Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is a “Dr. Death” Undermining Your Social Media Efforts?

No matter how well thought out and executed your social media strategy is it may all be for nothing if your business is not paying attention in other areas.

For example, at the gym I try to get to five or six times a week there is an older gentleman who shows up with a gigantic cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. During the hour I’m there he seems to take frequent breaks from the treadmill or lifting weights to step outside to drink his coffee and smoke a cigarette.

So, for about 15 minutes at a stretch he’s working to make himself healthier and then he takes a break from that to …. Well, you get the point. Some of us at the gym have dubbed him “Dr. Death.”

It’s the same thing with social media strategies that get undercut by what you and your business do elsewhere. Do you have a Dr. Death or two on your team or among your non-social efforts?

Here are five things that will almost certainly undercut any good you achieve through social media:

1. An incomplete or poorly maintained website: Are all your alt tags complete? Do you have an up-to-date site map? Do you regularly ask a complete stranger to try to get lost on your site to see if you have solved all of your navigation issues? If the answer to any of these is “no” you may have serious issues with search engine optimization and/or people just getting lost on your site.

2. Not using unique landing pages: Each new marketing effort or promotion leads to a unique landing page right? It doesn’t make any sense to be sending people to your site without any way of knowing what’s working to get them there. And then you would, of course, conduct A/B testing by having a pair of dissimilar pages and sending half the traffic to each so that you can see which of those landing pages leads to more people engaging/buying or whatever from your business.

3. Hosting web-irrelevant content: Just because you have a website doesn’t mean it can become a dumping ground for any content you want to “store” on the web. This is a particular problem with companies still posting old-school press releases – the kind with no links. These releases are often seen by search engines as content, but low-value content since they are not connected to anything but the host site. My advice: Host social media releases on your site or don’t host releases at all.

4. Not using your keywords wherever you can: If the clickable text anywhere on your website has any of these phrases “here,” “click here,” “email us,” “contact us” or “for more” you should just walk away from the web now. These clickable phrases have to contain some of your keywords. The fact that you chose certain words to be clickable tells the search engines that they are important to you and your business. This is one of the simplest SEO tactics.

5. Not promoting your social presences sensibly: We’ve all seen those print and TV ads that show a social media icon and invite readers or viewers to “Find us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter.” This is the analog equivalent of using a telephone icon and suggesting people “Find us in the phonebook.” Do your business a favor and put your Facebook, Twitter and other social account names next to those icons.

So, this is just a starter list – it could easily be much longer. The key is this: Your social media strategy is only as good as everything else you are doing around it. If you have a tip or two I’d love to hear them so I can use them (giving you full credit of course) in a future post.

Possibly related posts:

Top 10 Business Social Media Mistakes

5 Signs You may Need Help With Social Media Strategy

10 Ideas to Help Businesses Navigate Social Media


  1. I think another great point is consistently updating your site. It can be a lot of work, but continually putting up fresh content, replying to any user comments, and clearing out your mail box show that you actually care. Some people find they need an seo firm to handle all of that work, but it needs to be done. Whether you hire out or do it internally.

  2. No matter how well thought out and executed your social media strategy is it may all be for nothing if your business is not paying attention in other areas.