If there’s one thing I hear all
the time while I’m out in the field talking to business owners, it’s this: “I
don’t know how to improve my online presence or handle social media.”
If this sounds like you, rest
assured you are not the only one struggling to create a digital brand.
I’m a Millennial which, in part,
means I grew up in a generation that pioneered the latest technology trends. My
cohorts and I were guinea pigs for Apple, Microsoft, Google and many others to
roll out and test their devices. We grew up with the internet, and we continue
to adapt with it today.
But, guess what? I am still no
expert when it comes to social media management, online marketing or web
That is why I was so excited when
BBBNW+P was asked to sponsor the Developing Professionals event on behalf of
the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce. The Gresham Chamber brought in Monarch
Marketing – a new startup out of Sandpoint,
ID, with two young-guns eager to share their expertise.
Joab Logan and Zach Carothers,
co-founders of Monarch, presented their top 10 tips for establishing and
growing an online presence. Their information was organized. The duo was
passionate. And they clearly knew their stuff.
For instance, did you know that
about six months ago Google made major changes to its algorithm changing the
way it crawls and ranks websites? Google makes hundreds of algorithmic changes
per year, but this one changed the game significantly.
Carothers explained how this is
especially important for small business owners whose websites are out of date.
Things on the website such as broken back links, buttons that don’t work, maps
issues and lack of tagged key words or key phrases will result in lower ranking
on Google’s search. So, if you’re a small business owner with a loyal customer base
and good reviews, but your website isn’t strong, you’re going to be pushed
toward the bottom of Google’s search results.
“We strongly recommend doing
audits on your website to give it a health-check before moving forward with
social media or online marketing,” Carothers said.
The pair also stressed the
importance of originality and consistency. Creating your own brand as a
business owner includes populating your website with your own content that fits
your image. Yes, this means getting rid of all those stock photos. Taking
original pictures helps your ranking.
It’s also critical to have a
company-wide agreement on the tone and language your business will use across
all mediums – your website, your social media and your advertising. This will
make up your business’ “personality.”
Logan explained one easy step to
improve consistency: make sure all your logos and photos are formatted
correctly for the different places they will appear. “You might have to resize
your logo from your website to format it correctly as a Facebook banner, and
that’s ok,” Logan said. “Having that look right, matters.”
And, as you would assume, both
presenters discussed having mobile-friendly websites, noting the importance of
mirroring all the same tactics from your desktop. Ease-of-use on mobile cannot
For business owners who feel their
website is ready to go, social media management might be the hurdle. Logan and
Carothers shared an easy trick to help improve marketing efforts on Facebook
and Instagram: always respond to comments and respond fast.
“Even if you set up automated
responses, this is still better than nothing,” Logan said.
This also matters in your ranking.
Today’s algorithms look at whether you’re being responsive on social media and
how long it takes you to get back to your customers. For example, if you post a
picture to the company Instagram and get comments and questions – the faster
you respond, the more likely that photo is to make it on Instagram’s Explore Page,
thus increasing visibility and adding exposure.
Whew—I know, it’s a lot. And
that’s just a quick overview. But luckily, there are guys like Logan and
Carothers out there to help.
At BBB, we take pride in our
ability to help accredited businesses enhance their online presence via their
BBB profiles. We’re also here to help with your social media exposure, by celebrating
our accredited businesses on our regional Facebook pages. To request a visit
from your local marketplace rep, click here.