Thoughts on marketing, social media, and web strategy

Mike Templeton is an experienced marketer with a history in building community on the web.

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It Takes More Than Presence to Make Social Media Work

Microblink picked up a new follower on Twitter recently named Dennis Knesz (@DennisKnesz). Dennis is a self-proclaimed internet marketer and owner of Glass Medics, a glass repair business in Lehigh Valley, PA. I’m assuming he followed the Microblink account (@microblink) due to his internet marketing interests, but after a bit of investigation I find myself questioning his intent.

Twitter is Not a Place to Tout a Message

If you a quick look at Dennis’ tweets, you’ll realize that the conversation seems to be going one way and one way only. With tweets like, “If Your Ever In The Lehigh Valley PA. Area. And Need A Windshield Repair.. Give Me A Call… And Go To My Web Site For Info,” “Need Glass Repair? http://pa.local.yahoo.biz/glmedicswesaveem” and “http://tinyurl.com/6cne7f Glass Medics (we save’em),” this doesn’t really look like someone I’m going to be able to have a conversation with. If I did start a conversation, I’m probably just going to get an advertising message in response.

Looking at Dennis’ stats, he is following 1,997 people, has 554 followers and has posted 23 updates. With no @replies in his messages and essentially a list of self-serving tweets, I’m not even sure how we garned so many followers. My only explanation is that most are auto-follows.

Dennis may be the first glass repairman on Twitter, but judging by the way he is using it, it’s not going to be driving business through his door anytime soon.

YouTube is Great, If Your Videos are Meaningful

One of the links Dennis tweeted was to a YouTube video he had put together. Reluctantly, I watched the one minute, 22 second clip. As I was expecting, it turned out to be an 82 second commercial for his business, consisting of a shaky camera focused on a screen-printed shirt with a scripted, monotonous voiceover.

The video has 59 views, 0 ratings and 0 comments. The video is not engaging, it’s not contagious and it’s not viral. It appears to be a makeshift attempt at creating a video so the subject can be present on YouTube, just to be able to say there’s a video there. Again, I don’t see anyone clammering for their phone to call up and order glass repair.

Crummy Websites Won’t Work Just Because They’re on the Web

Browsing through Dennis’ web footprint, I found two different URLs for his company:

The Yahoo site looks to have taken one of their sitebuilder templates and then plugged in company content (which is actually decent), but everything is in bold, red font, making it somewhat difficult to read and a bit of an eyesore.

The second website has a decent domain (the “inpa” I suppose because glassmedics.com was taken) and a somewhat credible look, but things go downhill from there. The content is in severe need of some white space and a general restructuring for better comprehension. Colors are clashing and the rollover sidebar images don’t align well with the content (even having two home buttons that go to different pages). You can tell most of it was done with a WYSIWYG editor, evident by the constant changes in font size and type weight.

Again, the website appears to have been fashioned together quickly and without regard for the end result. It feels like the website was built because “we have to have a website” and little thought or consideration went into its planning and construction.

Invest in Your Web Presence and Consult with Someone Who Can Help

As much as I hate to see businesses entering the web and social media space with this kind of presence, it’s easy to be avoid. The goal of my marketing and web strategy consultancy, Dosovo, is to keep businesses from ending up like this. Many will say that it’s easy to become a content creator on the web, but to be effective with the content you are creating is an entirely different story.

So before you decide to roll out that corporate Twitter account or launch a company blog, stop to take a look at what your competitors are doing (or aren’t doing) and consider enlisting the services of someone that can help you make the most of your efforts.

6 Responses to “It Takes More Than Presence to Make Social Media Work”

  1. Great post, Mike! You’ve identified a perfect example of someone trying to shove traditional marketing tactics into these new mediums – and they just don’t fit together. Looking forward to seeing you at Highlight Midwest!

  2. Very insightful. It’s been a little nerve wracking to enter the corporate Twitter world, and so it’s always good to hear case studies of both good and bad uses to learn from. Thanks for posting!

  3. great post… they just don’t get it.

    What’s even funnier is they are probably missing out on the easiest cornerstone of an effective web strategy – listening. They won’t even know you called them out.

  4. @Andy Maybe it’s time I finally send him a message on Twitter directing him to this post? I wanted to wait it out a bit to see if he would find his way here. Prepare for things to get interesting.

  5. @Mike I’d wait a week to see if it reaches him, then have someone else tweet it to him :)

  6. United Glass says:

    Windshield Repair st. Louis

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