Don’t Pull a Lance Armstrong: Building Your Online Brand with Blogs and Social Media

On Thursday, August 23, 2012, famed Tour de France bicyclist Lance Armstrong said he’s tired of fighting the battle and has declared enough is enough. Now stripped of his seven titles and banded from the sport for life, I began to wonder if it’s true what Peter Flax, the editor of chief of Bicycling Magazine said that Armstrong is “choosing the least worst option…it’s a damage control move.”*

Those Who Deny

I have been blogging and writing online for clients and websites for a number of years now and to be honest, it’s time for those medium-sized businesses (100-500 employees) to get out from under their rock and start interacting online.

By this I mean a daily blog post and participating in social media venues such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Google+ to name a few.

The hardest part of my job as a blogger, writer and social media producer is convincing these mid-sized organizations they need these elements to succeed online—and the Internet isn’t going away. No matter what product you sell or service you offer you could bet big in Vegas that your customers researched it first on the Internet.

They browsed websites (other than yours), read tons on consumer reviews and expert reviews and only then did they make a decision to purchase and often that purchase is made online.  Technology is just too advanced with mobile apps, mobile websites and tablets where folks who don’t want the salesperson hassle can skip it and buy from the comfort of their home or via a smartphone. The sales pitch as we know it is indeed dead.

Lead the Mediatites!

If you’re a manager or CEO you don’t need to be told how important an online presence is to your organization. The problem isn’t you—it’s your team—the folks you supervise. These folks fear change and want things to stay the same forever. To you I say look in the mirror and make one promise to yourself today: “Today is the day I will lead my team and build my brand online!”

You Will Make These Mistakes

That wasn’t hard was it? Next you need to actually implement a program and before you do here are the mistakes you will make:

Assigning the Uneducated – So you know employee Mary really loves Facebook—she’s liking and posting during her entire lunch! Mary would make a perfect blogger and social media producer right? Wrong! Does Mary know about HTML coding, RSS Feeds, burners and readers, SEO (search engine optimization), Google Panda and Penguin algorithms, keywords and above all, can she write or is she more of the “UR so funny” type? Don’t assign an in-house employee to perform the task of building your brand online—it won’t work.

Copying the Competitor – Many newbies to blogging and social media will find a competitor and actually copy what they’re doing—even their blog posts. If you do this, it won’t be long before you’ll get nasty emails and phone calls telling you to back off.

You’re Up—You’re Down – These folks try to build an online presence by writing a blog or two the first week, setting up a Facebook Page and a Twitter account and by the end of week two, they’ve completely stopped the blog, haven’t offered anything on Facebook and have sent zero Tweets. If you build it and you want them to come, you need to stay inside the ballpark and be active!

It’s Not for Us – Really? If you are a business owner, CEO or manager and you think technology and an online presence isn’t for you, stop reading this right now and go play Angry Birds on your smartphone; just wait for an “UP” to come through the door—good luck with that!

Outdated Technology – It’s also surprising to me and some of my colleagues how many mid-sized businesses rely on outdated technology when it comes to websites and the organizations that build them. A savvy consumer can spot a good website fast and will also turn away from a bad one instantly! Look at your website. Is everything “above the fold” or what you see when a newspaper is folded in half? Or, must users scroll left and right and down and up to find what they want? If your website builder or host provider doesn’t have the ability to build you a better ballpark, let them know it and tell them you’re moving on.

Paying Too Many People to Do the Same Thing – Believe it or not this is a common mistake mid-sized businesses do when building a brand online. They have their website provider, software CRM, and a blog separate from their website—just a link to it if you will. These folks are paying for the website and support, the CRM software, someone to write the blog and someone else to take care of their social media.  Find an expert like the team at Don’t Have Time to Write and integrate everything into one invoice. You still may have to pay for website support but other than that a skilled blogger/writer/social media producer can take care of the rest for you.

Paying Too Much – It’s very easy to hire a mega-giant company to handle everything you need to build that online presence but expect to pay around $10,000 to $15,000 per month for that service. Can you afford that? Why not rely on one dedicated team that caters your needs and pricing tofit your budget?

Ready to Get Started?

Before you make these seven deadly sins or worse—pull a Lance Armstrong and decide to give up before you start, why not contact us at Don’t Have Time to Write. Not only are we the experts you seek, we customize every package based on corporate need and advertising budget.

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