This morning I saw a post on Google+ from a web marketing company I follow.
The post had a headline and about five lines of text. It promised me information that could dramatically improve my web marketing efforts. It was well written and compelling.
So I clicked the link and was taken to the article on the website.
The article was a crashing disappointment. Just basic information that pretty much any online copywriter already knows.
It’s not that the article was bad. It might be useful for someone who had just begun studying the craft of online writing. But that’s not what was sold in the Google+ post.
This is happening more and more. Social media updates over-promise, and the website content they link to under-delivers.
I have stopped following a number of companies for this reason. It’s really annoying to be tricked into clicking through to an article or post that proves to offer far less than I was led to expect.
This is a problem because it diminishes the value of brands.
My high opinion of several companies has been significantly reduced. By using social media these companies have caught my attention more often, but then mismanaged the opportunity by delivering mediocre web content.
Instead of saying, “Hey, look, our brand is even better than you thought!” They are saying, “Hey, look, our brand is becoming really mediocre and disappointing!”
Why is this happening?
It’s because social media has become a place where you have to speak big and loud in order to be seen or heard. Everyone’s social media streams are so busy, and moving so fast, marketers are compelled to “shout” if they want to be noticed.
In other words, if you want to succeed on social media, being quiet and ordinary won’t cut it.
This leaves us with only one option if we want to cure this “over-promising” problem. We have to increase the quality and value of the content we link to.
You can make big promises in social media, but then you have you over-deliver on your website as well.
This is a bit of a no-brainer. So why doesn’t every company over-deliver on its website as well as in its social media streams?
Simple answer: Quality web content costs a lot more money than mediocre content.
Companies go for the short-term win in social media, while undermining the long-term value of their brand on their websites.
This is a terrible way to run a business. Most of any company’s profits are to be found in the future. The combined profits of the next ten years massively exceed the level of profits you can make in the next ten weeks. The true value of your brand resides in the future, not the present.
So when you over-promise in social media, and under-deliver with your website content, you are essentially exchanging a small short-term gain for a massive loss in future profits.
Like I said, a terrible way to run a business.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…
If you found this post helpful, sign up for my e-newsletter and get a free copy of my 35-page guide…
Writing For The Web #1 — 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
Sign up and I’ll send you the link for the download, and then you’ll receive my most recent post as part of my e-newsletter every Tuesday morning.
(Your email address will be used only for the purpose of sending you this newsletter, and you’ll be free to unsubscribe at any time.)