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Your Online Presence is Your Store Front

Imagine you’re walking down Main Street and you notice a new store with a bright blue awning and whimsical landscaping across the street. You walk a little closer and can now read the white letters on the sign. Peering into the windows, you see lots of goodies and items artfully arranged. You delightfully open the door with anticipation and are greeted with a warm welcome. This place looks like just your kind of fun, so you can’t help but smile back.

This is what people expect now from your online presence. Instead of window shopping and hunting for signage, people are looking to your website and social media accounts to gather information about you. They want to know that they have the promise of something awesome before they take the trip to meet you. Spend time maintaining your online reputation and engagement to get them to walk through the door. If you cannot invest a lot of time growing your presence, that’s ok. But, you can spend a little time making sure it does not decay.

Here’s a quick list of six things that may be hurting your online presence:

1. Being hard to identify.

People should be able to point you out in a crowd. Your name, logo, fonts and colors need to be the same across every online platform. Your URL and social media handles should be clear and easy to remember.

2. Presenting one thing online but offering something different in person.

If you say you’ll be open Saturday, but are closed, your customers will be disappointed. Make sure you can fulfill every promise you make online, so your customers won’t be disappointed.

3. Not knowing where you’ve been mentioned on the Internet.

If you’re not on active Facebook, Yelp or Trip Advisor, that doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about you. Google yourself every once in a while and see what pops up. You may find more insight into what your customers really think.

4. Not being on social media at all.

Having a website isn’t enough. People frequently rely on reviews and social media to make purchase decisions. If you aren’t engaging your audience on social media, you likely won’t be top-of-mind the next time they go shopping.

5. Ignoring your audience.

People will leave positive and negative reviews and comments online. View every comment as a customer service touchpoint. If someone said “Thank You” at your shop, you’d say “You’re Welcome.” If someone said that they were unhappy, you’d probably try to make them happy. Respond to those reviews and comments online.

6. Trying to do everything.

The Internet is a vast universe of thoughts and interactions. It’s impossible to do it all, so don’t feel like you need to. Build a great website and find a social medium to communicate your brand. Learn it really well. Become an expert. When you feel like you’d got it down, challenge yourself to learn something new.

Polishing up your online presence just a little will make a huge difference. Tackle the little stuff first and have fun! Comment below with the biggest online presence struggle you have.

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