Choosing between SEO and SMM? Don’t!

Social Media is either the bane of a company’s marketing plans because they know they have to get into it and they have no idea how or social media is the new apple of their eye and said company cannot wait to jump all over it.

Business Should NOT Ignore Social Media

I’m really and truly glad to see that more and more companies are realizing that social media is not just a new fad and probably something that they should be considering. After all, not only is it job security, but I honestly know that anyone who is trying to ignore Social networking with the hope that it will fade out is going to really be hurting their business.  While it was only last week that traffic analyst firm Hitwise shows a clear graph demonstrating what was heard last year at the #140Ctitter Conference in NYC that  social networking sites have surpassed the traffic search engines receive.

What concerns me is that it seems  like some folks are so quick to jump on the social bandwagon that they are not giving it the proper thought at all. We speak to allot of potential clients that are looking for help and sadly, all too often, they are wanting to get involved with SMM but they still have horribly designed websites or really really need some serious help in SEO and user experiences before they move forward. I hate raining on their parade, but what is the point of being the social darling if you send them back to a less than stellar “house”.  I don’t care what kind of metrics we build into measure your ROI, if your website is horrid or your products eh or you have customers saying negative things, then you need more than social marketing to pick up your business.

Social Media Campaigns are the Icing on a Cake

Just like baking a cake, you can’t just heap a pile of icing on a plate and call it a cake!

First you have to have a good recipe, so in this case, a product or service that is good. I don’t necessarily mean look good on paper or a nice business model that allows you to make bank deposits by scamming folks, but a solid product or service!

Then, use quality ingredients to build your website.  If you use old and outdated coding then you might as well be suing milk that is about to go sour. In the same vein, if you spend big bucks on some crazy flashy site does nothing to appeal to the much beloved search engine spiders, then all you have done is spend allot of money on bells and whistles. Sure, folks might be impressed when they find your website, but no one needs the big questions to be IF they find your website. If you don’t need to use imported French cream from albino goats when simple standard milk will do fine.  It’s not the fancy labels that will get you really noticed or make the conversions. It’s simple, clean, working sites that provide people what they want when they want it.

Pay attention to the baking process and follow the directions! Baking is like a science and an art her, just like real search engine optimization. You have to measure correctly and can’t fudge some things  if you want your cake to rise properly, yet stay moist and delicious. Same with SEO.  All the many little components of SEO all need to work together to make  your website visible.  You cannot cheat on titles and page URLs, you can’t get away with duplicate content and you can’t get away with lousy spammy back links. Oh you can try and You might get some movement at first, but like a cake improperly cooked, it will fall.

Give me a well made cake and I can ice it with the most scrumptious social media campaign around, but if it can’t hold up when someone cuts a piece.. or even worse, if they spit it right back out, then I might fail, but because you let me!

Brand Audits Show Poor Foundation for SMM

I was performing a brand audit on a huge branded boot site the other day. What they were doing socially, was great really. They had their in house marketing teams taking an active part. I could not find fault on their Facebook pages or twitter. They had great name recognition and a self identified fan base ready willing able to love the brand. At worst, all I could say was that they could tie some of their efforts together more to make them more efficient.   

And then I looked at their actual website; It was very very fancy with flash that even impressed me, but when I looked at the copy on the page there was only ONE use of the word “boot” . You know what they sold? Boots. You know they did not rank for at all? Boots.  

So maybe they are so well known that boot is just assumed? I don’t know. I could not be so bold to ever assume that a website would not want to rank for the main product that they sell to make their money! I can tell you that any social networking outreach that I could dream up would be much more effective and much better served by having a strong SEO foundation.

Give me a blog post any day to serve as a dedicated landing page for a targeted campaign. Give me optimized copy to be found via organic search. Give me a keyword rich shortened URL to share on Twitter. Give me the recipe, the ingredients, the tools and the plan and I can ice you a beautiful cake, but not without all that I need.

Then it’s just air pudding; you take a bite of it and nothing is there.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 and is filed under Integrated Marketing, Social Media in Marketing.

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