This is a very complicated topic to write about and one that is very important to understand. It is complicated because in no way shape or form do I want you to read this post and walk away thinking that posting on social media is bad. It is complicated because I want to challenge you to think about the impacts social media has on your marketing campaigns, and I also want to challenge you to get a little more creative when it comes to content. It is important to understand this concept because it can take your marketing to the next level, and can really set you apart from the competition.
The Disconnect Between Social and Content
We all know how important social media is. We know that it has changed the media landscape and revolutionized how people communicate. We also know how important content is when it comes to being found by users who are searching the web (if you are unfamiliar with SEO, or the role content plays with SEO check out these posts, How to Write Better Blogs, Google, Keywords, and Your Opinion or My Experience Speaking at the SMBCMN). The problem I see is that many marketers have trouble understanding how to effectively use content and social media. In these situations marketers either have amazing websites with no social media presence at all, or they have great social media presence and paper thin weak websites. In the marketing world we live in today you need to be able to market to people who like you (through social media) and market to people who need you (through search engines, and social media referrals). Businesses that are unable to do this miss out on some pretty big opportunities. Look at it this way…
- People who like you are…
- Fans of your business and an excellent referral source.
- Have been customers in the past
- Would like to be a customer in the future
- People who need you
- Have their wallet open and are ready to buy
- Are ready to be turned into someone who likes you
The real magic comes into play when your marketing creates new customers, and your customers experience with you creates people who like you. Are you starting to see why this is a real powerful concept?
The Synergy of Social Media and Website Content
So we’ve talked about two different things. Finding people who like and engaging with them, and finding people who need you and turning them into customers who like you. This is how you continue to expand and grow your network and more importantly make more sales and grow your business. The key to doing this effectively is to have great content on your site, and use that content on your social media sites. You need great content on your website because when search engines index your site they are analyzing your content to identify whether or not your site is relevant to someone who is searching. You might be thinking, “I have 1,000,000 likes and I have 1,000,000 Twitter followers, I don’t need a site with great content.” Take a look at these numbers.
- Facebook has 1.1 Billion Monthly Active Users (According to this infographic)
- Twitter has 288 Million Monthly Active Users (Same source as above)
- Google+ has 359 Million Monthly Active Users (Same source as above)
- 19.2 Billion Desktop Searches where made in the month of June 2013 (According to this study)
- Keep in mind this is just desktops, this number does not include mobile devices (smartphones and tablets)
With those numbers in mind you can see that it is very important to have a site that search engines find relevant. While social media is very important, the content on your site is still the most important ranking signal for search engines. Also consider this, if I am visiting a new city I might ask my Facebook friends what restaurant I should eat at, but how do I find directions to that restaurant? You guessed it… I search for it. My point is that when people are really ready to buy, or they are ready to pick up the phone and call, or they are about to walk in your front door they turn to search. Again, this is why the content on your site has to be unique, original and relevant. Do you want potential customers to do some social media research and have them find the competition when they turn to the search engines?
Some Action Items
So ultimately my point is this. When you spend time and money developing a great site why rely only on social media to spread your message when you can craft great content and let social media and search potentially reach billions of potential customers? There are some cases where a business may not be proud of their website (in those cases this is how you contact Vivid Image). For those marketers I would say it’s time you get one you can be proud of. For those of you that have little control over your website (financial service reps, etc…) I would advise you to control what you can control. If you can’t control your website take 100% control over your social media.
If you have the luxury of controlling both your social media and your website here are some things you can do to really get the strategy of engaging with people who like you, and finding people who need you.
- Create original and unique content
- Have a great site with an excellent user experience
- Use that content to fuel your social media (follow Jackie’s Tips)
- Original posts to social media are not bad. Just keep them brief. If it’s turning into a rant, write a blog instead and share it on social media
- Use search engine ads like Google AdWords. This is a great way to find out what keywords drive users to your site.
That’s all for this week. Please share your personal experiences and thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to hearing what you think.