Article by Wendy McCance
The way you present yourself online is more important than you think. Honestly, a first impression online is a big deal. I have wanted to touch on this subject for some time now. I have thought about how to approach the topic without offending anyone and the way they do business. On the other hand, maybe what I say here will put things into perspective and help you to come across in a more professional and authoritative light.
Whenever someone reaches out to me asking if I will do some work for them, I Google their name as well as the name of the company. I want to gather as much information as possible so I know who this person is, what their company is like and if I feel like working for them is a good fit.
Along the way, I have been mystified at some of the things I have uncovered. To put it bluntly, I’m surprised to see how poorly many businesses represent themselves.
Below, is a list of the top five mistakes that make a company look bad.
1. Trouble finding the company when their name is Googled. Maybe their web address is too obscure and has no mention of the name of their company in it. Believe it or not, this isn’t uncommon. If I have to truly search for your company, that’s a problem. You may as well not even have a website.
2. The website shows a “page not found” message when a link is hit. I am always surprised when I get this message and the company claims to be some sort of marketing firm or a business whose main goal is to get their clients more traffic.
3. Content that is full of mistakes. It doesn’t look professional.
4. Regurgitated content. When I see that your blog, Facebook page and Twitter account have the same exact content, I understand that you are trying to reach the masses and fill up your social media platforms. Maybe you feel you just don’t have the time to add anything else. But, if there is no communication with followers, no sharing or “likes” you are displaying your information to dead space. If you don’t ask questions to engage your audience or if no comments are being made by your readers, there is no interaction and no one will stop by more than once when they see this. You aren’t highlighting your company’s personality and worse yet, it looks like you don’t care. You become the boring person at the party who is hoping to get attention even though you are standing in a corner and not saying a word. Good luck getting the conversation going and people interested in what you say with this approach.
5. There is no way to contact the company through a social media platform. Just as bad as having social media sites with nothing of value on them is the business that has no social media platform at all. The point of these sites is to show a little personality. If you have no other way for a person to get more familiar with you (other than your website) you are missing out on some important connections and ultimately, additional business.
If you feel overwhelmed by having a few social media sites and feel there isn’t enough time to devote to them or enough money to pay someone to take care of the sites, compromise. Have each worker put one comment on a site per day. Make sure each person is on the same page in regards to what is appropriate and what type of content you are aiming for. Also important to note is to make sure if a reader reaches out with a comment, make sure you answer it. You need to prove that you are there and that you care about those who are reading your material. Just think, one comment per day times the amount of employees you have can make a huge difference in the amount of activity your social media site has.
As an entrepreneur who is trying to get more recognition online, the above information will work just as well for you. One added note though for you entrepreneurs, get a few links so that you show up in a few places in a search instead on just showing up once. The more often you show up in search results, the more relevant you become to the person searching for information about you.
By avoiding these top 5 mistakes, you will come across as a more polished company who cares about their customers.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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