Creating an Excellent Online Image
You can’t create a premium brand without creating an excellent online image. For many potential customers, the first experience they will have with your business will be online. When people hear about a business and want information on it, the first thing they do is type the business name into a Google or Facebook search, and they’ll most likely be doing it from a mobile device. If that business is a restaurant, they will surely check the Yelp reviews. We want to convert these prospectors into customers so we need to ensure that they can easily find your business and they have an excellent first impression. How can we guarantee this? Having an attractive, easy to use to use website will ensure that the customer finds what they are looking for and more. By having active, professional social media we will show our customer that we are current and put effort into our work.
Create a stunning and easy to use website.
If your website is nonexistent or outdated, it’s time to get with the times and set up a website that works for your business. Many times, people are going to look for your website just to get simple information, such as your location, hours, and to view pictures. Make a website that informs your customer, while drawing them into your business. Place attractive pictures on every page and next to key information. Post high quality pictures showcasing your business’s interior and product offering. If you’re a service business, post pictures related to the scope of your business. To get the best results, consider hiring a professional photographer or at least photographer friend. Businesses that have a video on their landing page get ranked higher in SEO and see higher conversion rates. Design your website in line with your brand. Make everything cohesive.
You can hire a professional to make your website for you or you can make it yourself. It’s 2017 and we’ve been blessed with the availability of inexpensive online web builders. There is no excuse to not have a modern professional website. If your competitors are doing it, you need to keep up. If they haven’t caught up with the times, you could be the pioneer. I built this website using WordPress.com and I’ve seen excellent websites made with Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace. Research the different platforms, decide on one, then pick a theme that works for your business and start building your new webpage! These platforms provide an all in one solution for choosing your domain, hosting the website, and building it. If you need help learning your platform, you can find endless tutorials on YouTube.
Make your social media work for you not against you.
Social media marketing shouldn’t only focus on exposure and trying to get the most likes for your business. We should also be aiming to fulfill the needs and expectations of people who found our social media. Be sure you fill out ALL information that Facebook asks for your business. On Twitter and Instagram, you should have a clear and concise “About Me” that details exactly what your business does and who you aim to serve. We want to get all information to the viewer in the simplest and most efficient way possible. On social media, this means entering all the information that the platform asks. Users of that platform know where varying specific information is supposed to be located and will flock to it when looking. At this moment, the user is experiencing our business, let’s make it enjoyable and get the information to him or her quickly and efficiently.
To keep our social media pages active, we need to be actively posting. Every small business differs but if you’re a business-to-consumer operation you should be posting at least once a week. For business-to-business companies with steady recurring clientele you can get away with posting once a month. For both business models, you don’t need long posts but posting an update, announcement, picture, or a video, signals to the audience that you are currently in business, and that you are working to improve that business and its reach. Businesses that are not current on social media can inadvertently signal to the audience that they are apathetic and unwilling to meet customers where they hang out. Posting good content regularly will build your profile’s legitimacy image and will allow prospectors to get a better idea of your company’s background and culture. Everything you post is a part of your brand. Being consistent with these posts will reinforce your business’s positioning.
Just because social media is an informal channel doesn’t mean you should let your professionalism slip. Use proper grammar, be appropriate, and represent your brand the way you want it seen. People assume that all your information is current so keep it current. If you change your hours, post it and update the information. Always keep all information current and make announcements when you change things. If people are commenting and asking questions they want a response so don’t leave them hanging. Reply to them with value added information as quickly as possible. Feel free to like and share things on your social media but make sure they relate to the scope of your business.
Maintain a neutral social media. Don’t bring up anything controversial or like or comment on anything that could be construed that way. Unless you’re a political organization or you can profit off offending people, keep it off your social media. Even if you think all your customers feel the same, you will only hurt yourself by picking a side or even bringing up the topic. The mission of your business most likely doesn’t have anything to do with the pop culture controversies, so don’t get involved. Getting involved with controversial topics alienates current customers and drives away potential customers. Social media users see enough posts about current controversies, your business doesn’t need to join the noise.
Don’t neglect your digital storefront. Develop a modern attractive website and get your social media in order. Align your website and social media with your brand. Have a similar and consistent voice across all platforms. If people are searching for us, they’re at least interested in us. Let’s convert their interest into sales by giving them an excellent online experience. Leave a comment and subscribe to my blog to get updates for each new post!