Everyone has an image that they project to others. It’s made up of the way we look, the way we speak and countless other factors which, when taken together, create a picture of who we are. Your business has an image and you should pay close attention to how it’s projected online.
Your business’ online image is, in many ways, even more critical than your offline image in that it is being projected to an audience that is typically unfamiliar with your brand. It needs to convey professionalism and trustworthiness and it needs to be consistent across all your online activities.
Every business should have a professional-looking logo but don’t stop there. One of the most effective ways to establish trust with customers and new prospect is by giving your business a “human face”. You should invest in professional-quality photographs of yourself and your staff, or at least your top-level personnel.
Give your Web site an “About Us” page. If your business has a Facebook fan page, create an additional “About Us” and custom “Welcome” tab. Be sure to display your logo across all your social media platforms and link them all to each other and to your Web site.
Content is King
People tend to judge us by the words we use. Likewise, they judge our businesses by the copy on our Web sites. What does your online copy say about your business? Is it well written and informative? Is it to the point or does it tend to ramble? Is it grammatically correct and free of typos? Is it full of superlatives or catch phrases?
Online audiences are savvier than ever before and they have little tolerance for “hype”. Avoid the temptation to blow your own horn. Instead, use customer testimonials and product studies to do the selling for you.
Ease of Use
Far too many businesses think of their Web sites as static objects – the online equivalent of business brochures. The truth is, even the simplest of Web sites can be engaging and highly interactive. They can also be confusing.
Make sure your Web site is laid out in a logical manner that makes it easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they seek. Be sure that all your hyperlinks work correctly. A single broken or misdirected link can cause a prospect to leave your site and never return.
Social Media Etiquette
If you’re using a blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to project your online business image, focus more on providing valuable content than on trying to sell them something. Social media is about conversations not sales pitches.
Remember too, that your updates, posts and tweets reflect directly on your business so you should maintain a professional image at all times.