We live in a world where instant gratification is king. What’s the score of the game? Let me check my phone. What’s the name of that great restaurant on Woodard? Let me check my phone. What are my friends and family up to? Oh, well let me check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc. Gone are the times when the way we communicated were via phone or face to face interactions. The digital marketplace gets you the instant gratification you thrive on. While there is no denying that our digital footprint is quite large these days, have you considered if you are making deliberate steps that create the right path for your business? For example, the best practices for taking the proper steps in online branding are: being found, be emotionally connected, be consistent and omnipresent, get endorsed, no branding without storytelling and to develop advocacy.

What do I mean? Let’s start with, be found. If you are not there you are not an option. Look around you, many of the people you see own more than one device and most of them if not all have a smartphone. People no longer wait to run home to look up that Thai restaurant, they whip out their phones and search from there, if your business is not there, well then the option does not exist.

You must also be emotionally connected. If your business can be found, that is great but if you are presenting your business sounding like the robot from that 1960’s movie then people will not feel welcome and they will not engage with it. The thing that can be worse than not being found is having a high bounce rate of people leaving because they don’t feel welcome at your business online. Be real.

You have to be consistent and omnipresent. If a client writes a question for your business on Facebook, one cannot wait 6 days to reply. The client needs to feel like you are always there for them, that they can count on you and your product or services. Gone are the days of going into the bank to deposit a check. We must be available where our clients want to communicate and that could be anywhere online.

Another surefire way to not be found online is to not be endorsed. Google, for example uses algorithms to detect certain things including tags, link backs etc. on your site. Google then scores your website. A bad score will have your website showing up further down, maybe on page 8 and when is the last time you went to page 8 on Google during a search? Same thing with reviews. Social media is a place to do research on a business before stepping foot in the door. We ask our friends, we read reviews online, we dig for what makes a company good or bad. Make sure you are endorsed in a way that puts your business in the best light.

How did you get to your name? Your slogan? That philosophy that makes your business unique? Potential clients want to know. They want to feel connected to you and that you are willing to reach out to them in a semi intimate way, if you have an unusual graphic as your businesses logo but no explanation, often this just gets translated as odd, miss placed our not thought through. The more concrete you are about your business the more your customers become the mortar. Tell your story.

The last but not least important thing you need to do to increase your online branding is to develop advocacy. These days less and less people are picking up traditional advertising such as magazines or newspapers and more and more rely on word of mouth. This can be done traditionally or increasingly more often, via online. You want people to be talking positively about your business on Facebook, you want them taking pictures of your products on Instagram and hash tagging their butt off on Twitter. In order for social media to work for you, you must work for it. Engage often, post often, let people know you are there, that you are listening and that you are a part of their community.

Your business will grow exponentially if you follow these tips. I understand if these seem daunting, quite honestly many of these tips can and will take up a lot of your time but they are necessary. Want more? Reach out to us so we may talk to you about how we can help you streamline these processes and build your digital brand.