What do people think of you when they first meet you?

What do you think their immediate impression is? If it’s personally, you might not care too much – after all, to each their own, right? But what if you’re a business offering a service – does that change your train of thought? Does the view of the same new face now hold more sway?

Even more so, what if your service is one that defines people’s first impressions of your customer – would you place even more emphasis on every single interaction you have, to make sure the impression left is the right one?

First Impressions

I have certain alerts set up via Google (as well as other social monitoring platforms), to alert me to words and phrases that could point to articles or blog posts relevant to me or my business needs. One of these alerts came in recently, so I thought I’d check it out.

It led me to this Facebook Page (note: image was taken prior to the brand pages makeover, but the “content” remains the same).

I’ve blocked out the name of the company (and forgive the blotchy red strokes – art was never my strong point), but you can still see the details of their service.

What stands out for me is that, as part of their service, they offer Facebook and Twitter page design. Since a branded Facebook page can really help you differentiate yourself from everyone else, it’s a service that’s becoming more popular. Yet the company’s own Facebook page is pretty lacklustre, with just the standard options.

Where’s the dedicated landing page, or more interactive tabs and features that some of the best Facebook pages have?

So, not a great start – but it was better than their main point of call…

Second Chances

It may have been that the Facebook page was a work in progress. I wasn’t so sure about this, since administrators of Facebook pages have the option to keep the page private until ready for launch.

But, give the benefit of the doubt – so I thought I’d check out the company’s website instead. Where I found this.

Probably not the best landing page in the world for a company that offers web design and development as part of their core services.

Couple this with the Facebook page – while you can have works in progress, you can also have landing areas that show this information, as opposed to a “parked here free of charge”-type message. For a company who wants to help you design the face of your business, the combination of the non-existent website and standard Facebook page doesn’t bode well.

Second Chances – Learning Points

Now I don’t want to be too down on this company, since it could be a fledgling business from some young entrepreneurs looking to realize their goal of owning their own business.

Yet at the same time, they’re not doing themselves any favours either by launching into the public too soon. So what could they have done differently?

  • Have a dedicated landing page. This relates to both the Facebook page and the website (in its current form). Having a pre-launch landing page on a website looks a lot more professional than a web host message. The same goes for having a dedicated Facebook landing page as opposed to the standard Wall – especially for a Facebook page design company.
  • Keep everything under wraps. While you might be excited to launch a product or business, unveiling it too soon can do more damage than good. Instead, keep everything private with maybe the odd teaser, and make sure you’re 100% ready for the public gaze. Because they’ll be ready for you, finished or not.
  • Beware of search engines. The reason I received the alert that took me to this company’s Facebook page is simple – their information box is full of keywords relevant to my industry. Tying into keeping everything under wraps, don’t stuff keywords into something that’s public but not ready – it’ll just bring you eyeballs you may not want. Hold off until launch instead.

While first impressions count, you can get past a less-than-great one with an awesome second impression – but you need that second impression to be solid. This company’s website would have been their chance for a second impression – and they blew it.

Now. It could be that this company is one of the best in the world at web and Facebook page design, among other social media skills.

But given their first and second chance to impress, would you hire them to paint the face of your business?

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