Why is “connecting the dots” part of a comprehensive website audit? It seems like a given. You push out fantastic social marketing strategies, all the parts fall into place like you’ve planned, and you bring in traffic. Or you don’t, because you forgot to connect the dots in said strategies…
Here’s why we check to see if you’re playing Dot-to-Dot with your social marketing.
Throughout our 23+ years as a marketing and SEO company, we’ve researched a plethora of websites. We’ve done a whole bunch of digging into sites, news articles and various resources to find out about different companies, including other marketing agencies… and that’s kind of the point. Why should we have to go digging if you’re running marketing campaigns? For that matter, if you’re advertising yourself as any kind marketing agency, why are we digging at all?
Case in point:
A few weeks ago, one of our team members visited an agency site. They market themselves as a “digital marketing agency” on the “cutting edge of technology”. Sounds groovy. But what our teammate found was a blog with a cute little calendar that shows the number of posts per month. Two here, three there, a couple there…
Okay, whatever – we’re just getting back into the groove of regularly posting ourselves after a hiatus while we revamped our website and internal processes.
Then we read their latest post. Even though it was a month outdated, we thought, “We like the way this company thinks…”
So, we’re interested in this company as a potential partner in a deal. We start looking for social links and signs that they know what to do with social marketing strategies. What about the contact us? Nothing social, just address and phone number. They have a LinkedIn profile button on the sidebar. LinkedIn takes you to their company page, which shows a list of employees (mostly without pictures).
Those employee links, in turn, take you to the individuals’ pages, where you can then, and only then, see that at least two have Twitter accounts. To connect with these people through LinkedIn, you have to send an email stating that you’ve worked with them or known them in some way. We’re faced with a decision of how to class these people we don’t know and just want to see what they’re saying – rather than the one-click “follow” of Twitter. Talk about a waste of “being social”.
Social isn’t everything, just like SEO isn’t everything; it isn’t the end all, be all of marketing mediums. We know this; we aren’t new to the social game or social marketing in general. Facebook and Twitter aren’t everything; there are plenty of platforms out there.
Maybe it wouldn’t have been irritating if we hadn’t just poured through site after site of so-called digital, internet, social, etc. marketing firms with dead blogs, dead social accounts, and dead ends.
Why is This Happening?
Yes, the above example is a failure in creating a strong social media strategy. Yes, people are not walking the talk. Yes, it looks and feels bad.
But here’s the real question: “why is this happening?’ Is it because Internet marketers are idiots or management doesn’t know what it’s doing? While there are some examples of both scenarios, the real answer is that starting social marketing strategies are easier than maintaining them and funding them.
Everyone loves making long lists of what ought to be done, and dives in with fervor. But then the real world intervenes. The person who’s supposed to be posting on Twitter has to deal with an urgent client request. Then she goes on vacation. Then she returns and realizes that nobody cared that nothing happened.
So — more nothing happens. And so another digital playground is over-run with tumbleweeds. Somewhere, this week, the same company with abandoned tumbleweed playgrounds is starting a new Pinterest account with renewed (and probably very temporary) enthusiasm.
This stuff only works if a) management believes it is a genuine priority and b) FUNDS it accordingly. Belief and enthusiasm and brainstorming are plentiful. Funding and commitment are rare.
Connect the Dots in Your Social Marketing Strategies
Even fantastic social marketing strategies often have short hang time. With all of the above as an example, this is why looking over your social strategies is part of our basic website audit.
That “What We’re Saying” section in the sidebar may not have the same impact five months later. The world is fast-paced and constantly changing. What you said five months ago may be completely wrong today.
That “Thanks for the fantastic holiday event!” tweet posted by Marketing Twitter User was posted December 19th of last year. It must have been so fantastic they took four months off to recover, though, because they haven’t tweeted anything since.
Yes, we’re in trying times. COVID has knocked a lot of people for a loop, and things aren’t what they were in 2019. -But that’s also the point. We have to move forward, and connecting those social dots is part of that moving forward. It’s called consistency, and if you aren’t focused on it, now is a good time to start.
What Your Dot-to-Dot Social Media Picture Should Look Like
Connecting the dots in your social marketing strategies is important; much like connecting the dots in the physical world. For example, if you have a logo, that logo will be visible on your business cards. It will also be visible on your business letterheads and your store front.
Online dot connecting works the same way. When you look at new social marketing strategies, you have to be willing to commit at least three to six months. Are you willing to do that? Do you have the resources to do that? What you want to do is all well and good, but you have to look at it from every angle.
Then, when all the enthusiastic brainstorming is finished, you have to set it aside long enough to ask, ” Well, yeah – but can we commit to that?”
Here’s an example of what your dot-to-dot should look like:
- Your logo should be on your website, connecting your physical storefront with your online presence
- Your logo should be able to be converted in a favicon, to be used on the site
- Your company name should be consistent across all social platforms, websites, articles and so on – anything you put it on, it needs to be the same
- Your business phone number should be easy to find throughout the site
If your company is participating in social marketing strategies:
- All social channels with the business name should have the business logo
- All social accounts for individual team members should have their pictures
- Your Twitter accounts, depending on how big your business is, should be a mix of company and team member names:
- Your main company account (example: @level343), which resembles your actual company name
- Your team members’ accounts (example: @SEOCopy), which is how followers get to know your company personally
- Your department accounts (examples: @companysales @companyservice, @company Q&A, etc.), which (in a large corporation) give customers direct access to the necessary department
- Your Facebook page should include links to your website, your company email, and other social accounts
- Every social account should have some kind of congruity with your business site
- Provide ways on your site in the contact area for people to connect with the various social accounts
If you decide to start a blog:
- Set a minimum amount of blogs posts per month and stick to it
- Set a regular schedule of days you’ll post (example: we post every Monday and Thursday) and stick to it
- Allow people to share across social networks as part of your social marketing strategies – and don’t just limit it to the networks you’re on; that’s selective thinking, and it won’t serve you well
- Provide ways on the blog for visitors to connect with your company’s social accounts
- Link your site to your blog and your blog to your site – provide two-way traffic flow
If you decide to do content curation or guest blogging:
- Schedule your posts on these content curation sites or guest posting sites to be on days that you aren’t posting on your blog
- Put your name out there every day in some way or another – give the search engines a reason to crawl your site
At some point in time once the Internet started, we got this idea that everything had to be in a box. Don’t link out – that’s bad. Don’t let people share outside of your social circles – that’s bad. Don’t let the blog and the business mix, because, wouldn’t you know it, that’s bad, too.
But your target audience is everywhere, and you aren’t necessarily going to reach them are your chosen social media channel. Sometimes what drives traffic are the people who happen to share that article you posted on Twitter when they came across it because they couldn’t sleep. Make sure your site is ready for those midnight readers.
Connecting the dots is an idea like building a good reputation in your chosen career or field. It’s important because those social marketing strategies become a strong foundation and brand image you can be proud of.