When Social Media Marketing Will Hurt Your Business More Than It Will Help.
This post came about because of a somewhat challenging marketing problem a friend, who at one time was a client, introduced me to. My friend referred me to an online company who was looking for some marketing guidance and thought I could help. I went into the interview not really knowing what kind of help they needed. I did know they were an eCommerce company and had been around for several years.
Social Media and SEO as eCommerce Objectives
They seemed a little concerned that I hadn’t used their preferred content management system (CMS.) But I didn’t think posting on their CMS would be a problem. To be extra sure I could use their system I build a site using Magento over the weekend. This is the CMS they were using. I talked with them on a Friday and by Monday I had installed Magento, learned to do several different kinds of posts, and I also had a chance to do a quick SEO and social media audit.
My eCommerce Test Site
There is not much on the site I put together, but it did give me insight into this CMS. Here is the site and it is for sale if anyone would like to buy it. http://beautyandwisdom.com I added a few things I had around the house as test products for the site.
The biggest insight working with Magento was learning about its search engine optimization (SEO) quirks. It doesn’t look too bad, but there are a few things I found interesting. I really need to take a look at it in Google Search Console. One thing that bothered me at first was that most of the online audit tools didn’t see the H1 tag. When I look at the source code in a browser I can see they are there. I also think there are some add ons that would help improve the SEO for these sites.
The quick SEO audit I did showed that their site did perform better than 50 percent of other sites. Technically it seemed okay. Although I did have some questions about the backlink profile.
Website Copy Was Technically So-So to Okay
While the website functioned well enough the copy needed some work. It read like it was written by someone who was highly skilled at English as a second language. There was nothing really wrong with the text, it just didn’t read well. Oh wait, there was one huge problem with the copy and text.
The Big Marketing Problem
The biggest problem I found in the text, with the website, and the business objectives is that much of the text was misleading.
The social media audit proved that customers felt the same way. If I was to develop and implement an effective social media strategy for this company they would need to change their entire value proposition.
I would not recommend using social media marketing until the website fundamentals have been improved.
You can’t do effective social marketing if people have mostly bad things to say about buying from you. I could get social buzz for this company, but without change, I think it would be more harmful than helpful.
I wrote an overview outlining what I thought needed to be done but they never got back to me. I also wrote a sample post as an example of what would be needed for an integrated strategy to boost sales, provide internal links to site videos/products, increase positive social comments, and get back links. In the long run this type of site strategy would build the trust needed to move customers from buying on third party sites to shopping on the company’s site.
This would not be a quick fix and would require cooperation from the entire management team.
I did not put together any suggestions for a separate video strategy. I though in the beginning the videos would be used in a rather straight forward way to support the site revision. My plan was to start with product videos. While product videos aren’t my favorite type of video they can be done with some artistic and business creativity. Sometimes it is best to start with the basics. While the video usage did seem basic, it had a subtle but very important purposes of developing a market oriented mindset in management and to promote a company culture.
I imagine they thought the cost and effort was a bit more than what they wanted to invest. They will probably do just fine sticking to their current strategy and tactics. But, it will be informative to see how they evolve over time.Follow me on Google + to comment and connect