There are so many things to do, isn’t there? Podcasts, Pinterest, Facebook, e-books, email, Flickr, Youtube, Hubpages, Google Places, backlinks, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Cinch, Slideshare, Instagram, Digg, BlogTalkRadio, Kunaki. . . the list goes on and on.
Does the existence of a social network, a social utility or a marketing tool mean you have to use them? Of course it doesn’t, but then why do so many companies maintain presences on all of them? The answer is purpose.
When you begin your marketing efforts, make sure you have a plan and can execute that plan. If you can successfully execute an entire marketing plan on one network, then you can probably expand that to two. A well executed plan means you’ve tested your messaging so that it attracts the right people to your funnel. Then you’ve tested the parts of the funnel so you’ve maximized the number of prospects that make it to your goal. Finally, you’ve tested the backend and have found surefire ways to monetize them over and over again.
Keeping in mind all the while that your customer has to be moving, growing, learning and achieving their goals all during this process.
When you can master that and have built a well executed funnel, that’s when it is time to take your messaging to new social networks. Imagine achieving a 40% opt-in rate to your email newsletter on your website using Facebook traffic. And then imagine rolling that same “messaging” out to LinkedIn and Twitter. With a well-designed back end your new traffic sources should supply that same funnel with brand new clients.
Can you then duplicate that on Slideshare? Tout? Vine? and in Podcasts?
The reason that this kind of hub-and-spoke model makes so much sense is because each part of it has a role. The messaging filters the prospects to the right page on your website. The funnel monetizes the prospects and the new social networks serve only the purpose of driving traffic back to the funnel. Again with the idea of purpose.
Most marketers do it the opposite way. They start on YouTube, they start on Slideshare and they start on Twitter with the idea of social engagement only. Most small businesses owners that come to me say “I need to be on Facebook”, as if that is a marketing strategy.
Each spoke on the wheel should have a well designed purpose before an account is even established. And that extends to webpages, too.
Take a look at your website, and independently the separate pages of your website. What function or role in your organization does each play? Sure you’ve optimized each page to harvest organic search traffic, that’s a given. But what are you doing with that traffic you’ve attracted? Is it clear on each webpage what the ultimate goal of that visitor should be? If not, should you spend any time creating new pages till you give meaning to the old ones?
And for people with shiny button syndrome, if you do see a great keyword (like dog incontinence) and decide you should create a site and monetize that traffic, does that really make sense for your long term business? Does it ever make sense to start grabbing a new list of emails if you don’t know how or don’t want to be serve them in the long term?
I guess that’s for you to decide. For me the bottom line is this. Does what you’re doing make sense? Of is it time to put the truck in reverse and going back to the beginning? The best place to start, ALWAYS, is create an understanding of where you are headed. Ask yourself “in an ideal world, what would your marketing system look like” – then craft the plan.