I’ve invented a new phrase. It’s called ‘reputation poverty’ and describes what some individuals and businesses will experience in the coming years from having little presence online; that being either social media, online reviews or even a website. It may also apply to those businesses that have quite a negative online reputation – more on that later.
I was sat at the table at a regular business networking event recently and I was aware that two conversations were taking place; one around the table, the other online in the virtual world. Both conversations are about the same event. Admittedly to some I may seem rude being on my phone but I was actually engaging with other members of the room but via Twitter.
One of the people around the table were emphasising how they don’t use social media and see no point in it, and how it’s something that only people younger than themselves, that they don’t do business with, seem to use. Well surely those same ‘young people’ in 5 to 10 years time could be their customers, working as buyers in companies. Those ‘young people’ will do the thing that many of us do before dealing with a company and check them out online. When they appear to have absolutely no presence guess what they do? Move onto the next potential supplier.
This process of researching companies is not going away, it’s only going to increase and probably become an almost automated process when you use accountancy platforms like Xero, and for some there is going to be a huge degree of catch up which may be impossible to do.
Funnily enough the people I refer to above have an almost zero online presence, the only thing that comes up when you search them is their company accounts and the front door of the office on Street View- not the best advert.
I think the other side of reputation poverty will also be the ones that have got quite a bad reputation from either review websites or incorrectly using social media posting irrelevant or unsuitable articles and links which they will struggle to hide from.
APC lofts have a poor reputation from their online reviews (some are above). Search ‘APC Lofts’ to see the results. This was the result of some aggressive driving which was caught on video and went viral.
That all said meeting people face to face and making connections in the real world as well as the virtual one is equally important, but don’t forget people will then check you out online after meeting you – that was how I got my first date with my Husband (the last bit was added by my other half whilst proof reading this blog post!).