Social media is the newest, most exciting form of marketing. Everyone wants to know connect with the 600 million people on Facebook and the 200 million Twitter users as evidenced by the 200+ people already signed up for the Social Media for Pastors and Church Planters Webinar I’m leading Thursday.
Social media does have a lot of potential. Companies are using it to develop relationships with new and existing customers. Non-profits are using Facebook and Twitter to connect with new and existing donors and volunteers.
But you can create a brilliant social media strategy, get all the best tools, and empower a bright, savvy person to lead it all, and you’ll fail miserably if you have these two things.
1) An ugly website
Just this past week I talked to two people who told me straight up they won’t share their organization’s website with people because they think it looks embarrassing. If you’re website looks bad, you need to address that before jump into social media. Most people who lead organizations with bad websites don’t realize how bad everyone else thinks it is. So, if you think your site looks fine, you probably ought to ask 3 or 4 people you trust to give you an honest opinion.
I’m not suggesting your website needs to look amazing (unless you’re in an artistic field), just make sure it’s not an embarrassment.
2) Lack of original content
The most successful people and organizations on Facebook and Twitter are the ones that provide value to their followers. They create content that’s funny, inspiring, or useful for improving your life. If you don’t create original content, what are you going to share on Facebook and Twitter? If you don’t create original content, what are other people going to share and retweet?
Blogging, podcasting and/or posting videos are essential to social media success. If you’re not creating original content, why not? Do you have insight to share with others? Are there stories you can tell about what your organization is doing, what people are doing with your products, or lives that are been changed?
Social media does not exist in a vacuum. It hasn’t made other forms of online and offline marketing obsolete. In fact, it’s made them all more important as social media multiplies the impact of a good website and good content.