Aside from using the major search engines, your potential customers are also using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks to find the products or services that you offer. They search in the blogging community and in local business directories. They also land on press release sites and other web pages.
Is your brand present in any of these channels or online real estate? Is your business easily recognizable in these channels with a profile name, handle, or URL that matches your brand? Are your profiles or pages well-designed?
How does one get started on this? Well, with your business name or brand name, your domain name, plus your website, you’ve gotten started staking your claim on a piece of online real estate. But it shouldn’t stop there. You should also secure your accounts, handles, and URLs in the top blogs, social media networks, press releases sites, and local directories.
The Importance of Securing your Account Names and Profiles
A lot of companies don’t realize the importance of securing the right name for their online identities, and how small subtleties can make all the difference. Securing a name might sound easy on paper, but it’s a challenge that has plagued many companies. In fact, before anyone was aware of the impact it would have, 93 out of the top 100 brands on Twitter did not have the appropriate handle at one point.
Imagine the branding and promoting problems McDonald’s could have experienced if they did not own the “@McDonalds” Twitter handle, and needed to use something confusing like “@Mc_Donalds” or “@OfficialMcDonalds”—all because they ignored or overlooked securing their matching twitter handle.
Online Squatting: A Threat to your Brand
Online squatting is a problem that you should prevent your business from experiencing. There’s value in having the right Twitter handle these days, and if you want your business to be promoted better, nothing turns people off more than a complicated handle that they have to remember instead of something they can type intuitively. Seventy-five percent (75%) of tweets go to the wrong account since users think they are sending messages to the right account when in fact they are not. This also does not bode well for interactions, as half of tweets end up going to the wrong places, only because a business did not secure the same Twitter and Facebook names.
Consider also the following: While 95% of companies say that protecting their online identities is critical to their success, 40% do not have a brand protection strategy. If your business can secure a domain that people can remember right away with matching handles across all social media, your existing and potential customers will have no trouble finding you. Plus, you will have gained a massive advantage over other companies.
Establish Your Brand with Professionally Designed Profiles and Pages for Optimal Brand Engagement, Lead Generation, and Customer Acquisition
But name security isn’t everything when it comes to establishing a brand. Potential customers also want to be pleasantly welcomed when they see you online. Hence, having a page that is professionally designed is key to attracting them. As Facebook is where many businesses are found by Internet users, having a Facebook page has become a basic requirement. Ensuring that your Facebook page looks professional, organized, and enticing for its audience is equally important.
Eighty percent (80%) of people use Facebook to connect with brands and a larger percentage (85%) will recommend that particular brand to others. Meanwhile, half of Twitter’s users follow products, companies, or brands.
Businesses have been Successfully Acquiring Customers via Social Media and Online Directories
In one study, these are the percentage of companies that acquired customers through the following channels: LinkedIn (62%), Facebook (52%), and Twitter (44%). While in online directories, searches result in: a purchase or intent to purchase (76%), a contact to a business by phone (62%), and a contact to a business in person (31%).
Remember that great design adds value to your brand. Demonstrating that you value keeping your online channels presentable will leave a favourable impression on your existing and potential customers. Professional design impacts consumers in the following areas: Perception Value (79%), Performance Value (34%), Strategic Value (42%), and Financial and Accounting Value (16%).
Small or new businesses that want to achieve great design should have content that is up-to-date and readable. Great design also encompasses proper branding and navigation, and is compatible with widgets (especially social media ones). All of these characteristics will leave a good and lasting impression on visitors, and will make them want to come back.
Overall, online branding is not just about securing account names, handles, and URLs; it is also about establishing your presence with great design. While having a presence with a name that is easy to remember and is registered across the Internet in a uniform manner is great, this is made even better when profiles and pages are designed professionally.
If you’re ready to take that first step and make your mark in the online world, you can get started with us today.
Call or email us today for a free consultation.