The Importance of Understanding Your Digital Footprint
The world is a busy place and our perception of what our customers are looking for doesn’t always match up to what consumers see, feel, and share especially online. An honest inventory of your current digital assets and presence should be the first objective when starting a conversation about your goals and objectives in the digital space. Not only is benchmarking your business an important part of thinking about any goal or plan, it is also essential when evaluating the success of services that you are paying for, whether they are being handled in-house or by an outside vendor.
When starting a new vendor relationship, you should take note of where you stand so you can honestly evaluate whether or not a particular service is worth your time and money. In the automotive industry there are many moving parts--not only at the dealership level but all the way up the ladder.
Another purpose benchmarking serves is the objective evaluation of whether or not you have the right people in the right places to make sure you are headed in the right direction. Progress can be a powerful motivator, especially when it’s identified in quantifiable terms. It’s great to always strive to be better. In fact, in my opinion it’s the only way to operate, If you’re in this industry odds are you are competitive in nature and so is your staff, use that as motivation
Want to get started? Here are three things you should do RIGHT NOW:
1. Search your dealership name and any other keywords associated with your dealership and take screenshots and evaluate the first page of these major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing
2. Make note of your review count and star rating on ALL of your active review sites. Leave no digital stone unturned. Make sure to inventory Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Cars.com, CitySearch, etc…
3. Make note of your audience size on ALL of your active social media sites.
Here at 3 Birds Marketing, one of our exciting new developments is our one-of-a-kind assessment of your online presence. We replicate the consumer experience to determine where you stand now and keep track of the progress you are making through your efforts and processes. You get an easy-to-understand visual display of your digital presence coupled with the support and knowledge to take advantage of any opportunities for success that are identified. With an honest look at your online presence, you can really start to capitalize on your strengths and find new ways to approach the areas in which your business could be improved.
Your potential customers are fully aware of how you’re perceived online. In order to fully serve those prospects you need to identify what exactly they are looking at online and act accordingly. If your social media presence is strong and positive but your reputation sites leave something to be desired, then you should spend more time and energy cleaning up the areas that have been neglected. How do you know what to do if you don’t know what you’ve already done?
My advice on evaluating your online presence can be summed up into 3 words, “Early and Often.” You should evaluate your online presence right now while you’ve got the time. Take charge of your business’s future and do an HONEST assessment of your current digital presence…or better yet, let us do it for you.
Austin Myrick heads up the Web Assessment Team at 3 Birds Marketing. Providing a snapshot from a customer’s view of a client’s online presence, he and his team provide valuable insight into areas for growth and improvement. In his spare time you can find him giving lectures on the finer points of TV shows like The Walking Dead and Mad Men, or in heated competition on the kickball field.