Jim's Marketing Blog

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Social Media: Spotting the fakes

Those of us who regularly use social networking sites, know that it has never been easier to spot a fake.

It’s hard for people to hide who they really are and what they know (or don’t know,) when they regularly update their social networking accounts.

Yes, anyone can fake it for a little while, but in the medium and long term, we get so much information that it’s very simple to build up a profile of the people we regularly see sharing.

Fakes, saying and seeing

Ironically, many of those people believe that the Internet makes it easier for them to fool the marketplace, because social media gives them the chance to say anything they like.  They can pretend to be experts, leaders or visionaries, so people will ‘just believe them’, right?

Wrong!  The exact opposite is true.  Today, we can see what the fakes are doing on social networks, regardless of what they say.

Some common examples we see all the time include:

  • The web designer, who talks every day about the need for great design, yet whose own site has rookie design errors.
  • The leaders on Twitter, who ask you to follow people on Fridays because that’s when everyone does it.
  • The thought leader, who never shares an original thought.
  • The business development expert, who feels compelled to scream “TGIF!” to everyone who follows them every Friday, because they can’t wait to get away from their own business.
  • The marketing expert, who uses social media to pester people for their attention, rather than attract their interest.
  • The social media guru, who shows they have no idea about being social.
  • The business networking expert, who works behind an avatar photo that was taken 15 years ago.
  • The copywriter, who is unable to write interesting social media updates.
  • The work-life balance gurus, who go missing for months, because their own work-life balance is totally out of control.

Thankfully, the same visibility that exposes the fakes, makes it easier than ever for genuine people to demonstrate their knowledge, professionalism and consistency.  It has never been easier or more rewarding, to be your unique self.

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  1. I love this!

    I can think of at least one person from each example there.

    Thank you for sharing this Jim.

  2. Wow! That feels mite judgemental Mr C.! I checked up on my own profile record and am pleased to see I am not the least faking; single mum who loves her job but has a creative sideline; inconsistent, scatty, filthy sense of humour, fickle, rubbish timekeeper, zero work-life balance, cyclist. It’s all there. Absolutely transparently true :) Phew! So I’ll just try to do it all a bit better next year once I’ve read a few more of your posts!

  3. In many ways Jim, social media has allowed the good to get better and the bad to get worse.

    The fakers are everywhere and they always have been. before, they were only on show when we were in front of them. That made it easy for them to hide their true selves.

    These days we get to see them in action all the time and can make our minds up based on more information.

    IMHO it’s better this way.

  4. Justice Wordlaw IV

    December 18, 2011 at 19:52

    This is such a great post Jim. Your so right about all these different categories of “fake” people.

  5. Hey Jim,

    Don’t business experts realize how dumb they make themselves look, shouting all over Facebook that they can’t wait to get the hell away from their businesses at the weekend?!?

    It doesn’t make me smile when I see it. It makes me cringe.

    • That one is a pet peeve of mine too, Margo.

      They build their business, then broadcast to their network that they can not wait to get away from it and then expect people to go to them, for business development advice.

      Surely people can build a business they hate, without expert help ;)

  6. Jim,

    I love this post.Being yourself is really important. Who you are differentiates you from others. We are all special the way we are. We do not need to fake it.

    • Absolutely, Rob.

      I’ve known you via social for around 5 years and you show consistency, because you’re being you. Thanks for the comment, my friend.

    • Absolutely, Rob.

      I’ve known you via social for around 5 years and you show consistency, because you’re being you. Thanks for the comment, my friend.

Comments are closed.