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How to improve your online presence

Here are 5 quotes to help you improve your brand image online

Communication starts with the consumer/customer before you even get to say hello, consumers will often have a look on your website, social media channels, blog and plenty of other channels, to see if you and them are a perfect match … or in most cases just good enough. This means before you’ve had a chance to say hello, consumers/customers will most likely know about your brand image. It is imperative that your brand image portrays exactly who you are and what you want to achieve because if it doesn’t you may be attracting the wrong type of consumer/customer for your business. This leads to the question, what is the first reaction your consumers/customers get when they search for your company’s name?

Website design and Content:

‘Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression.’ – Sonya Parker

You can be the architect of your business’ future, as you have the ability to control what you put on your website, how it looks, how interactive it can be. Your blog can have up-to-date information, relevant to your sector and most importantly relevant to the customer. Plus you can choose to have an active social media presence that is interesting and engaging.

Have a website:

‘If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.’ – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft

Only a few companies and even less industries have the option of not having a website to expand their customer base, so for the vast majority of companies it is the first step in creating a strong brand image. So make sure your logo is prominent throughout your site and content is optimised for the pleasure of the customer as well as search engines, because they do need to find you first. Also, make sure you have an inviting “call to action”, as they should be on your site for a particular purpose, and to help this make sure all fonts and images portray what your brand entails. This should help your brand to shine.

Keep a Current Blog:

You don’t write because you want to say something … you write because you have something to say.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Writer

Blogging is important for a few reasons but for this blog I’m going to focus on positioning your brand as an industry leader and developing better customer relationships.

Blogs have the ability show how your company is at the forefront of your industry, by writing thought provoking, engaging articles. So by sharing knowledge you are showcasing the skills of your business, service or product.

This is also another way to connect with customers. By connecting directly on your website or sub website, customers are able to further understand what you are able to provide without making initial contact, which may persuade them to take that next step. Be it making a purchase, enquiry or forming a relationship.

Be Active on Social Media:

‘Social Media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are in social media.’ – Lori Ruff, Keynote Speaker

Social Media has been an absolute eye opener for consumers/customers, as they are on social media religiously in one platform or another. It may be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr and so many more. To companies, it’s an easy and cost effective way to build an online brand presence.

Being active on social media does not mean having a presence on every social media network; instead try to concentrate your efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ which are great for SEO. But remember it is to communicate with your consumers/customers so find out what platforms your consumers use and focus your efforts on those. This will let your brand image resonate with your consumers and you’ll be able to find out even more about them.

Address Complaints and ask for feedback:

‘ Your Brand is what people say about you, when you’re not in the room’ – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Consumers/customers, tend to be polite to your face and rip you to shreds when you have your back turned, if your business, service or product isn’t up to scratch! Now with the internet there are various degrees of anonymity and you may think your complaint is so small it will go unnoticed but you may be surprised!  Websites such as Yelp.com, RipOffReviews.com and social media are now platforms for dissatisfied customers. These websites are designed to give customers a voice. The backlash may be unkind, if they are handled incorrectly.

It goes without saying that you should always try to solve the problem; however, it is now an important part of protecting your brand reputation.  Critically, the consumer should always come first and if they don’t they will shout about it on social! Capture feedback (good and bad) so that you can deal with any negativity, onlookers will appreciate errors occur but value a process for resolution.

Maintaining a strong online brand image is the best defence against negative customer reviews. Make sure to embrace testimonials and reviews on your website to show prospects that you’re being authentic, as usually the high number of positive reviews should outweigh the negative.

Prepared by: Michael Omoseyin, Marketing Executive – The Sourcing Team

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