating fresh, new, innovative content versus just generic material online. There are times when material to blog or share on Facebook or Twitter just isn’t there – does your social media rep know your business well enough to always create amazing content? For example, check out this recent blog series started for a client.

3. Hire someone who spends time creating fresh content daily. One of my biggest pet peeves are those who rely on programs where they can load up a ton of tweets that are generic and have them fire off at set times and they charge twice as much as those of us who actually put in some thought to each post. Ask upfront how many hours a week your social media rep plans to work, when those hours are and how much time they will spend inside your business getting actual content out.

4. A healthy social media agenda should cost around $1,500 a month and that includes onsite contesting, writing blogs ,etc. A basic social media rep who just updates Facebook, Twitter and some online ad placement should start around $400.

5. Social media is one part of the pie – do not let it be the only marketing you do. Advertising, contests, community involvement, event planning, video blogging and media exposure are a must and you need to hire someone who can do all this and more.

In recent years, I have seen some of my friends and clients pay thousands more than they should. In one case, the so called social media company sent one of their reps to teach the owners how to do it themselves followed by a bill of over $10,000! Don’t let that be you – please!

This advice brought to you by a real expert fed up with seeing a trend being used to make a quick buck and businesses losing too much money and sometimes their venture.

Kuljeet Kaila is a writer for Vancouver Desi. If you would like a free review of your marketing plan or advice, feel free to contact her at


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