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Branding

7 Ways Companies Are Sending Bad Brand Message Online

Online presence is not just about social media profiles. It includes everything that has your brand's name associated with it!
7 Ways Companies Are Sending Bad Brand Message Online
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Business owners spend tens of thousands of dollars in radio ads, PPC, SEO, banner ads, content marketing, and whatnot to generate sales. While they cross their fingers and wait for big jump in sales & traffic, small details ruin the game by making their brand look bad in front of potential customers. I discussed the same with Gagan Gupta (Sales Head at StapleLogic) and he completely agreed.

Today, I will share findings from our discussion and list things that often make me cringe as a customer. In case you can relate your brand with any of the following, it’s time to take notice and stop the bad publicity:

Dormant social profiles

Google started giving priority to social media profiles in top search results for a reason. They have become the mouthpiece of brands, and customers are more that eager to hear. In such a scenario, having dormant social profiles can rain havoc on your online identity. This is especially true of web driven brands.

Personally speaking, I pay great attention to what my future partners are doing on social media. If they don’t reply to customer messages, then, I never forward my queries. In short, if last activity on your brand’s official Twitter account was in 2014, I will totally judge you.  

Non-responsive websites

According to findings from 2016 comScore study, mobile devices take over 65% of all digital media time. Also, mobile internet penetration in the USA stands at 75%. Know what this means? People nowadays prefer smaller machines to bulky desktops. This also points to the fact that your non-responsive business website isn’t good enough.

Whether you are a small business or big brand, a responsive website is a must to deliver best experience to people looking for you. Image a guy searching your contact information online and struggling with your non-responsive site. Not the best of picture in your head. Isn’t it?   

Terrible online presence 

Online presence is not just about social media profiles. It includes everything that has your brand’s name associated with it. From those featured posts to answers on Quora, everything speaks about your brand. That’s why you got to keep a watch on what is being said on behalf of and about your brand.

With the rise of user content, it’s easy-peasy to defame a brand. Create a free WordPress blog, throw in some foul language and you are done. I have seen many such cases of online reputation attacks. Don’t be the guy that watches from the sidelines. Be proactive and track your online presence at least once a week. Tools like Google Alerts can help.     

Lame site design

I don’t wear bell bottoms anymore. I did a long time ago but I don’t anymore. I think you don’t too. Why then your website still has design components that belong to the 90s? May be, your longtime customers won’t care but new ones will surely frown.  

I’m not saying you should invest in expensive design upgrade and win ‘website of the day’ ribbon. I’m saying keep pace with the changing times. Belong to the present and I guarantee your potential customers will appreciate it. This reminds me of…

Bad stock imagery

Internet isn’t very old but there are some things that we have already labeled as ‘bygone’. Stock images are one of them. Internet users simply cannot relate with the dramatic images of people overreacting to situations. Some companies still don’t realize it and keep on using such images to connect with their audience (which never happens).

Say NO to lame stock images and instead use real images of your team. This will add to the humane quotient of your business. If you can’t manage that for some reason, use simple graphics. They work perfectly fine.  

Late replies

My words can’t do justice to how much I hate this. Late replies are simply unacceptable when there are hundreds of me-too businesses out there chasing your customers. It has been proven that millennials prefer messaging to calling. In such a scenario, if you are taking days to answer that Facebook message, I won’t bet my money on you.

It’s quite simple actually. Create presence only on platforms you can manage. No point in being active on tens of social profiles when you only have time for two of them. Need more insights on social media strategy? Check out this post from Entrepreneur.  

Demanding contact options

Recently, I undertook a research on Malaysia based web service providers and found a gem of a company that invited clients to connect through Whatsapp and Line. Others asked people to contact by filling lengthy contact forms. You don’t need to be rocket scientist to figure out which company is winning.

Making it difficult to connect with you is probably the worst thing you can do to spoil your business prospects. I also personally loathe companies that only give 1 way to connect. The bottom line is, ‘don’t be demanding. Instead, be accessible.’

End note

I didn’t write this blog for big technological brands. They are already doing great on the internet. My goal was to reach small and midsize businesses that realize the potential of internet but don’t have the insights to make a bigger splash.

So, don’t shy away from sharing!      

 

Edition: December 2016

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