Why You Need to Look Legit Online

It’s 2019 and everywhere you turn, people are on their phones.

The consumer demographic in Canada is officially reliant on their phone and the internet. They are more likely to pick up their Maps app to search for directions and have their GPS find restaurants along the way than asking a stranger for directions and a recommendation.

It can be frustrating for established businesses who have existed for so long without these things to adapt to life on the Internet. It can be hard to see the value in moving from word-of-mouth and print to Google Reviews and a website.

But let me tell you, it’s important. Time for some stats...

In business-to-business selling, 57% of the decisions made about a business are done before even calling the supplier. In business-to-consumer selling, 90% of consumers say that online reviews heavily impact their purchasing decisions and 88% of those people say they trust these reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

On average every sale that a business does day-to-day takes 6-8 touches and half of that process is done passively through online pre-purchase research by the customer.

Starting to see the need for a strategic online presence?

As of yesterday, there were over 11 trillion google search results asking how to tell if a business is real or not. The number one answer in many of these articles? Online professionalism.

As we enter the online generation, customers are going to start making decisions about your business based on what they can find on the internet. In fact, they already are.

One of the biggest pre-purchase decisions customers make is how professional you are based on how seriously you take yourself online. Right now 80% of all consumers search for business information on their smartphone and half of those people will visit your brick-and-mortar shop within the day. On the flip side, 75% of consumers also admitted they wouldn’t visit a business with a bad website.

So how do you get around this and start looking more legit on the internet?

Build yourself a website. 

It’s true that customers love Facebook, but that can’t be your only avenue for communicating information. Customers want to be able to find information about who you are, what you sell, and where they can find you at a glance. As Facebook continues to update their business page platform, the user interface gets more crowded. Eventually it will be difficult for your customers to find all of this information quickly, instead they’ll want to head to your website.

Websites are a financial investment and they take time to maintain. But this investment into your business tells your customers that you take yourself seriously as a business owner and this professionalism is likely to spill into their own experience with your brand.


Stop using your personal Facebook for business. 

This is one of the worst online marketing mistakes you can make. Using your personal Facebook profile as a primary avenue for communicating your business information is one of the worst ways to use social media.

Firstly, you can’t control what people tag you in or post on your wall. Their posts now become a piece of your digital presence. Their online content is now intrinsically linked to your business. If this doesn’t scare you it should

Secondly, you are taking away your ability to express yourself online. I believe that you should never post anything on the internet that you aren’t willing to have printed in the New York Times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you post should be attributed to your business.

You are not just a business owner, you’re also a parent, a friend, a niece, a dog owner, a kayaker, the list goes on. Using your personal profile for professional provides unlimited access to your life, even when it's not wanted.


Don’t let random people run your social media accounts. 

Your daughter is whiz on Instagram and your son-in-law is really consistent with the Facebook posts, but both of them aren’t knowledgeable about your business or your audience. It’s easy to tell when a business doesn’t have a posting strategy. Your audience wants valuable content from you, not recycled links and random pictures.

Put someone in charge of your social media accounts who have a working knowledge of your business, audience, and sales goals. If you don’t have someone like this in your business already, consider hiring a professional who will be able to strategically post for you while you focus on running your business.


Have one person act as your online gatekeeper. 

We’ve already covered brand voices here in this article, but this is an important part of your digital marketing presence. Having too many voices makes your social media look inconsistent and confusing.

Each person will bring a different tone to their posts and react differently in any given situation. Imagine a situation where you are receiving negative feedback. Not having a point person that actively manages your brand’s reputation could be a recipe for disaster.

Adjusting your marketing strategy or building it from scratch when you’re already busy is difficult. But as your customers grow more reliant on the internet, it is also absolutely necessary. Take some to assess where you need to grow your online marketing presence. Not sure where to start? Give us a call and we can do a full audit of your social media and website, with no pressure to buy. 

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