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Let’s Get Social video: Snake oil or Social Media business opportunity?

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I just watched a video forwarded to me by a friend that got my scam radar up. The 17-minute video from LetsGetSocial claims to show you how to make scads of money without any formal education or training as a Social Media Manager.

Sound too good to be true? The narrator, Ryan Deiss, asks you to believe that his friend Kate Buck earns an easy 10K per month working only a few hours a day from a smart phone. Ryan claims that it’s so easy even a 10-year-old can do it. Later he says a monkey with an iPhone can be a Social Media Manager.

Really? A monkey with an iPhone? Ryan actually wants you to believe that companies are scrambling to hire entry-level people with no copywriting skills, no formal communications education and no web experience whatsoever. Buy the program now, and be a Social Media Manager tomorrow!

“In fact nobody has any real experience in this (social media management) field…”

You don’t even need to be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn–Ryan and Kate will train you to use these tools to make cash hand over fist. Of course you’ll need to pony up the $200 startup fee to start your own business. Don’t worry, you get a nifty logo, some customizable contracts and all the video training you could ever want. In exchange, you can go out and sell your business to clients who will pay the $500 to $2000 per month contract fee.

Are there real social media manager jobs out there? Sure! But they require much more than someone with the desire to make money for little effort.  Many corporations require a four-year degree in journalism, business communications or marketing before they’ll even look at your resume. Some even want candidates with Master’s degrees.

I know many social media managers and virtual assistants who are extremely successful, and will tell you that they make no where near what this program promises.

Thinking of Googling Kate Buck, Ryan Deiss or Let’s Get Social? I did that too. I found some scam alerts here and here, but for the most part the first three to four pages are filled with favorable reviews from Kate and Ryan’s friends who have flooded the internet with their own gushing testimonials. In fact it sounds like Kate has made a good name for herself as an experienced social media expert.  So I’m not knocking Kate’s social media skills and the value that she can bring to her clients. Getting non-experienced people throwing their money in on an investment like this is another matter.

This will sound harsh, but I believe Facebook and Twitter are tools that real professionals use to shape their brand in a strategic way in order to build trust with their customers.  I just have to wonder what kind of company would hire someone who doesn’t know the first thing about building relationships online, creating and managing an online media presence or how to master basic writing skills.

If a 10-year-old or a primate can do this, ask yourself why companies would ever pay someone thousands of dollars when they could simply train their receptionists, an intern, or their unemployed teenagers to handle their social media brand presence?

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