The barrier to entry is low for the internet, which attracts all of the get-rich-quick crowd. It can be very frustrating for a business who is looking for help, when so many seem to have all the right answers. These snake-oil pushers are now excitedly entering the social-media market. They can set up a Facebook fan-page, a Twitter account, and tell you about sites like Urbanspoon, Yelp, and Foursquare. They have quick-tricks with tools to get you thousands of followers. But once you get past the talk, have you really made a meaningful connection with anyone?
There is a great likelihood that they can make you feel great about everything you are paying them for, and they likely can tell you all about the thousands of businesses they have helped. Just like the street-side vendors who could make your hair grow, cure leprosy, and fix all of your problems with a simple elixir, these SEO or social media "gurus" will be quick to sell you tools and tactics to promote your business and get you to the top of Google.
The problem is, being a top result on Google doesn't pay your rent and overhead. A communication strategy is needed, products must meet customer expectations, and customers must want to interact with you. Social media and SEO are a piece of the puzzle, but if that is the only focus of your consultant, you may be left with an empty bottle of snake oil.