Sunday, June 13, 2010

Marketing Japan: How to Find Social Media and Internet Experts in Japan (Part One)

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers


There are many many companies in Japan, and here in Tokyo, who sell their services as "Experts on the Internet" and/or "Experts on Social Media". It was actually a pretty big eye-opener when I realized that all these people, who knew little about Internet and Social Media, were going around and selling themselves as "Internet savvy" and full of experience and expertise when, in all actuality, they were not.

Hey! I know this guy!


It is very surprising. I mean, when they know less than I do, there's no way they can claim expertise. This Internet and Social Media business is an education in progress.

I have also had some other friends and companies ask me to introduce them to good, dependable, experienced people to handle their business or services or Internet duties in Japan. That I can do... But, even though I know many people here, there are only a few that I could, in good faith, recommend. (In Japan, recommending people carries along with it responsibility to the person that you are recommending to. So if something goes bad, I lose face.) 

But the one thing that I'd really like to point out about people who claim to be experts on Japan (who aren't) and people who claim to be "Internet Savvy" (who aren't either) is they have one thing in common; they talk a good game, but the actions do not support the words.

Japan experts are harder to find than people who claim to be "Internet savvy" but just what is an "Expert"? Can they speak Japanese extremely well? I like to think that I can speak Japanese very well - I've even hosted TV and radio programs here - but I am reluctant to claim to be an expert on Japan... I've met lots of people who speak poor Japanese but still claim to be experts on Japan. 

Well, I suppose everything is relative. (Yes, I guess I am more of an expert on Japan than some guy who has never been outside of Idaho.) 

People who claim to be "Internet savvy," but are not, are easy to spot with just one question.  

I will give you that one question that you can use to judge if someone has some credible expertise, is Internet savvy, or up on Social Media; or is just blowing smoke in your face.

The other day, I mentioned during a conversation that a friend was "not Internet savvy at all." This friend heard about it and seemed to take offense. I don't know why. I meant no offense and that person is not Internet savvy by any stretch of the imagination. 

I've stayed in hospitals before but I wouldn't be telling people that I am an expert on hospitals or the medical profession. 

When this friend complained to me about that comment, I brought up a point that you can surely use in the future yourselves when you are searching for someone to help you with the Internet or Social Media. I said to my friend,

"I'm sorry. I didn't know you were Internet savvy. What is your blog URL? How about Twitter, Pick, Mixi, Facebook, Myspace, or anything else? Can you send me your URL's by e-mail so I can check them out?"

Of course, this friend did not do any blogging or any of those other things. (Anyone who blogs would love for you to visit their blog. Blogging can be a lonely job!) And I haven't received any e-mail.

Of course he knows what these things are, but knowing of something and actually doing it is a world of difference. To be sure, just knowing how to surf the Internet or send e-mail does not make one 'Internet savvy' by any stretch of the imagination. So, whatever we do, if we do business, let's do smart business. If we market, let's do smart Marketing. 

So, for at least preliminary investigations into possible Internet or Social Media partners, pay attention to what they do, not what they say they do. So ask the one question, "Can you send me the URL's so that I can check them out?"


It works every time.


In Part Two, we'll hear directly from an expert who, in a little over six years, built an Internet company that had sales of over $50 million (USD) per year and went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.










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2 comments:

Ana said...

Hi
I couldn't find part II of this article and was interested in the outcome.
Can you recommend anyone/company?
Thanks
Ana

mikeintokyorogers said...

Hi Ana, try this one: http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.com/2010/06/marketing-japan-koji-kamibayashi.html