3 Ways Businesses Should Spring Clean Their Online Presence

When the sun starts shining a little more often and the flowers begin to bloom, many of us get into “spring cleaning” mode around our homes.

We get rid of any junk, we make necessary updates and we just sort of “polish” things from top to bottom.

Well, I’m here to tell you that, for small business owners, this springtime clean sweep shouldn’t only happen at home. It should also happen in your business.

And even if you work from home, or if your office is completely neat and tidy, chances are, there are some elements of your online presence that could use a little freshening up.

To be honest, things change so often online that we really should be looking to make necessary updates on a quarterly basis. But either way, doing a thorough spring cleaning to your online presence is a great place to start!

Here are 3 ways small businesses should spring clean their online presence in 2017:

Dust off the “welcome mat.”

I like to think of your “online welcome mat” as the the first step someone takes before walking through your front door (literally if you’re a local business -- if you’re an online business, it’s what they do before reaching out or engaging with your offers).

Essentially, it’s how people know how to contact you.

Of course, you should have this information on your site, and all of that should be accurate. But you should also make sure the information on your Google listing, your Facebook, your Instagram and other social media is thorough, seamless, consistent and up to date.

Surprisingly, I see tons of businesses with old addresses and phone numbers listed. I’ve even tried to contact a business before using the phone number listed on their site. only to discover that they don’t allow incoming calls! Seriously!?

Take some time to go through each page of your website and scour your social presence for information that needs updating.

Make sure you don’t miss anything by downloading my Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist, available here in my resource library.

Clean up the details and refresh the “decor."

Here we’re talking about all elements that make your business look clean, professional and captivating online.

Now is a great time to update images and other visual components of your branding, and to make sure it’s consistent everywhere online.

I’m giving you full permission to delete old, low-res or blurry photos (even if they have likes and comments), erase old tweets and take down links that are no longer relevant to your business or brand.

Additionally, check to see that you’re communicating clearly, consistently and accurately on your site, via email and on social media. There's no better time than now to refresh the message you’re sending to your online audience! It may seem obvious, but lots of businesses let this stuff sit on the back burner for way too long.

Connect with people who will appreciate your cleaned up space.

When you wrap up spring cleaning your home, your first thought probably isn’t to invite your rowdy neighbors over for a house party.

Take this same approach once you’ve put in the work to clean up your online presence. Connect with people who will appreciate the effort you’ve put in -- people who find your business and brand valuable.

The best way to attract the kind of online audience that will actually help you grow your business is to interact with current and prospective customers, as well as industry influencers and thought leaders on social media.

Of course, you also want to be putting out value-driven content that will resonate with the type audience you want to attract. Share helpful tips, ideas, entertaining videos -- anything that aligns with the mission of your business and brand.

If you’re unsure about what type of content you should post, simply ask yourself, “What does my ideal client/customer need to know or understand before deciding to do business with me.”

You can even share this information via video. And it doesn’t need to be fancy. You could go live on Facebook and share a few quick tips. This sort of content can grow your reach on social media and attract the right type of clients/customers in record time.

Spend a full day or two spring cleaning your online presence. I promise it will be time well-spent since you’re likely to see better results from your overall marketing efforts.

Download the Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist so that you don’t miss a single important step. Plus, I’ve even included a few bonus tips and organized the entire list so you know exactly what to do first.

Grab your free Checklist in my Resource Library here.

Case Study: The Atlanta Taco Festival & How Not to Handle Social Media

If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE tacos. To me, there are only three food groups: tacos, pizza and Chinese food. So when someone messes with my love of tacos, I’ve got to call it out.

The wonderful and diverse city of Atlanta got to experience its first taco festival on May 1st. Why it took this long for a taco festival is beyond me, but I digress. This festival was advertised everywhere. The organizers got radio ads, Facebook ads and put flyers on pretty much every single telephone pole in the entire city and metro area. This event was going to be awesome sauce. Or so it was advertised.

The day finally came and the crowds descended upon Candler Park (the location of the festival). Thousands of hungry Atlantans came to feast on the gloriousness of tacos and beer. Some had ordered tickets ahead of time and received them in the mail, others picked them up Will Call and others had to redeem their Groupon/Living Social deal.

The event was touted to be a cashless/cardless festival, meaning people would receive a special wristband with an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip that came with some preloaded “points” and you were able to load more money onto it. The idea itself is great. You don’t have to carry cash, just scan your wristband. And it makes it super convenient to not overspend. And the festival would have been amazing, if their RFID technology didn’t fail.

You see, the Atlanta-area has been experiencing a lot of spring showers lately. These rain storms come and go all the time. Some last for 10 minutes, others for more than an hour. The weather decided to make an appearance that day and douse everyone with lotsa rain. LOTS. The park turned into a mud pit and the RFID technology failed.

So now thousands of people are standing in line waiting to get their wristbands, but they can’t get activated because the RFID scanners are failing. Also, the people standing in line to receive tacos or beer can’t get anything, because the RFID scanners that the vendors used were also failing. It was a giant mess, literally.

And the citizens of Atlanta let the event organizers know.

I tuned into the social media mess around 4 p.m. that day. Word was getting around that the festival was a total flop. It seemed like the event organizers had turned a blind eye to their social media. As if that isn’t bad enough, comments were being deleted. Turns out that deleting all the negative comments backfired, horribly. Memes were made. Photoshopped images of the event were posted. A hashtag was created. Hell hath no fury like the taco-loving people of Atlanta.

  • Then the organizers deleted the Facebook event.

  • Then they ended up deleting the main Atlanta Taco Festival Facebook page.

  • AND THEN they started deleting negative comments on their Instagram account and blocking those users.

I mean, seriously? The festival was bad enough and now all these complaints are falling on deaf ears. The event organizers totally dropped the ball on this. And now, there’s a dedicated Facebook group full of people who attended the festival and are disputing the company for a refund.

Here’s how to prevent a social media SNAFU from happening.

  1. Hire a dedicated person to handle all social media.
  2. Train this person on proper customer service for the event. Give them a script if needed.
  3. Have a crisis communication plan prepared just in case.
  4. Put a policy in place to never delete negative comments.
  5. If needed, give a statement that addresses all the complaints and concerns.
  6. Respectfully reply to ALL the comments.

Repeat steps 5-6 repeatedly.

Now excuse me while I daydream about my love of tacos.