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Business Netiquette and Digital Presence

How do you promote a positive digital presence as a small business or brand?

-Restaurant Berates Customer for Bad Review
-Local Business Spars with Customer Over Quality of Services
-New Brand Makes Waves with Sub Par Products

These could very well be similar headlines to some seen online just this week. Businesses could avoid these eye-catching taglines with a quick lesson in online etiquette or netiquette.

There are many opportunities on the World Wide Web when it comes to small businesses, but those opportunities can turn toxic quickly. Often, netiquette goes straight out of the window when it comes to small businesses online. Having a plan and a comprehensive understanding of internet etiquette can serve to save a business from undue criticism in a digital world.

The following tips can serve as reminders for companies and brands to improve their digital prowess and avoid common pitfalls online.

Be Present Online:

A business should have a digital presence on whatever platform makes sense for them. They should choose the platform with which they can consistently engage. Avoiding social platforms may be detrimental as customers and clients often head to the internet first when researching new brands. Companies want to ‘show up’ in more ways than simply a website.

Be Intentional:

What businesses post online should align with their brand and the goals for their digital strategy. If a company is looking to promote transparency in a behind-the-scenes approach, the published content should reflect that feeling. If they are seeking to educate, the content should be consise, clear and informative. One of the biggest blunders made by businesses is muddying their messages with an overabundance of disjointed content. Stay consistent. Stay Concise.

Be Professional:

Most business owners would not choose to have a knock-down drag-out verbal altercation with a customer in their establishment, yet we see the online equivalent all too often. In our current landscape of connectivity, the chances of a negative review or perceived experience are high. If a business is on the receiving end of such a review, defending, arguing or negatively engaging is a poor choice. On the other hand, completely ignoring the review is also a poor choice. Striking the right balance in responding can preserve a positive digital presence.

Be Patient:

Consistent and on-brand content will help to promote the overall presence of a business. It may also serve to create new warm-leads as potential customers get to know a brand. The practice of sharing content consistently and positively engaging with followers will help to genuinely and authentically build an audience. Patience is the name of the game.

Overall, netiquette follows a few golden rules: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” as well as “Say it forget it*, write it regret it.” If businesses don’t want words to haunt them, they shouldn’t post them online. *Companies are best not to say things they don’t want online as well with the abundance of video popping up online.

If you’re looking to jumpstart your business’ presence online or have questions regarding the creation of a digital strategy or netiquette guidelines, email [email protected] for a complimentary Digital Marketing Audit. MOKup Media

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Meg Kerns

Owner and Chief Digital Strategist at MOKUp Media
Meg Kerns is the Owner and Chief Digital Strategist of MOKup Media, providing digital marketing services to small businesses nationally.