Last week on our business radio show, Insight on Business, I had this story and I started it out the same way, "This may upset some folks but what is going on is also getting out of hand."
I recently attended a workshop that was being given by a business consultant hired by a group to teach on a number of subjects. The group made the choice of learning more about the work habits of "Baby Boomers", "Gen X" and "Gen Y" folks. The presenter did a nice job in sharing what motivates each group with regard to work, work environment, training and dealing with cross generational workforces.
He should have stopped there.
The next topic was about "Social Media" or "Web 2.0". You may have heard, "...a one eyed man is king in a community of the blind" and in this case it was true. Less than 1% of the 25 people in the room knew what a "Tweet" was, a Blog or even that Facebook should be something important to business.
I'm not sure what they paid the presenter but when he was done the vast majority of the group were confused and totally unconvinced that marketing by way of social media was something they could embrace. That happens when the speaker fails to translate the basics and then show how valuable social media can be. When a guy posts fewer than 700 Tweets and follows less than 300 people...ahhhh...
And blogging? Another fail. It was scary when he said, "Our tech guys have figured out how to put my tweets on my blog. I have no idea but they got it done."
Please... And that's the point. Buyer beware when it comes to getting a "professional consultant" to come in and teach marketing and social media. Not all "get it". And, we are seeing more and more of this in the market place.
Sour grapes they didn't hire us? Maybe...but had they...the folks at the meeting would have come away with a new understanding of how Social Media can work and work well. Maybe next time.