Get your house in order first

Written by copywriter on Jun 8, 2010 in Freelancing

Graffiti on floor outside door which reads "Welcome key is under mat"

Photograph by Alborzshawn

With social media, it’s tempting to run straight out the front door with all guns blazing, pistol duelling with every site in the Wild West of social networking but neglecting to take care of the obvious things back home first: the humble web site.

Hands up, when I meet a new charity client I’ve been known to get a little too excited about all the great support services, case studies and community events they have ready for me to plug using social media. It’s very easy to start telling the world all about it, but without the collateral to back up the tweets and status updates your fans and followers are just going to walk into a content black hole.

That’s why, after I’ve taken a deep breath, I always suggest my clients invest a good amount of time in creating a reassuring body of content on their web site. This can take a while, to populate it with engaging copyriting and other media like photography and video, but it’s time well-spent. There’s also often an exercise to be done in improving usability and filling the cracks as this case study on Pizza Hut shows.

Blogs are perfect landing pads, so I tend to point social media back to articles where people can find out more about the story that’s been tweeted, also it gives my clients time to improve their main web site which all to often seems to be managed by some legacy content management system, in-house ‘technology enthusiast’ or is little more than a static brochure. If I had my way all the time, it wouldn’t be like that but ah well …

Remember. Social media is a powerful tool for getting your message out there and creating noise around your cause or brand. But it’s nothing without a web site full of fresh and interesting content to read that cements your values, solidifies recognition and converts a visitor to a donor or customer.

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