Innovation should always be celebrated, but the pace of change in the online space has resulted in a convoluted and incredibly noisy digital marketplace. If you’re trying to make your social enterprise (established or otherwise) heard online, the digital landscape makes for a challenging promotional battleground.
How can your social enterprise shout loud enough to be heard on the Internet and via its many channels of communication? How can you avoid disappearing into the bowels of Google’s double-digit results pages? What do you have to do to ensure that people are able to find your enterprise, engage with it and turn into happy, repeat customers?
It all starts with something that has fast become known as the ‘online presence’, but getting it right isn’t easy. With that in mind, we’ve picked out four mistakes your social enterprise might be making online:
1. You’re conducting a one-way conversation
So, you’re blogging regularly and spend a portion of each day posting lots of relevant stuff on social media. Great!
But, are you listening out for responses?
One of the most common mistakes made by businesses online is to only conduct a one-way conversation. You can send out the most engaging content imaginable, but if you’re failing to respond to feedback from your audience, you’re only doing 50% of the job.
Make it a daily task to keep an eye on mentions of your business online and check regularly for direct messages. The more active you are in the digital realm, the more likely your follows are to make contact. When they do – engage!
2. You’re not taking advantage of customer reviews
Online reviews understandably strike fear into the hearts of business owners. In a world driven by consumer opinion, the prospect of receiving just one negative review is enough for many enterprises to turn off blog comments and remove themselves from any online listing that encourages customer reviews.
Avoid doing this at all costs, because every customer review you receive online represents an opportunity. It goes without saying that the good stuff can be re-used in your marketing material and on social media, but the bad reviews also serve a purpose.
Firstly, you’ll know instantly when someone has a grudge to bear, enabling you to address it. Secondly, you can respond in public and demonstrate that you’re listening and care deeply about your social enterprise – that means an awful lot to passers-by.
Customer reviews aren’t going anywhere, so embrace them and prove you’re listening.
3. You’ve overlooked local SEO
Most people will arrive at your social enterprise’s website having conducted a search on Google. This is why search engine optimisation (SEO) remains a vital practice for any business.
More recently, ‘local SEO’ has gained prominence due to Google’s growing reliance on website data that offers locational benefits for its users. By optimising your website for local SEO, you can attract customers who are searching within their immediate vicinity or looking for something you can offer within their preferred area.
There are a few simple ways to improve the local SEO for your website:
- Embed a Google Map. Rather than a bog-standard ‘contact us’ page, why not include a detailed Google Map with which people can interact and see your exact location?
- Verify your Google My Business listing. Once known as ‘Google Places’, Google My Business is the search engine giant’s take on a business directory and offers organisations like yours countless ways to add crucial operational and geographical detail that will show up within search results. If you don’t already have a listing on there – make sure you sign up and add as much information as possible.
- Include local keywords throughout the site. It’s really important to include local keywords such as your enterprise’s physical location throughout your website, both in the page copy and within the crucial meta tags (have a chat with your web designer if you’re unsure).
- Use consistent contact information. Consistency is key when it comes to local SEO, therefore you need to make sure your enterprise’s address, telephone number and email is the same wherever quoted within your online presence.
4. You haven’t proofread the website’s copy
When was the last time you read through your website? Whether you originally wrote it yourself or employed someone to do it for you, the words contained on the pages of your enterprise’s website will be the first thing most people get to read. Are they giving the right impression?
Proofread your website’s copy regularly and tweak it as necessary. Make sure it tells the story of your enterprise in an engaging fashion and does so in a tone with which you’re comfortable.
Has your social enterprise fallen foul of one or more of the above? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Running a business of any kind is a tireless job that offers few opportunities to check in regularly with your organisation’s digital persona.
However, you’re now armed with five vitally important tactics that will help raise your social enterprise’s online profile and turn it into a trusted and highly regarded expert within its industry.