The pump industry is a very conservative place. Still, virtually every pump manufacturer and supplier has some sort of web presence. However, many company websites, business profiles, and social media profiles for pump manufacturers and distributors are sorely inadequate. Broken links, dated appearance, inaccurate information, and a lack of responsive web design plague the internet presence of many companies in the industry. This is particularly true of small distribution companies and family-owned manufacturing companies who either don’t have the budget, or don’t see the need, for a dedicated IT team.
I’m here to tell you that it’s critical that your company be intentional about developing your online presence. The reason for this is simple: The millennial generation is here.
I am in the oldest ranks of the millennial generation. My generation considers personal computers, cell phones, and the internet to be everyday indispensable defining features of the human experience. I can tell you that a company’s web presence means a lot to a millennial such as me. When I see a poorly done website, or a complete lack of any intentional web presence, it implies that the company is behind the times, probably selling antiquated products and services, probably has not updated their manufacturing process and information systems in decades, and is not interested in moving into the future. That might seem harsh, but it’s the truth. I am not alone in this.
The leading edge of the millennial generation is now in their early 30’s.
That means some serious seasoned professionals are part of the millennial generation. If you want to remain or become a top contender over the next decade you have to be intentional with your web presence. Millennials now hold positions of influence at the decision-making level in every organization you sell your products and services to.
Your company has an online presence whether or not you know it.
Your company has employees with LinkedIn profiles, and one or two employees may have anonymously shared salary information on Glassdoor. You may have a customer complaint posted on a website like the Rip Off Report. It’s likely that a handful of business directories have an online listing for your business.
The only way to counter and respond to this reality is to have your own intentional web presence. If you have no intentional web presence, or if it’s severely dated, what should you do?
Start with a simple yet broad strategy.
A basic up-to-date website, accurate listing information in online business profiles, and an intentional social media presence go a long way. It is better to get these key things done, and done well, than to launch a poorly-executed complex website with a plethora of custom tools and functionality, or to allow old information to languish in various corners of the internet.
If you need help defining that simple strategy, here are four steps to get you started:
- Step 1: Google your company name to find out what information is already on the internet. Contact every business listing you locate with up-to-date contact information. Respond diplomatically and in a spirit of customer-service to any complaints you find.
- Step 2: Make sure you have an up-to-date company website that is findable by search engines and utilizes responsive web design (RWD) principles. Many visitors to your site are likely to be using a mobile device and using RWD will ensure mobile users have a good experience on your site.
- Step 3: Establish a social media presence on LinkedIn. Create a company and personal profile so that users of the largest professional network can find you and your company. You’ll be surprised how many of your contacts are already on LinkedIn.
- Step 4: Acknowledge reality if you’re in over your head. If the steps above sound daunting find someone who can help. You don’t need knowledge of programming languages anymore to launch a website, and it isn’t expensive. Don’t let a lack of knowledge or fear of cost derail your efforts. You can find the help you need, and it won’t cost as much as you fear.