Marketing is much like putting a jig saw puzzle together; it is hard to see the big picture with only a few pieces.
We often see what I call the “Social Only” strategy. This is characterized by a business owner or employee relying on Facebook or Twitter for marketing messages. I also call this the “One leg table” strategy, as it can certainly be part of your business’ marketing strategy, but, by itself, it is woefully incomplete.
Here’s why you don’t want a social-only strategy:
1. Limited information. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other social media systems allow for very limited information. For example, most websites will have five or more well-organized and easy-to-find pages of information about the business’ products or services; whereas, the social media platforms have small snippets of information.
2. Distractions. Facebook exists because it can sell ads next to and within your timeline. Some businesses I know have given up Facebook when they have seen their competitors’ ads on their timeline.
3. Not indexed by Google. For the most part, all the posts you make on Twitter or Facebook are not indexed by Google. This means that nearly everything you post on your social media pages is inaccessible (not “findable”) by people doing web searches. Everything you put on your personal website can, if done right, be easily found through a Google, Bing or Yahoo! search.
4. Closed community. Related to #3 above is the fact that your social media presence on Facebook is a community of people who have ‘liked” your page. While it’s great to keep friends and business that are already your clients informed of what you are doing, Facebook will not attract new clients as efficiently as your website.
5. Ownership. Your business only owns the content on these sites and it is at the whim of the site if they want to increase advertising, sell more of your data (already happens on a massive scale), change the design or just shut down. There is nothing you can do about it. In the era of startups and shut downs, investing heavily in a technology that might be here today, gone tomorrow is always a risk. I can name tens of media websites that have been shut down, resulting in millions of businesses losing their online presence quickly.
We often have clients that want to put Facebook, Twitter or Instagram links on their website. Why would you want to take people away from your website, where you are 100% in control of the messaging and content? Once you have someone on your website, don’t let them leave!
At Kona Impact, we use Facebook as part of our marketing strategy, but we have a few principles we follow:
1. Always put the content on our website first. We want people to come to our website, where there is a lot of information about our products and services. We then put the content on our Facebook page and link that to our website.
2. It’s not worth a huge amount of time. It’s easy to spend hours a day reading other people’s information and posts. I try to avoid that during business hours and just spend a few minutes posting our information. I suspect most people do this as well, which is another reason why you can have a lot of “friends” and “likes” but very little business.
3. Use Facebook ads! Yes, it’s a great ad platform as you can hyper-target ads to areas and to certain demographics. What’s bad for individuals and businesses, privacy-wise, is great for advertisers.
4. No social media references on our website or other marketing material. Again, I want people on my website, where I control all design and messaging.
I have been working in online marketing since the early days of online marketing. The things that remain consistently best practices include creating interesting, useful content and using that content to attract clients and establish credibility. It’s hard work, but a solid content strategy that gives you ownership and control of your information will provide excellent long-term value for your business.
If you would like some help developing a solid and sustainable online marketing strategy, give us a call
Kona Impact | 329-6077