Online Reputation & Social Presence – Part 2
I previously wrote a blog on Online Reputation and Social Presence discussing how to put your best “digital” fool forward. Since that post, I have seen several additional examples of poor online presence. Maybe I am biased since I am in the marketing industry, but since this is such an important & impactful topic I wanted to create a new list to expand on the previous blog.
Tackle some of these and you will see an improvement with your website traffic, as well as ancillary benefits to all of your marketing efforts.
- Search for your company – This is sort of a no-brainer but go to Google.com and type in your company name in the search bar. Ideally you should be the first link the pulls up (underneath the paid ads.) If you are not within the first organic results, look at who is and spend some time investigating what keywords will help move up within search results. If you are not in the first page, that is a big red flag that you are missing out on site traffic.
- Real-life example: A new FMG client is creating a call campaign. As with all new clients, we spend some time getting familiar with the company and products or services. When doing some initial research, we found the company did not appear in any browser searches within the first page of results. If you are targeting a highly competitive space, it will take time to organically get on the first page. To expedite this, consider spending some money on paid search to get your company to show up on the first page until you can organically climb up the ladder.
- If you blog, stay active – Blogs are a great way to increase time spent on website and to boost your brand awareness, but only if you keep them up to date. Creating original content can be a bit of a challenge, but keep in mind you do not need to post a daily novel. A short weekly blog or bi-weekly blog will keep your website fresh and help with boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts and your domain authority.
- Real-life example: Doing some competitive research I found a website of one of our competitors. Curiosity made me click around to their blog. To my surprise, they haven’t posted anything for over a year! When I see that so many questions start to swirl around my head – Do they not have anything new to say or announce in over a year? Are they too busy to post new content? Is the company struggling in other aspects and this is a sign of things falling through the cracks? Several months later, it turned out to be the later and the company closed. As an outsider, it seemed obvious that something wasn’t working within their office for months prior to their closing. However, if the company wasn’t closing, the impression that it was struggling was already present.
- Be active in your Social spaces – I see it a lot – a company has a social page on every social channel out there – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest…. For some companies & industries this may be a good plan, however be aware of the time it takes to gather and create content for the social channels. Select a few channels that has an active community of your target audience. Be sure you can maintain them. From a first impression standpoint having stale, outdated social media content can be worse than having none at all.
- Real-life example: An FMG client was promoting an annual event. They wanted to encourage the audience to share some of the event photos and fun on social. When I researched the client to assist with ad creation, I noticed they have been inactive on their social spaces since the last event, 1 year ago. This gave them the appearance of not being responsive, out of date and perhaps out of business. Social is a great place to engage with your audience, but it’s crucial that is be maintained and monitored. To avoid a social media headache, limit the channels you are going to monitor and maintain to only the sites that your target market frequents. Don’t waste time in a social space your audience is not in.
- Manage your company’s image, brand, and reputation – Many agents & advisors are going to do research on your firm before deciding to work with you. When you Google your firm look for negative press, sites like ripoffreport or pissedconsumer can tarnish an otherwise clean image, and it seems that in some number of cases the complaints on those sites can be spiteful and fictional.
- Real-life example: An existing FMG customer was looking to promote a product for one of their member firms. When doing some research for the subsidiary firm we found multiple listings on ripoffreport that were 2-4 years old, and related to prior management. There are a handful of items you can do to combat this, respond to the issues directly on the reporting site, hire a PR firm to create content & press releases that will push down the negative information, or even approach Google directly to have them ‘De-Index’ the search results, read more about that here.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your online reputation & social presence. As my first blog mentions, upwards of 89% of B2B researchers report conduction some degree of online research before deciding. Don’t let the lack of website & social updates be the reason your company fall off a consideration short-list.