Social Media Mistakes

Everyone wants to avoid common mistakes so I was intrigued when I saw the article 5 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media. What I found interesting is that some of these could apply to all digital content in general.

Know what your metrics should be. Just like anything you track you need to know what you want to track so you know if your successful. In Social Media it’s not only quantity but quality. Your followers need to be talking about you. You need to be following what their saying and engaging with them. What do you want to monitor?

Beware of having too many handles. This may dilute your message and divide your followers. For large organizations this can be difficult to keep in check. Think about having one area responsible for keeping track of the organizations handles and providing some best practices and guidelines for them to follow.

Compelling content is something that crosses all digital mediums. To keep followers engaged you must be interested and interesting says the author. This requires that you know your target. Respond to comments and ask questions – be engaged.

Isolation of the social media function can limit it’s success. Many areas can benefit from participating. Plus isolation can lead to too many channels being created.

Lastly, have a plan. Create a road map that defines the purpose for each channel with an editorial calendar. Share the plans across your organization. Understand escalation paths and make sure you have the resources to handle it.

Happy Birthday WordPress

Can you believe WordPress is now 10 years old. It seems like it’s just exploded over the few couple years.¬†WordPress now much more than just a great blogging platform it’s also a robust content management system. The article WordPress is 10 years old today: Here’s how it’s changed the Web on The Next Web opened my eyes to several things I hadn’t known about WordPress. Many high profile sites such as The Next Web, CNN, TechCrunch, GigaOm, Dow Jones, UPS, NBC Sports, TED use it as a platform. A statistic quoted in the article surprised me – “WordPress has 52 percent of the Top 100 blog market share on the Internet. This number dwarfs other platforms like Drupal, Gawker, BlogSmith, Movable Type, TypePad, Blogger, Joomla, and Tumblr”. In addition, WordPress says that it now powers more than 66 million sites! That’s pretty great for open source software. For me I’ve found it a great tool for creating sites and as a wire framing tool. Check out the article at least to watch WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg give the 2012 State of the Word address.

Are Keywords and SEO Dead?

The article Keywords Are Dead? Long Live Keywords by George Stevens on the Social Media Today website confirmed my view of Search Engine Optimization. People search with keywords so if you want your content to rise to the top of any search result results for a given keyword, your content better be relevant to that keyword. I’ve had many customers ask me about SEO and I always point back to their content. As it says in the article “good quality content will have all the keywords you need”. Search engines decide relevancy based upon content and the words in that content. You need to spend a good amount of time thinking about how your content is structured. Including your keywords in not only body content but headers and navigation as well. This will greatly improve the relevancy of a given keyword on your site.

The article goes on to discuss the death of SEO. It positions professional SEO as being in business to “trick” Google and other search engines. Since searchers want relevant results to their keyword search, Google’s aim is to be “un-trickable” or “SEO proof”. I agree with the author that as SEO practices must evolve. As long as people use search engines to find information there will always be a need to optimize the content of your website.


It’s all about the content

I’ve worked on a lot of web projects over the years and content, or lack there of, always comes up as a project speed-bump. Everyone thinks they know what they want to say and that it won’t take much time at all to write. Or they believe the existing content just needs some minor tweaking. What they always find out is that creating content takes much longer than they expected. Another content issue that occurs is keeping it up to date. A good friend of mine called it “feeding the beast”. Once you have that fantastic new site you need to keep it fresh.

This article that appeared in Forbes, Your Content is Giving You A People Problem, discusses the importance of content strategy. The example is for a large organization but the theories applies to an organization of any size. The article states that determining content owners and having a content czar are important to maintaining high quality content across multiple channels. It stresses the importance of a nimble digital content team that is no only responsible for overseeing production but also actively tweaking content strategy base on analytics.

The only disagreement I have with this article is the timing of the planning of content responsibilities. The author says the time to create roles and assign responsibilities is after the designs are set is I believe that needs to be addressed in the Information Architecture phase before designs are set. Content owners should be involved in the organization of information as should any czar that will be coordinating content post launch.

Email Will Never Die

With so many ways to connect with your audience electronically should you give up on email? This article from readwrite will make you think other wise. The medium is virtually unchanged after 40 years with 144.8 billion sent everyday. According to Ray Tomlinson,the creator of email, nothing has filled the space that email serves. As always, you need to know your audience to determine the best way to reach them. Email should be considered along with Facebook, IM, Twitter and others. Read the article Email Will Never Die – The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why.