"The beds are made, but there's no sheets on"
The title of this post is a line from the chorus of John Mellencamp's dark song Case 795 (The Family). This simple line sums up the song - things look good on the outside, but pulling back the covers reveals another story.
The bleak nature of this song aside, I chose this line because I believe it sums up the approach many organizations have toward social media. Companies put time and money toward figuring out how to get their site to rank higher (e.g. on-page and off-page search engine optimization, meta descriptions, and tags), yet their content lays dying.
Furthering the analogy of Mellencamp's song, content and social media are partners in a marriage. For the marriage to succeed - i.e. for an organization to have the best presence possible on the web - you need both the content and social media to be equally strong. As example, you can have content that is clean, compelling, and thoroughly researched, but if your website is not mobile responsive or if your site's load speed is slow, people will exit before looking at one word. Likewise, you can have all the SEO tools in place with a cleanly-designed, modern website but if the content is weak or simply click-bait worthy then your visitors will lose trust in your organization and your brand.
To give you a visual: imagine you are a cooking company who posts recipes. Everything you do - from your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and SEO - draws visitors to your user-friendly, visually-appealing optimized site. Yet the recipes you post are confusing, or worse, your visitors' souffles fall and cookies crumble after following what you wrote step-by-step. If this happens, no amount of pretty cupcake photos will get these visitors to return.
Just like you shouldn't jump into marriage without thought and preparation, a company should not enter the world of social media without a content plan. This content plan should be driven by your company's goals, including but certainly not limited to the goal of bringing people to your site. These goals must be driven by your mission and strategic plan,. If so, you will organically build end-user recognition and trust for your brand. Taking the proper steps to care equally for your content and social media presence will result in a long-lasting, happy union for all.