It’s the content silly!

I have been attending a lot of small business building seminars lately, and a lot of the advice is the same when it comes to social media: Build a Facebook site. content-is-king

That’s all well and good, and I agree wholeheartedly that building a Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace page is important. But as is the case with most of the other discussions I have about web 2.0 and marketing, there is one, huge missing ingredient – and that’s content.

Starting a blog, or a Facebook page or even a website does you no good if you aren’t up to feeding it. The days of being rewarded just because you were able to accomplish some sort of technical task on the Internet are over. From here on out, it’s about how frequently you update, what kind of engagement opportunities you provide, and whether you can become a trusted voice as an expert in your field.

What that means is that just plopping up a site isn’t enough – it takes a lot of care and feeding. It also means that small businesses can’t do all the content work that’s required to be effective, and network, and sell, and produce and deliver. This has created a huge opportunity for content creators – like yours truly.

Beyond that though, I think it’s important to make effective choices. If you’re wearing every hat in your organization, you are going to have to make some hard choices about how many social networking tools you’re going to use because each demands time and engagement.

I’ve chosen a blog, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve experimented with other platforms, but I just don’t have the time to feed them all.

So that’s really the next step in “doing” social networking – how to make efficient use of your time and deciding which platforms are best for your “voice” in the marketplace.

So don’t just think that throwing up a dead site is the answer- leads won’t just start falling from the sky. You have to build the value-added content, build the relationships and focus on helping others before you can ever expect quarters to start dropping out of the machine for you.