I didn’t intend to be blogging today but I discovered something I consider important while reviewing my own clients’ online presences and the online presence of promising prospective clients.
Although this blog is all about making money with blogs, my eureka moment occurred while viewing websites and the social media accounts relating to those websites. However, the same conclusion I arrived at is equally relevant to blogs. The conclusion is that if you plan on using social media to promote your website or blog, commit to it or don’t even start because you run the risk of embarrassing yourself and diminishing your online presence.
I checked out numerous websites, all well designed, search engine friendly and easy to navigate. A lot of work and/or money went into the development of each and every one of them. Most included the almost mandatory social media buttons from Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, etc. Out of professional curiosity I clicked on the links to check that I was following or a friend of each. What I found amazed me, confounded me, and in the case of my own clients, caused me to add calls to each on my To Do List so we can discuss their social media marketing efforts… or lack thereof.
Here is an example of how social media is supposed to be used… The client is Lodestone Investment Corp. and I was asked to build an inexpensive, product specific website and handle the SEO efforts using the keyword domain lethbridgebenefits.com. Do a Google search with the prime keywords the client selected; ‘lethbridge benefits’ & ‘benefits lethbridge’, and you should see both the website and the related twitter account within the first page of search results. I deal with the SEO, while an employee of the client that PlutoCrazy trained in basic social media marketing maintains the twitter account.
I am not going to point out the websites I found that were failures of course. However, if you have both a website and social media accounts, do a search of your own prime keywords and take note of what turns up in the search results, and on what page. Then click on the social media account links if they appear and see what a casual visitor would find when they visit. If what you see hasn’t been update in months you have wasted the opportunity not only to rank higher in Google, but also to impress prospective customers.
If you are going to use social media marketing and don’t have the time to keep it up delegate doing so to an employee or hire an outside contractor to maintain your social media accounts. If you don’t want to do either, take down the social media buttons from your blog and/or website, and close the accounts. Not doing so and having an account that was last updated months, even over a year ago in some cases, is not only counter productive, but it diminishes your online presence by making it appear as if all was abandoned. This is especially so with websites that are static and therefore less frequently updated than blogs.
Put yourself in the position of a surfer landing on your site for the first time from a search result or back link. Congratulation, you just scored a major victory in the online war for eyeballs. Your website captures the interest of the visitor but he or she is more into social media than bookmarking a website that has little or no interaction. Your visitor sees the buttons on your website or blog for social media services he or she also uses. A click on the follow or friend button and he or she is on your mutually shared social media accounts, only to find the last update was months ago and that there have only been a few updates ever made. What will this visitor think? I know the first thought I would have is that the website is as ignored or forgotten as are the social media accounts that, by their very definition, should be more often updated.
The internet is the largest single market on the planet, dwarfing in a single day the traffic potential brick and mortar operations in any of the planets largest metropolitan centres could hope to attract in a dozen lifetimes. It is also the most hotly contested market place in the world, with the tenants living next door to your place of business able to make a purchase from anywhere in the world as quickly and as easily as walking next door to your place of business. Everyone with any business sense today knows this and uses the internet as an advertising media or maintains virtual stores selling goods and services directly to online shoppers.
What amazed me is that the businesses I visited in my research surfing obviously subscribe to the notion that the internet is a market they must have a presence in and do so. Then they drop the ball by not using the tools, mostly free, that are available to take advantage of the potential the internet offers. Worse, they fail to put in a few minutes daily to maintain their own presence online, making it appear their website, along with their social media accounts, were long ago abandon and forgotten.