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Advanced Social Media Marketing? Go Back to Basics First!

by Massimo Burgio, March 2013

I keep reading about companies and brands “investing” in very expensive internet marketing and social media “executive reports“, where the only things they get is aggregated data that doesn’t reflect at all their business, their market and, most of all, the level of resources, professionalities and skills these companies will have to actually deploy in such fields.

At a recent meeting a potential client asked me: “Did you know that Instagram has 58 pictures uploads per second? 5 million pictures per month“!

I looked back at him and, with my best “consultant’s smile” I said “Sure!” – but at the same time I was thinking “And what do you care, when your website is not optimized for search engines and even less for smartphones, your social media presence is risible, and Instagram users are not even your target audience?“.

Other classic things that I often hear at client meetings or at industry gatherings include the need for launching a “viral campaign“, the desire to “develop a smartphone application” or even to implement an “e-enterprise model“. And the crazy thing is that I hear all this when, respectively, their company websites are not even SEO-friendly, their target audience is not mobile-focused, or their internal resources still cannot get the difference between a browser and a widget (yes, this still happens in 2013). It’s about time to stop this hype, and to go back to basics!

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There is no need to write a long article about the topic, as I’ve always been advocating the need for a rational approach to internet marketing, and a strategic approach to search and social media marketing – but let me just drop a quick memo: before engaging in internet marketing activities, specially if expecting quality results and some form of return on the investment of money, time, resources and reputation, companies need to refocus on the following basics:

  • a solid internet marketing strategy;
  • clearly defined internet marketing goals, supported by achievable KPIs;
  • a skilled and constantly trained internet marketing team;
  • a website optimized for search engines, performance and conversion, social media ready, and of course responsive, for best visualization and interaction across all platforms, including mobile and tablet;
  • a solid social presence across several social media networks and platforms;
  • content, editorial and engagement plans, consistent with strategy, goals and target audience;
  • a social media / internet marketing policy for employees;
  • constantly monitored analytics, and an actionable analysis of data.

Q: Did you know that Instagram has 58 pictures uploads per second? 5 million pictures per month!

A: And what do you care, when your website is not optimized for search engines and even less for smartphones, your social media presence is risible, and Instagram users are not even your target audience?

Does your organization have all the above basics in place? If not, don’t waste your time, money and resources trying to achieve a level of internet marketing you are not ready for. Just take a step by step approach, and you’ll eventually get there. But, first of all, remember to go back to basics! The key to a successful re-engineering of the entire internet marketing and social media marketing set-up are two major interventions, and both gets filed under “training”.

My first advice is to have the top management fully aware of the opportunities and the commitment that online marketing involves. The first major intervention hence should be a strategic training for top management and A and B level executives, that will allow to re-focus, re-plan, re-structure and re-organize the internal resources and the company’s online goals.

The second intervention should be a consistent operational training for all employees, specially for those whose whose activities have an internet marketing impact, should be required, so that they can learn the basics, and also the advanced topics of search and social media marketing.

To learn more about the importance of internet marketing and social media marketing training, check out my SlideShare presentations packed with enough valuable knowledge to cover today’s internet marketing training needs. Or you can just get in touch with us, and we’ll figure out together what are your organization’s training needs.