While it may not feel like it in most of the country — especially not here in the Northeast — spring is just a few weeks away.
And that can only mean one thing: spring cleaning.
In addition to cleaning up around the house, there are things you can do to tidy up your online presence.
This will not only make you look more professional, but can also help you be discovered by your next great customer.
Here are 3 items you should include in your spring cleaning to-do list:
1. Develop a consistent brand.
Recently, I had the chance to speak with Marsha Pearson, a Constant Contact Solution Provider and the founder of Windy Wing Design & Promotion. Marsha helps small businesses overcome their online marketing challenges, with a unique focus on brand development.
She had some great tips for business owners looking to get a handle on their online branding:
It starts with your website — this is where you can really set the tone. Do you have a particular font that you like? Are there colors people identify with your business? Do you have a logo? And if not, it doesn’t cost a lot to have something done that looks attractive.
Next comes content. Your content sets the tone of who you are. This isn’t just the copy on your website, but could also include the content you’re creating on your blog and in other places. In addition to the topics you want to cover and the information you want to share, you’ll want to think about the tone you’re trying to set.
The branding that you establish on your website, should be reflected in your email newsletter, Facebook Page, and everywhere that people are interacting with your business online.
2. Take control of your information.
In addition to the look and feel of your brand, you’ll also want to get a handle on the information people are finding online about your business.
75 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile device to get real-time location-based information. If the information that’s out there is inaccurate or out-of-date, you could be at risk to damage valuable relationships, or miss the chance to connect with a new customer.
Think about the information your consumers need to take their desired actions.
This starts with sharing things like hours, location, payment methods, phone number, or a link to your website. But this could also include a link to your menu, additional contact information, or photos of your storefront, interior shots, staff, or products.
Once you know the information you want is out there, you can make an inventory of the places people are finding your business online. That way you keep track of where your customers are finding you, so next time you need make a change, you don’t forget to update any of your listings.
3. Make sure people are finding you in the right places.
It’s easy to feel like you have to be on every site that’s out there. But what’s most important is making sure you’re in the right places for the audience you want to reach.
This is certainly true on social media.
Not all social media outlets are perfect for every business. If your clients aren’t on Twitter or on Pinterest, don’t sweat it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try things out. 2014 has been a big year for visual social networks, and it’s been great seeing clients try different sites. But at the end of the day, you need to decide on the sites that are right for your business, and focus on having a consistent presence in those places.
But it’s also important to think beyond social media, and think of places people may be searching for your business.
- Search engines
- Mapping services
- Internet yellow pages
- Local and vertical-specific directories
- Mobile apps
These sites will not only help you be found by people who are searching for your business directly, but also by people who are searching for a service or solution in your area.
Putting it all together…
With a consistent brand, accurate and up-to-date information, and a presence in all the right places — you’ll be in the best position to develop great new customer relationships.
This will not only help you do more business in the spring, but will deliver meaningful results throughout the entire year!
Ready to get started? Download our newest guide, The Mechanics of Local Listings: How Small Businesses Can Take Control and Reach New Customers.
Have additional questions? Post them in the comments below.