Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Keeping Up To Date

I am not an expert in either marketing or in social networking. I don't think, however, that it needs an expert to know that:
  1. Your marketing materials should always be up to date;
  2. Your website is part of your marketing effort
  3. If you wish to engage in social networking, then you need to actually engage in it and not simply ignore it after a while
This minor rant has come about as a result of some research for a number of different clients. I have been working with clients in the legal, educational and charity sectors in the last couple of weeks (I'm very lucky to have the variety) and have noticed that many of the companies/schools/charities I looked at seemed to get one or all of the items on the above list wrong.

I've seen blogs with the latest entry over a year old and have found links to non-functioning Twitter feeds. I've seen websites with broken links and links to events which are impossible to attend, what with them being in 2008. I've seen websites boasting that the company concerned (no names, no pack drill - but this was a law firm) could contact you by "post, fax and email" (wow).

I've looked at schools which offer the web visitor the chance to see content from pupils - only to find that eight of the ten pages were empty and the two that had content were ten months old.

In my opinion it is perfectly acceptable for small organisations - whether law firms, schools or charities - to have a small web site. Organisations this size are unlikely to have spare resources to support real-time engagement and may not have time for regular web updates. No problem. The problem comes when engagement is started or offered - and then not carried forward.

If you own or work for a small organisation, you should have a web site, I think. It can be very simple with basic information about who you are and what you do. Schools should have some dates on there and charities should have some way of accepting donations (which can be done from a link to a third-party) - and everyone should have contact information. That's it though. 

Much better to do a little well than to try to be all things to all people and to come unstuck.

PS - as a result of this research I had a good look through my own web site and did a little housekeeping!

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