Online Marketing Shams

Online marketingThere are so many elements to create an effective online marketing presence. Social media is often reliant on some of these elements before we can expect results. One of the challenges we’ve faced is finding credible online marketers.

I’ve met the shams. The search engine optimization experts who keyword websites and call it SEO, web developers who don’t know the difference between blog and email spam, and email marketers who buy lists and boost a 50 percent open rate for an audience not at all related to the brand.

When it comes to social media consultants, I shake my head daily. Prospective customers vetting other companies often tell us what they are being offered. The responses are so common, that I’ve created identities for the types of businesses that are our so-called competition.

One-hit wonders. These are the folks who typically have had success in one thing and they try to replicate it across the board. These stand-alone tactics may not even be relevant to the business, but because they built a name for themselves, people call them.

All-in-one’s. Alternatively, there’s the all-in-one company. These are the folks who claim to do it all – and don’t do any of it well. They throw a myriad of services under their umbrella to claim market share. Agencies are notorious for this, but I also see a lot of small businesses do it, too, because they want to offer value to their customers who ask if they also (fill in the blank).

Used car salesmen. These guys use spammy tactics that may sound good, but often lack substance.  Get 10,000 fans to your page! This is just silly. Social proof is important, but not if none of the fans are real. Facebook’s algorithm is smart. If you have 10,000 fans and no one is engaging in your content, good luck getting any real fans to see it.

The dealers. These companies turn social media management into a bargain bin.  Pay $99 a month for five social media sites. Any company that claims to manage social media for $99 a month is likely posting the same content to 50 other companies sites’ and calling it a day. Posting content – regardless of its usefulness – is only one piece of the pie. There are dozens of other components that make a complete social media plan.

Social media shams are a dime a dozen. To be effective, social media requires a cohesive marketing strategy that ties social media goals to business outcomes. There is no one-size-fits-all or stand-alone tactic that will generate results. The success of a social media plan is often reliant on other established online marketing components, such as a well-built website. In this case, we refer customers to our trusted vendors. These pieces work together to create a holistic presence greater than the individual parts.


  1. […] end up wasting valuable time and resources. In this Strella Social Media post, Rachel Strella details some of the most common types of shams. And BizSugar members share thoughts on the post […]

  2. […] end up wasting valuable time and resources. In this Strella Social Media post, Rachel Strella details some of the most common types of shams. And BizSugar members share thoughts on the post […]

  3. […] close up wasting worthwhile time and sources. In this Strella Social Media submit, Rachel Strella facts some of the most widespread sorts of shams. And BizSugar customers share thoughts on the submit […]

  4. It’s difficult to work in a field that we’ve often thought similar to the wild, wild west. For years I’ve had thoughts like yours and some years back I wrote a white paper about some of the shams used in online marketing

    • Rachel Strella Says: September 6, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Hey John,

      Great analogy – the wild, wild west! Thanks for sharing the SEO paper. Spammy SEO tactics top the list of shams!


  5. Wild, wild west…or artful anarchy? We have to remember that there was as vacuum in the beginning less than 15 years ago. There were no social experts, influencers, wonks, leaders, Top 100s, Top 50s, Top 10s… Today’s “experts/leaders” in the before-time were customer service techs, pool builders, door to door vacuum sales people, wannabe novelists, real estate brokers… Heck of a foundation, eh?

    • Rachel Strella Says: August 23, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Joel. I still don’t consider myself an expert. Tell me someone who says they know everything about online marketing, let alone, social media, and I’ll show you a liar! 🙂

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