Killer Clients or How to Kill the Best Social & SEO Strategy
Alert! Small business owners – are you killing your social and/or SEO strategy without even knowing it? Today we are going to talk about a major taboo – killer clients. No, these are not the ones which make running a social media marketing firm fun and profitable but quite the contrary; these are the clients that never listen to good advice, make their own changes every step of the way and then wonder why things didn’t turn out as planned. As a social media consulting firm that works with a wide range of clients, we make a practice out of never-ever bad-mouthing a client. In most instances we take the position that the “client is always right”…except when they are clearly wrong. Unfortunately, there are times when it is necessary to stand your ground and simply allow a client to make a mistake – ultimately it is THEIR decision not yours. On the other hand, many small business owners are simply unaware of how detrimental seemingly minor mistakes can be on the success of a SEO or social media marketing strategy. See for yourself if you have a killer client…or perhaps you are a small business owner engaged in killing a well-planned campaign.
1. Focusing on SEO and social media marketing goals rather than business objectives. While it’s important to understand the value of each new contact, becoming consumed by building x number of new links or acquiring 1,000 new Facebook friends each month is less important than getting the “right” people and links. Quality over quantity.
2. Only Doing SEO (or email, or social media marketing, or direct mail…you get the gist. In the past, any business owner that was given one single solitary “option” for a marketing campaign would quickly take business elsewhere. It was understood that print advertising, press release, direct mail and other venues were each part of a comprehensive strategy. Yet today, business owners tend to hear about a new method and want to put all their eggs in a single basket. As effective as social media marketing can be, it is best used in combination with other approaches such as SEO, email, blogs etc…this leads to the next campaign killer…
3. Failure to Coordinate. Once again, not only do all aspects of a properly run social media marketing campaign need to compliment – not compete with – other efforts such as SEO, email and even print but they should also align with the larger goals and efforts of the company at large. This requires a “go-to” contact able to deal with design, development, marketing, executive issues and even budgeting. Those that think they can leave social media marketing or SEO efforts to the intern will undoubtedly find less than impressive results.
4. Forging Ahead Full Force…Without a Plan In Sight! We love enthusiasm and chances are you do too but sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more time in the planning and preparation stage rather than regret it later. While it might initially seem like a good idea to get started then attend to the details later, the ability to remain in budget while designing a long term strategy is often severely compromised. Unless you have unlimited funding, slow down and put a plan into effect.
5. Failure to Start. If unbridled enthusiasm has its pitfalls, the opposite surely must be safe. Wrong! Failure to actually implement a planned campaign on time can have dramatic impact on the viability of the entire outcome. New competitors, algorithm changes, cost differentials and even seasonal events may all adversely impact original expectations.
6. Chance Changes. Remember the old adage about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? It more or less applies to those “chance changes” and “small tweaks” some business owners love to toss into the mix without warning. What might seem like a small little inconvenience may have profound consequences! For instance, a client that outsourced several hundred articles to populate a year’s worth of blog content was shocked to learn a staff member posted all the articles over a period of a few days to “save time” rather than once per day as directed.
7. Separating SEO, Social and Mobile Marketing. In the past, social media consulting firms were assumed to be in competition with SEO and mobile marketing providers but as icons like Zuckerberg and Google demonstrate, social IS mobile and algorithm changes increasingly depend upon social ranking. Business owners must find a single source to coordinate and handle seo, social and mobile marketing.
8. Selecting a CMS or Site Architecture Without Your Social Team. Ughhh! Design does matter. So does usability. And Content. It all needs to form a unified experience for the user and that means collaboration with the social media experts. Again, the better the planning and preparation, the better the long term outcomes. By building it with social media marketing in mind from the beginning, users are less likely to encounter redundant or duplicated messages and more likely to find valuable information, new upsell products and services.
9. Forgetting the User. Don’t become so focused on the details that you forget the big picture. Interacting with clients and increasing sales, exposure and satisfaction rates are the real reason behind social media. No matter how big and bold you build out a new campaign or site, failure to have meaningful interaction will doom it to failure. Staffing shortages are rampant problems which must be addressed in advance. Few things are worse than gaining a new contact or client only to watch them walk away in disgust because their messages were ignored. Either outsource your needs or invest in automation (or a combination of both) but never-ever ignore the client!
10. Jack of All Trades – Master of None. Ever encounter someone that knows a lot…about nothing? The same applies with social media marketing and SEO. Be cautious about trying to find a single person that claims to do it all. Like the old adage “If it seems too good to be true – it probably is”. There is a good reason big business entities outsource so many aspects of their social media and SEO strategy – specialization is critical. Unless their business IS marketing, few mega-business entities want to take on an entirely new (and very large) department to get the job done right. It simply doesn’t make sense. If big business can’t afford it…can your small business?