Tuesday, October 7, 2008


One of the guys in our office ran across this site while using one of the Social Networks and was initially intrigued by the name. At first glance it looked to be a great website with a great name. They offer a book for sale at a reasonable price that had a nice table of contents and the site itself is professionally designed.

He looked for contact info for the purpose of connecting with them and possibly networking since it appeared they used a lot of the same social networks that we do. Within minutes he discovered this site is a classic example of Social Media Worst Practices. In fact our combined Grade of the site was an F. Here is the reasons why:

We clicked on their Digg Link that they provide and even suggest as a means of connecting with them only to find out they have been banned from Digg. This is bad not just because they personally were banned but it is very possible that their URL was banned by Digg as well if they practiced the same submission tatics at digg.com as they did at the other sites listed below. This at first may not seem important to you but do you realize that a URL ban on social sites is and usually permanent? You don't want your Great URL to ever get known for being a SPAM Site. SocialMediaPower.com is a great site name but it's of no use to you if can't rank well on sites and in the search engines. Strike 1

We then clicked on their StumbleUpon Link that they provide and suggest as another means of connecting with them only to discover that their own site has ZERO reviews, 16 Favorites, Less than 10 friends but has been active for over 7 months. We also discovered that of the 16 favorites at least 13 and maybe all 16 are their own sites and submissions. There didn't appear to be a single favorite of a random or friends site. To top off our findings at stumbleupon they also haven't even logged in to stumble in the last 3 months at all. Strike 2.
Click on Image to see Full Size Snapshot

We visited their reddit account via the link they provided as well. At reddit they have an overall Karma of 1 and Zero Comment Karma. There was no regular usage at this site either. Strike 3.

At Mixx.com they have a Karma of 58, and very few friends. There are less than 10 Submits and all of them are their own websites. None of the submits have more than 6 up votes. At Mixx.com especially, this is horrible statistics. You can easily earn over 100 Karma in a day at Mixx.com and up votes are never hard to get either if you just submit quality non spam links. Strike 4.

At Faves.com they had 9 friends, an incomplete profile and 3 bookmarks all of which were their own websites. Strike 5

Their magnolia.com link didn't work properly but we did find the account and it was more of the same, very few connections and the links were all their own websites. Strike 6

At Linkedin.com they have 31 connections and an incomplete profile. Strike 7

At Facebook we discovered the SocialMediaPower.com Owner has 40 friends, an incomplete profile and wasn't connected to any of the known major social media pros. Strike 8

At the last link they provided which was a furl.com link we found the same personal links that were submitted to the other sites and an incomplete profile. Strike 9

I'm not trying to be mean or harsh but I just want to demonstrate that it's sites with practices like this that are giving social media a very bad rap. Social Media can be an amazing tool for your business or product but it can equally be as bad if you misuse it. With the transparency that is available in Social Media today you can quickly weed out the REAL pros if you just take a minute and look at their actual profiles, social media accounts, and their account usage. We couldn't find one link they had promoted that wasn't one of their own sites although surely there is one somewhere. It took less than 5 minutes to look at all of the above links and discover that on all of the major sites that SocialMediaPower.com has used them to basically submit and vote on their own links. That is using social media in the worst possible way. Social Media is about communicating, networking and sharing and it's not considered sharing when you only share and vote on your own links.

Keep in mind the reason the above findings are so appalling is that SocialMediaPower.com claims they are experts or Pros and have experience in social media. They offer according to their site "Social Media and Web 2.0 Consulting". They appear from what is quoted on their website to charge $2000.00 for an Evaluation and or $225.00 per hour for consulting with them about a social media strategy for your business or product. Those rates are more than fair, even low by industry standard, for a leading social media expert. In light of what we discovered about the social media sites they themselves use, I wouldn't even hire them or recommend them at this point. In fairness it looks as if the site owner has a personal passion for social media but her practices for using social media are some of the worst I have ever seen, especially from someone who is billing themselves as a social media expert or pro. I did also look briefly though their portfolio and noticed that several of the sites mentioned there are their own websites.

Since I try to always end a post on a positive note, I would like to point out that their site has a nice design with some up to date tools and widgets that are very useful in social media marketing and it appears they are all professional people with a lot more experience in writing, content creation, graphics and web design.

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