As anyone who reads this blog and follows me on Twitter and Facebook will know, I am a big advocate of Social Media . I deliver training courses and provide consultancy for clients on Social Media. I read about it every single day of the week and use its applications alll the time. I've bought the book and wear the t-shirt. However, I also believe that companies need to learn to walk before you they can run. Quite a few businesses and organisation have asked me about developing Social Media strategies, yet so many of them lack the basic foundation blcoks of an Internet and Digital Marketing presence. They have heard the magic words, "Twitter" and "Facebook" and want to jump head first this brave, new world. However, I would caution against jumping straight in.
Before you can run with Social Media, make sure that you can walk with the following:
- is it built according to the needs of your target audience?
- have you created a strong navigation system and added calls to action?
- do your customers know what you expect them to do?
- have your pages been optimised for the search engines: page titles, H1 tags, internal links, meta descriptions?
- are you writing rich, relevant and fresh content for your website?
- have you created quality inbound links to your site?
- have you verified your site with Google?
- have you added an XML site map to Google?
- are you happy with the sitelinks that Google has created for you?
- have you checked for errors that Google has identified?
- have you verified your Google Places listing?
- have you added in the right information for your business?
- have you considered using Google AdWords? Are your competitors using it?
- have you identified the right keywords and ads for your campaign?
- have you set up conversion tracking on the 'correct' pages?
- have you added the Analytics code to all pages of your site?
- are you measuring the right metrics?
- have you added a sign up form to your website?
- have you figured out the right type of email l to send to your target audience?
- are you sending out regular updates to your target audience?
In the majority of I cases I would say that if you're comfortable you have completed and/or carefully considered all of the above, then you should start looking at Social Media.