Your online reputation IS your reputation and your web presence is how many will perceive your business. The line between online and offline no longer exists. Who you are online is who you are to your customers.
Keeping that in mind, it’s important to make sure you are doing everything you can online to present your business in the best way possible. Everyday we see countless small and easy to fix errors that small businesses in our area are making. While it may not seem like a big deal, each one of these could be turning away potential customers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you want to do everything you can to make sure that first impression is the best one that you can be making. We’ve put together five things you can fix or start doing immediately to help you improve your web presence!
Create a Consistent Appearance for Your Web Presence
Having a uniform appearance across all sites helps customers identify you and confirm they have found the right account. If you have a logo, this is easy to accomplish. Use your logo for your profile picture and you’re set. Look at your website, and repurpose the same colors, font, and images for your social sites. You can make some adjustments as needed, just keep in mind the focus is to create such a consistent look that your customers instantly know it’s you without any guesswork or research. In addition to having a consistent appearance, have a complete one. Fill out all the bio information on each site and make sure that every image is accurately sized. Blurry or obscured images are a huge turn-off, but having images and designs the right size delivers a message of competence. If a customer sees a business takes care of details in their appearance, they will be more likely to trust the business. Take care of this using a free program like PicMonkey to size the images or get a graphic designer to create new images if you need them.
Have Updated and Accurate Links
When building a website, it’s likely you put small icons for the social media sites someplace on your site. Great! It’s important for your web presence to make it easy to connect with you across all social platforms. That is all you should be using these buttons for, however. Share buttons have a different function and are only used for specific content, in the case you have a blog and you want to make it easy for readers to share specific posts. Most importantly, you want to make sure that these icons have links and that those links are accurate and go to the right sites. Sometimes between when your site was built and now you might have upgraded your Facebook page or changed the url for one of your social platforms. Maybe you stopped using one platform, or never became active on another the way you intended to. In these cases, it’s very important to take down the icons you aren’t using or update the links. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you were visiting a site and saw that they were on Twitter, and you went to their Twitter page, and there was no activity, what kind of message would you receive from that? Having a broken link due to a url change is even worse! This can be an easy fix, but if you have no knowledge of your website’s backend you may need to get your webmaster to do it for you. Make the call now, so you know you’re on the way to getting this fixed.
Post an Update (Update Regularly)
There’s nothing more off-putting to a savvy social media user than finding a social profile for a business and discovering it hasn’t been updated since 2015. If the customer has a quick question they are likely give up when they see this. While this is not an uncommon problem, it is a problem. If you are on various social media platforms make the commitment to keep them regularly updated. Social media offers a valuable way for you to stay connected with your customers, learn what interests them, and keep them updated on special deals. You don’t have to update everyday and you don’t have to update each platform the same amount of times. It’s essential that the updates are regular and consistent, though. The time may come when you decide you can’t keep a platform updated regularly, and if it does indicate where the customer can find you on a regular basis in your profile. You need to consider your social media sites as a vital part of your web presence.
Don’t Enable Auto Updates from One Platform to Another
Having established that, don’t try to take any shortcuts! Each platform is unique and you want to make sure that you using them correctly and the way that they are intended to be used. Twitter is more than a broadcast system. Auto push updates from Facebook and Instagram are obvious to users. Additionally, Facebook updates that generate links for Twitter are often broken. This can lead to frustration and a lost lead. With so many things competing for the attention of your customers a broken link cannot be any part of your web presence. Resist auto-pushing updates from Instagram as well. Twitter has its own video and photo capabilities so it’s a lot to ask users to take the extra step of clicking on the a link instead of making the photo available at a glance. If you post your photo to Twitter as well as Instagram, you are likely to get a better return on your Twitter efforts. Additionally, it’s easier to add tailored hashtags for each platform this way. Posting tweets automatically to Facebook is just as much of a no-no. You can fix these updates by going to where you have authorized apps on each site and disabling the auto-update option.
Check Your Sites Daily (Start Now!)
It’s essential that you check your social media sites at least once daily. Customers will try to connect with you there. Whether they are asking you questions or complaining about your service, you can’t let those things go unattended. Make it a habit to check each site you are active on at least once a day. Get email or push notifications if you need help keeping on top of it. But you cannot let your social media platforms sit there alone and unattended. They are a vital part of how customers see your business. Not “how your customers see your business online,” but how your customers see your business full stop. You would never let a ringing phone go unanswered and you must start applying those physical world principles to your digital presence. Additionally, by checking your sites daily you’ll find that customers also talk about how great you are and you can amplify those messages.
If you do these five things now, you will start to give an overall better impression of your business to the world. It will take some time and practice to put all of them into consistent action, but knowing you’re doing the best you can will motivate you to continue to do better. And once you’ve fixed these cosmetic issues with your web presence, you can start thinking about bringing new life and ideas to your social media plan and make it even more effective.
If you have any questions or are looking for help in streamlining your social media efforts, fill out the contact form below. We have some great options to makes the process easier for you.