As we draw to the close of 2017 and review the year, one thing that has really surprised me this year is that so many small to medium-sized business owners are saying their online channels aren’t working for them.
They don’t recognise the power of having a solid online presence, they dismiss social media completely or do it badly, they think that having a none mobile-friendly website is ok and that online branding is only for the biggest brands, but why?
Social platforms and websites offer some great analytical tools for measuring what goes on online, but how does the online world translate to the real world?
The truth is many businesses have no idea where their business is coming from because they don’t record how business arrives at their door.
Whether in a retail or an office environment, staff are not trained to ask questions like, ‘where did you hear about us?’ or ‘what brought you to our store today?’, they think that customers ‘just arrive’ at their retail outlet or ‘just happen’ to call their office, with no consideration of where that customer’s first touch point was and that is why many business owners say online channels don’t work for them. They simply don’t know which channels are providing their footfall or inbound calls, which is something they need to review if they want to see the full benefit of their online presence.
A key question for any business owner is – where is the first touch point that your prospective customers find you and what will be their first impression of your business when they do?
There is a high probability it will be online and on a mobile device, more than likely a smartphone!
So, will they see a well-presented website, with clear and concise information, easy navigation and easy contact, or will it be a well presented social media channel, which makes it easy to distinguish who you are and what you do?
Or, will they find an old none mobile-friendly website, that is hard to read and navigate, or poorly managed and maintained social media pages, that offer no insight or haven’t been used for some time?
If it’s the second scenario, chances are you will lose them, and they will never return.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make it count.
If you’re going to review your online strategy in 2018 and are struggling to understand the benefits of a strong online presence and how it can work for your business, hit the blue speech bubble in the bottom right of your screen and get in touch.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2018.