How Brand Discovery Has Evolved for the Modern Consumer

by | Aug 24, 2020 | Blog, Digital Strategy, SEO, Smirk's Take, Social Media

Social media is an increasingly popular resource for catching up on the latest news and keeping in touch with your friends while you’re not able to see them face-to-face. In fact, of the 6 hours a day that U.S. adults averaged online in 2019, more than 2 hours were spent on social.

In our discussions with clients, Smirk advises business owners to actively keep an eye on consumers’ online habits. This means more than just creating a Facebook page or a simple website for your business. It’s about proactively establishing smart social media habits and optimizing your digital presence every step of the way.

Being Online is Vital

If you have an incomplete digital presence, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your bottom line. 3 in 4 consumers admit that they’re constantly on the lookout online for new products and brands that are relevant to their needs.

Brand Discovery

It’s important to understand how users are discovering you. There’s a wide variety of online outlets where your brand has the potential to be seen by your target audience, including:

  • Your company website
  • Social media
  • Customer reviews
  • Google My Business
  • Paid advertising

Utilizing the Appropriate Platforms

Before creating profiles on every website and social media platform possible, you need to make sure it’s appropriate for your industry. Let’s say that you’re a locally-owned restaurant — it would make sense that you have a Yelp profile set up for customer reviews, but maybe it’s not necessary to have a Pinterest or LinkedIn account. Taking the time to assess which demographics populate each social media platform is key to publishing in the right places and successfully reaching your brand’s target audience.

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We've spoken with lots of businesses that push every piece of content they create out to every platform they have an account on. This isn't always necessary, nor is it strategic. Is your consumer demographic active on all social media platforms? Even more importantly, is the post you're writing appropriate for every platform? It goes beyond just keeping character limits or graphic dimensions in mind. It never hurts to slow down and think about how your social strategy fits into the wider goals you're trying to accomplish.

Lee Emerson
Smirk Senior Strategist

Don’t Set It & Forget It

Accounts shouldn’t be something you set up and abandon. As we’ve seen, it’s crucial that you’re actively creating engaging content and identifying new trends and opportunities to keep your brand presence relevant to your consumers. Further, make sure to respond to any comments, private messages or reviews you receive to let your audience know you’re listening and build loyalty.

Risky Business Listings

Keeping your information up-to-date will make or break the chances of someone choosing to support your business, especially those discovering you through organic search. This is especially crucial if your business hours or offerings have shifted since the pandemic began.

59 actions are typically taken by consumers on a Google My Business listing, with 56% of them being website visits. You don’t want to lead your potential customers to the wrong address or cause them to think you’re closed when you are in fact open. We recommend that business owners take a moment to review their information on Google My Business once a month to ensure that they’re being represented accurately to both current customers and prospects alike.

Optimizing Your Website

With more than one in three people discovering brands via search, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t something you should take lightly. Just as it’s important that your Google My Business listing and social profiles are routinely updated, it’s imperative that your website receives the same treatment. Making sure that your site contains the right keywords is a crucial step in ranking higher than your competitors in organic Google searches.

ADA Compliance and Accessibility

Website accessibility extends beyond mobile-friendliness and page speed. 61 million Americans live with a disability and 71% of people with disabilities will immediately leave a website if it’s not accessible. Lack of accessibility could also mean a lawsuit — less than a year ago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that visually impaired individuals can sue retailers if their website doesn’t meet ADA accessibility standards.

The SEO Impact

Accessibility is vital not only for the overall user experience (UX) but also for your search ranking on Google. Complete alt text for all on-site images and ensure your metadata is filled out. Making sure everything functions across all devices should be a top priority, especially with Google’s updated mobile-first indexing. If you neglect these steps, your search engine rankings will invariably suffer as a result.

How to Assess Your Digital Presence

Worried that your brand is getting left behind? With social media and SEO constantly evolving, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Smirk offers a comprehensive digital audit as a benchmark for your brand, complete with a review of all your online assets and growth recommendations moving forward. Let’s chat.

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