The 1990s marked the apparition of the netiquette that defines the rules of social interactions online: Be polite, respectful, and honest. Rapidly, the digital revolution has ditched the idea of the online etiquette to replace it with images of geeks, trolls, and nerds – but it is another story. Nowadays, the only etiquette that you refer to is related to the powerful impact that you can make as an entrepreneur. How to talk, how to look, and what to use are elements that belong to the entrepreneur etiquette. But there is something else that belongs to your everyday business processes: Digital presence. So it may be important to revisit the 1990s netiquette and look at ways of adjusting it to your current business needs. In short, here’s why your business needs a digital etiquette today.
Get the basics right
When you embrace the business life, you almost inevitably embrace a digital presence too. Your business needs to be visible and accessible online for your customers. In short, you will need a basic website package – www.totalcreation.co.uk offers simple and effective solutions for small businesses – that is accessible from all devices. Naturally, your website needs to be readable for search engines, such as Google and Bing, so that potential customers can find you online. In other words, getting online is not enough, you need an SEO-compliant website too, that enables crawling and indexing for search engines. Your SEO presence is also facilitated by one or more active social media profiles as they are perceived as an extension of your digital presence. So far, so good: These are, as said, the basics of your business digital etiquette.
Think about your customers
Customers will primarily interact with your business via your website. It seems, therefore, logical that you should do everything that is in your power to keep this interaction sweet and simple. To put things differently, a website needs to be easy to navigate for visitors: It has to provide a clear User Experience, or UX. In short, visitors who can’t find what they need on your website will choose to buy from a competitor. Additionally, the first impression that most users will get from your business is online: So, it’s essential to make it a positive one by providing informative content and simple navigation. As a rule of the thumb, users tend to leave a website that confuses them. Given that the online attention span is below 12 seconds, you want to give the best possible user experience.
Don’t insult their intelligence
There’s a common misbelief in less-researched marketing campaigns: People need testimonials to build trust. In truth, around 90% of digital users automatically assume that testimonials are made up marketing messages. What does this mean? People are not stupid; they are not easily convinced by the testimonials that they read on your website. But they trust independent customer opinions from review websites, so you can repurpose positive reviews as long as you link back to them. In certain industry sectors, you can create case studies using powerful visuals, such as a before/after shot, for example. Users will prefer statistics and visual proofs of your success over testimonials.
Get the targeting right
When you choose to create an online campaign, it’s important to start from scratch: This means by doing a thorough audience research and profiling before posting your message online. Take a look at www.entrepreneur.com that built a case study of wrong targeting: Vera Bradley who launched last year a campaign called “why it’s good to be a girl”. At first, the girl power campaign seemed like a good idea, but the marketing team focused on outdated and clichés statements that brought a negative feedback. Coca-Cola recently published a winter land map of Russia in a promotional campaign, except that the map dated from before World War II. Needless to say that the Russian customers were not impressed. In short, do your research and avoid upsetting your target audience unnecessarily.
Keep a cool head in crisis situations
Finally, it’s a fact of every business interaction: Sometimes things don’t go as you intended. Worse, customers can send complaints about an issue they have with your products or your customer services. More and more often, these complaints are posted online. It’s important to develop a polite and active response policy to negative comments and reviews on social media and independent review websites. But a negative review is not a bad thing: It’s the lack of response to it that causes the most damages. So get your social media and customer team trained to handle negative reviews in a constructive and effective way.