Don’t allow you event business to be an online nightmare

It’s pretty much a no-brainer — two shops selling exactly the same goods at the same price, but while the one is sparkly clean and professionally presented, the other makes you feel like you’re Johnny-come-lately to the battle for Baghdad. Dirty signage and windows mercifully hide the horrors that lurk inside: disinterested staff eye-ball you like a potential mugging victim, non-existent air-conditioning forces you to either peruse the messy shelves dripping with sweat or shivering your pants off. And the cherry on top, when you want to pay, the card machine doesn’t work, forcing you to walk two miles to draw cash, really get mugged and land up needing therapy — and not the retail kind.

Right, we all get that I laid on the hyperbole a bit thick, but c’mon we have all been there. Bizarrely though, until recently most customers would make their dissatisfaction very apparent in a bricks-and mortar shop, getting apoplectic about the tiniest little rat or cockroach scurrying across a restaurant’s floor, but wouldn’t give a hoot about the same restaurant’s website that was last updated in 2002 and takes about 30 minutes to load on your screen. Mobile-friendly? Responsive? What’s that?

Well things have changed. There’s no excuse for a dodgy or non-existent website these days, with a plethora of options from website builders to free content management systems like WordPress. There are also zillions of online articles that explain how to make sure your website and social media pages adhere to minimum credible standards. Even Forbes has written about it.

But that’s not the only reason why business owners should start paying attention to the quality of their digital presence. The world has changed and customers have high digital expectations fanned by an always-online culture and the accessibility of the internet on mobile devices. If they can’t find you online — fast — you don’t exist, it’s as simple as that. That makes it a bit trickier, because it means not only should your business website look as welcoming as a Las Vegas casino, it should also pitch up when someone searches for your product or service online.

One of the ways to get your business found online is with relevant, useful, and targeted content that you can promote across social media platforms and other relevant channels. This can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise if you do not have a budding Hemingway in your ranks. Content marketing has become a booming business science by itself and if you do it right it can be very rewarding for branding, thought leadership and lead generation purposes. If you do it right. All too often businesses just chuck anything at their audiences, from generic self-promotional blog posts to incoherent ramblings reminiscent of a character in one of Solzhenitsyn’s books. Which brings us back to the original premise of this article: if you keep on disrespecting your clients online you will start losing business, and rightfully so.

It’s also worth noting that websites and social media accounts fulfill different functions in your digital universe. While your website acts as a sort of HQ, your social media pages get the word out there and give your customers an opportunity to interact with your business so that you can practice that mysterious thing called ‘customer service’. The trick is to make sure all of them are managed properly to avoid that haunted house look that screams ‘avoid’.

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