Posting has been very light here at the SEOigloo Blog, for which I’m sorry, but when you’re working with a ton of great clients at the same time as planting a whole summer’s food supply on the family farm, creative writing has to take a backseat. It’s all good work, and in my few spare moments, I’ve been keeping up with interesting discussions going on around the web. Peter Shankman’s recent article, Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A “Social Media Expert”, has made some noteworthy waves.

I started a thread at Cre8site in an effort to gauge the reactions of friends and colleagues to this piece that claims it is unnecessary to hire employees in a Social Media capacity. Some valuable opinions are there for your perusal. I personally felt that Mr. Shankman made some good points, but had to differ with his overall position because I see the need, on a weekly basis, for basic training in the use of Social Media tools for small business owners who need to start at step one and be walked through the process. Someone has to teach them, and while ‘expert’ has always been a loaded word in the Internet Marketing sphere, a good teacher is worth his weight in gold when it comes to getting off on the right start, avoiding mistakes and investing time/money where it will be most effective.

The bottom line with social media, though, (and I believe Mr. Shankman would agree with me here) is the bright ideas and excellent customer service that achieve success. Facebook, Twitter…these are tools. It’s what your business does with them that counts, and sometimes consultation with an ‘expert’ is going to be the smartest way for you understand how you can enter the SM arena in a powerful, meaningful and memorable manner.

Do the tools work? Take a look at the rave reviews of the Ste Martaen & Soul Vegetarian Vegan Food Truck that is feeding hungry herbivores all across Chicago. I stumbled across this reviewer’s explanation of how to get your hands on these much-lauded lunches:


Four Easy Steps to (Vegan) Soul Food Heaven:

1. Add Ste Martaen as your friend on Facebook.
2. Tell them where you are.
3. Walk outside (and bring cash – no plastic).
4. Ingest the delicious (vegan) delights issuing forth from their magical food truck.

Just look at all those Facebook entries announcing where the truck can be found in the wild. I’ve recently read the statistic in several sources that 1% of the population (about 3 million) of the USA is now vegan, with several times that number being vegetarian. Clearly, the chefs of Ste Martaen’s have used the tool of Facebook to connect with Chicago’s share of these veggie eaters and everyone involved seems hip to what’s going on.

Did Ste Martaen hire an ‘expert’ or just happen to have someone on staff who knew how best to proceed? I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. It’s the use of the tool that counts. Going where your interest group/customer base is and serving them well…these are the ingredients those who have succeeded with Social Media consistently cite as golden. As a 20+ year vegan myself, I cheer for this little company’s smarts and story.

Totally unrelated, but also winning applause from me this week is the website design of JPL’s Mars Exploration Program. Just look at that gorgeous design! I absolutely love the ring-shaped masthead and the colors are intense and shining with space-y coolness. Now, I’d be recommending some more text content on this page if it belonged to you or me, but NASA’s got sitelinks so I’ll just hush up. If you’re looking for website design inspiration, definitely check that out.

There’s much afoot on the web this spring that is worthy of your own thought and time. It’s the efforts and viewpoints of others that so help us to plan and form our own. Everything you read, everything you see can be put to work in some way for your own small business. I really believe that. When you run a small business, I know it can be easy to get so busy that you fall behind on the reading, but try to jump back in there when you can. Fine, free ideas abound. I’ve got mud on my boots and squash seeds in my hair, but I’m definitely tuned in.