all tweet, no meat

How many times have you met somebody full of energy who gets you excited about something new -- only to discover later that it was just a lot of talk and no action.

All hat, no cattle .

There's a similar problem in social media: Marketers who are all tweet and no meat.

At HubSpot we run into a lot of professional marketers and small business owners who are very excited about social media. They want 5,000 followers on Twitter, they want 10,000 fans on Facebook, and they want it all yesterday.

Such enthusiasm is new, and it's awesome. Just last summer, most marketers and small business owners still looked at social media as a playground for Kool-Aid drinking tech groupies.

Now the  marketing ROI  of  inbound marketing  and social media is clear, and there's a new problem: Many of the marketers and small business owners leaping into social media are forgetting the importance of other online marketing channels. This is a problem because social media works best in conjunction with a site that's full of fresh content like  blog posts , white papers and videos.

If your marketing strategy is just Twitter and Facebook -- no longer-form content of your own -- your company will end up a big-talking  cowboy without cattle . You'll be making comments about everything, but substantive contributions to nothing.

In pure business terms, there are two huge reasons social media needs to be mixed with original content:

(1) To Drive People to Your Site -- As a business, your goal is to drive leads and sales, which both happen on YourSite.com. In order to get people to YourSite.com, you have to make an investment in blogging,  content management  and  lead tracking  on that site. If your only investment is in Twitter or Facebook, the people you engage with there -- no matter how much  they love you  -- will never make it to YourSite.com to convert into leads and customers.

(2) To Create an Archive With Long-Term SEO Value -- If you're only investing your time and resources in Facebook and Twitter, you're not building any archive of persistent content. That's a problem because your persistent content is what shows up in Google's search results. Blog posts, white papers and videos posted on YourSite.com will get indexed by Google and drive people to become leads and customers for years. Posts on Twitter and Facebook don't have nearly the same long-term search value.

A marketers and salespeople, we're prone to optimistic talk. But as we talk, we need to ask ourselves a key question: Is the talk accompanied by consistent value creation for our company?

If you're just doing social media, I think the answer is no. If that social media work is accompanied by content, I think the answer is yes.

What do you think? How do you strike this balance?

Photo:  Karyn  

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Originally published Mar 17, 2009 8:11:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Marketing Strategy