Off for Memorial Day? Clean Up Your Online Presence

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On Monday, many of us will close our shops and businesses and take time to reflect on the 1.3 million Americans who have lost their lives in defense of our nation.

Some of us will attend parades and other tributes; others will plant flags in cemeteries; still others will honor the fallen by volunteering their service to the veterans still among us.

What else does the weekend hold for you?

Why not take advantage of the extra time off to take care of a vital marketing chore that’s often neglected?

If you haven’t updated your website and social media accounts in awhile, a long relaxing weekend is the perfect opportunity to review them.  Dusty and dated profiles and photos can leave a bad impression.

On a more positive note, if you have new accomplishments to tout, shouldn’t you be putting them to work for you? Do you have new testimonials, awards or other recognition?  Have you added new products that potential customers might be interested in?

Here are four areas to evaluate for a possible update:

  • Your personal and/or company information: One of the first places potential customers look for information is the “about me” page on your website and the profile information on your social media accounts. It’s also one of the last places to get updated! Read through your bios to see whether they need to be updated, or whether the language can be improved upon. On Facebook, include a link to your website and, if you have a business page, fill out all the fields. On Twitter, make sure your profile is accurate and honest – it’s important for building trust. While you’re at it, take a look at the bio information you use for publicity and other marketing purposes. Is it still accurate and relevant to your message and focus?
  • Photographs of you: How long has it been since you’ve updated that face smiling at you from your website? How old is the high-resolution image you send out for publicity purposes? While it’s nice to have a professionally shot portrait, we’re often too busy for that. Ask a friend who’s a good amateur photographer to take some shots of you. Don’t forget to save a high-resolution (at least 300 dpi) version for your print media needs.
  • Testimonials and publicity: You may have great testimonials from impressive former customers, but if they’re all several years old, it’s time to add some new ones. Same with the publicity you share on your site. Is it all old? Having only old testimonials and publicity makes it appear that A) You haven’t been active in your business in awhile, or B) the quality of your product or service has suffered, so you haven’t impressed anyone lately. By all means, keep the great old testimonials, newspaper articles and TV appearances; just add some fresh new ones to the top of the list.
  • Social media accounts: If your only social media networking site is Facebook, it’s time to explore other options. Since the company went public, Facebook is trying new tricks to make money for shareholders, which has made it less effective for marketing. Other networks worth exploring, depending on your target audience, are Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

This weekend, I hope we’ll all savor the freedom that so many Americans fought – and died – to protect for us. As for me, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family in a cabin in Blue Ridge, Ga.

But I also plan to use some of this time for exactly what I’m suggesting to you.  The return on my investment of an hour or so on the computer is too great to ignore.

Meanwhile, on Monday, I’ll also remember that the National Moment of Remembrance is 3 p.m. (your local time). That’s when we’re all asked to pause for a minute of silence and reflect on the men and women who died for our country.

Ever grateful,

Marsha

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