Is Your Online Image Letting Your Business Down?
Businesses seem to fall into two clear categories online: those that know how important their online presence is and who stay on top of it at all times, and those that don’t.
I’ve lost count of the number of businesses I’ve come across online whose website hasn’t been updated in years, doesn’t give any helpful information and leaves me wondering how any of their customers even know to contact them.
There are also businesses whose Facebook pages haven’t been updated since 2012, or whose Twitter profile still has an Egg as a profile picture.
In business, image is everything and the picture you show to the outside world is what the public take away with them. So if someone’s had a referral from a friend that your business is the best to call for their situation, and they look you up online and see that there are no contact names on your website, you haven’t tweeted in 6 months and there are no testimonials from any other customers to back up what their friend has said, the chances are you will not win that person as a customer.
For many businesses, even those with a terrible web presence, image and reputation are everything. Most people wouldn’t go to work in their scruffy looking tracksuit that they wear round the house, and most businesses take pride in the appearance of their office and reception area. Wearing dirty clothes to work or not responding to a client question for several weeks is usually a big no-no, so why do so many businesses forget that their web presence is often the first way that new customers will come across their business, or the easiest way for someone to get in touch?
The answer is that many business owners feel confident that they are already doing well enough, or that they invested in a website years ago and it doesn’t seem to do anything for them so why do more, or that they simply can’t afford to invest either time or money in improving their online presence.
These answers, and others, come up time and time again. Sadly, these businesses are missing out on their biggest pool of potential customers.
Your online image is more than just your website. It’s everything related to your business on the internet, so that includes all your social media channels, and importantly what is being said about you in other places online by other people who may be former customers, business associates, rivals, friends and family… just about anyone!
All of this information about your business online is what your audience is using to build up an instant snapshot of who you are, what you do and if they want to work with you. To make the most of your online presence, all these things must be a true reflection of your brand, its principles and values, your mission and your motives. If what you see online doesn’t show who you really want to see then your online image is letting you down.
So how do you go about improving your online image?
First of all, take a step back and imagine you’re looking at your online presence through the eyes of a potential customer, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your website instantly portray what you do and your defining purpose?
- Is your business branding consistent across your website and social media channels?
- Are you consistently attracting ideal clients/customers/patients via any of your online media?
If the answers to these questions are no then it might be time to re-think your online strategy, because you are letting your business down. It might seem a daunting task, but in reality there are simple systems and strategies that you can use to help get back on track.
Have you had any experience of businesses whose online image doesn’t match their real life brand?Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community