MSPs: Three Simple Steps to Social Media Success

This blog entry has been floating around my head for several weeks. During the SMB Nation conference back in October, I listened to dozens of VARs and managed service providers try to prioritize their social media efforts across Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and other networks. The more I heard the more I realized MSPs and VARs were focusing on the wrong web problem. Here's why.

Imagine the following scenario: You've got a limited budget for your home. Instead of building a beautiful, engaging home you spend all of your time building roads and driveways that lead to a run-down house that's the worst piece of real estate in the neighborhood.

Now apply that scenario to VARs and MSPs:

  • Internet Roads: FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter are roads on the Internet. Those roads should drive traffic and readership back to your Internet home.
  • Internet Home: Your Web site is your most important point of presence on the Internet. It's the home you want everyone to visit.
My key point: A lot of MSPs and VARs have their priorities backwards. They're building Internet roads before they've built or updated their Internet homes. Before you spend a minute on social media sites, call a time out and determine if your company's own web site is well-designed, informative, fast-loading and meeting visitors' needs.

Think of it this way:
  • Step 1: Get your web site built (or re-built) and running smoothly. Forget everything else (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) until your web site is stellar. Ask your developer 50 times how they plan to search engine optimize the site, and demand examples of sites they've developed that are at or near the top of Google search rankings.
  • Step 2: Potentially launch a blog (using WordPress, Google or other tools) to promote your press releases, company news and industry observations. Speak with your web site developer to see if you can integrate the blog into your web site. Blogs are greatly search-engine optimized.
  • Step 3: Once your web site and/or your blog are in great shape you're now ready to proceed to a FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media efforts. Now, speak with your site developer again and ask how your blog entry headlines can automatically flow across FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Fact is you and your employees don't have time to continually update your "status" across those social media sites. So automate the process.
Got more questions? I'm happy to answer them. But don't get caught up in the social media hype until you have a simple, well-designed, informative web site that customers can easily find.

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