SMART AF

How to get you and your business from where you are to where to want to be.

 

Ep. 119 How To Protect Your Online Presence

by | Smart AF Podcast

Protect Your Online Presence

How To Protect Your Online Presence

In this digital age, where people do most of their research online it is imperative that your online presence is accurate, viewable, and updated frequently. After years of working with small business owners, we found this is not always the case as business owners get locked out, lose access, or Becky takes it all down.

In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about how easy it is for your business to mistakenly look closed and the steps you can take to protect your online presence.

Listen or watch the full episode below:

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 119

[00:00:00] Torie: Just because you hired Becky in the front office doesn’t mean Becky’s going to be there forever. You piss Becky off and Becky might take all your shit down and that’s not cool. But then it happens.

Hey, what’s up it’s Torie Mathis, your host. And I am here with the one and only Sean Mathis, Founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. 

[00:00:28] Sean: What’s going on. 

[00:00:29] Torie: So if you didn’t know we run a website called Automotive Museum Guide, and we actually started that after we started Miles Through Time. 

[00:00:38] Sean: Yeah, it was one of those things that we both liked to do research. And I did a ton of research trying to figure out how to start this, this car museum thing. Because again, I had no idea what I was doing. So, you know, a little bit of Google search and searching through Facebook were the two places that I really like trying to find other car museums to try to figure out what that is that they’re doing so that I can figure out what it is that I need to do.

And we wound up researching so much stuff that I wound up compiling a lot of data on all these different museums. And so I turned the Torie then there’s all these museums, like what can we do with this? And the skills Torie has, we wound up creating this guide it’s automotivemuseumguide.com that lists every single automotive museum in North America.

And over the years now that it’s been we’ve keep tweaking it and tweaking it. So now you can search it by map or region and by state, by specific name and now by a genre of museum called automotive museum. And. It’s one of those things that. Takes a lot of work to do. But because we did a lot of legwork initially and put it together, like it’s all there, but then it’s a continual thing that we have to continually find the most recent information on these museums because they change so frequently.

It’s not like it was a, we do it all one time and then it’s gone and it’s there. It’s, it’s something that constantly has to be checked and updated. And just recently I found out that there was a museum sending out emails and keeping people, everybody informed on what I’m doing. I found one that looked like it was closed and I go to the website.

So I search, I go from the page that we had on automotive museum guide that I originally collected. Two years earlier or a year earlier or whatever it was. And I go to their website to see what’s going on now to make sure everything’s up to date before I send it out. And I see that it says that they were closed and the whole website itself looks super dated.

And then I scroll down to the bottom where a lot of websites will have a date on there. And it said 2013. Which is pretty old. So now I’ve got it where the website looks dated, it says it’s dated. And it’s got information on there that says that the place is closed. It did say temporarily closed. And we got all this COVID stuff going on.

So, you know, it’s safe to assume that. Could have definitely happened that close to museum. So I go from there and I go to their Facebook page. Their Facebook page is very underutilized. And the last post that they had on there was from March 15th, 2020. So right about that time, when a whole lot of places were shutting down and they said it was temporarily closing on there mind you, this is the very last post this museum had ever shared.

And there’s comments. And the comments are that actually the museum is now closed permanently. And now, again, this is not unheard of. This is something that a museum or any business really initially would have closed and then made it, you know, nothing really changed. And they, they couldn’t sustain being closed and opening wasn’t an option. So they wound up closing completely. And so looking at this. I see that the place is closed. You know, to me, it could have been somebody representing the museum. It could have been somebody that went there and found out whatever it is they, they said on there that the museum is now permanently closed and everywhere else, it looks like it’s closed.

And there’s no easy way to get a hold of this museum to verify any information. So I assume that it is a closed museum. Turns out. It was not I wound up sending out an email to the list for automotive museum guide for everybody that wants to find out, you know, what it, automotive museums are out there that they can discover.

And I let them know that this particular one was no longer a place that they could visit. And I instantly got a whole lot of, well, that sucks. That’s a bummer, bummer. And then I wound up getting one that was like, they’re not. I’m like, that’s strange. And then it wasn’t coming from the museum. It was just some random person.

So now I’m like, I got to try to dive into this a little bit further to see, you know, are they open or are they closed? And then a few minutes later I got another email. It doesn’t say it’s from the museum. It says it’s just a person, but again, that person almost looked like they were representing the museum, but it didn’t come from the museum’s email address or anything like that.

That specifically said that there the museum. So now I’ve got conflicting information. So do I overturn, you know what I said, as far as what it’s closed or is it open. And as far as I can see it still says it’s closed. And so I wound up getting ahold of somebody by the name of. And it matched up with the last email that I received.

I just first names and I wound up emailing her back. I’m like, Hey, are you actually Amy from this museum? And she’s like, yeah, I’m like, what’s the deal? And she tells me, not only are they not permanently closed, but they’re doing remodeling updates and they plan to reopen early of 2022. They, they did lay off everybody. So the curator, every single person that was involved in a museum, they’re all, they all got laid off and apparently, some of them weren’t too happy about it. And it turns out it was disgruntled employees that let everybody believe that the place was not going to open again. And that, I mean, that’s going to happen, but in this particular case, the museum didn’t fix it. They didn’t, they didn’t set the record straight or say anything. So for a year and a half, anybody that would go there, it looks like the museum’s done. It’s over. You still can’t go and visit it. And, it goes to show how important it is. To keep this stuff up to date, just super simple stuff.

You know, they, they obviously they set up a Facebook page and did it all with their, you know, set up with their information and utilized it at up until that point. But then they, they kind of just dropped it and, you know, it goes to show though that even though the museum’s not open to where you can visit.

It’s still pretty important to kinda, you know, stay on top of things and still utilize that kind of stuff or update the website and, and, you know, especially since something is actually going on, you know, people can’t visit, but there’s stuff that people should know. You know, they’re going through remodeling updates, like let people know that kind of stuff.

They’re going to open, let them know that kind of stuff. There’s nothing on that dated website from eight years ago, from the last time it’s been updated that captures any kind of email for people. There’s no way for them to have gotten ahold of anybody to let them know what’s going on. And the thing is.

There’s a lot of people who are familiar with this museum. I mean, the response I got back of letting people know that it was closed was crazy. Cause I didn’t think it was that popular of a museum. It’s an area that is heavily populated with automotive museum. So it was a big auto industry up there. So apparently that’s, you know, made it easy, like, and there’s cool stuff on there. Obviously but they’re not letting anybody know. And it’s, it’s a major bummer. Cause you know, there’s, who knows what they’re missing out for not letting people know there could be people that would be willing to help them with some of the repairs and updates because it’s a nonprofit museum.

You keep people engaged and excited, you know, let them know when they can come and Participate in visiting the museum, again, just touch base with me because obviously somebody is still there. This Amy is still there doing something in some sort of capacity. 

[00:08:58] Torie: Since you reached out to them and you know, said, you know, are you still open? Have they updated? Like the Facebook page? Like a post, like reopening, or have they done anything. 

[00:09:09] Sean: Last I heard the person that I talked to does not have access apparently to any of their social media, which is just their Facebook page. 

[00:09:20] Torie: What about their Google listing? 

[00:09:23] Sean: Their Google listing, isn’t updated the website. She did mention that they are working there. Apparently, they’re going to have to build a whole new website because she didn’t say update. She said new. And I mean, it’s, it’s old, it’s not a responsive website. It’s complete data. So they, they need all this kind of stuff. But they, they missed a whole lot of.

[00:09:43] Torie: I would say in the beginning of doing website design when I started my marketing agency, I would say 50% or more of the business that I got was just rescuing websites that people couldn’t get back into. And I’m a master of recreating stuff. Like I can recreate anything. So I would you know, recreate what they had and then we would make the adjustments to it to make it newer and more modern and more updated.

And then we would have to figure out, you know, how to do that swap out, but it is such a common story. That is just day in and day out of people that cannot get into their website. And so they can’t update it and then don’t have any access to any of their social media, whether it be their Google page or their Facebook page.

And that’s a huge problem. And it’s such an easy fix, you know because we do marketing for a lot of clients. We’re on a whole bunch of people’s Facebook page as an admin and an admin inside of their Google account. So we have access as an admin to their business Google account. And so I’m not sure if people don’t understand that you can do that. And obviously, you don’t want to give everybody access you know, just in case, because you do end up with some disgruntled employees and stuff, but you definitely need to make sure multiple people have access. And even if that means like your own email, like, okay, Sean and Miles Through Time and Sean at Lake Shark Media and your Gmail, like let’s make sure all three of these have access to the account.

Like, however, you need to do that so that you don’t end up losing because opportunity that is just wasted materials. And then the fact that you’re not putting forth that professional appearance to people that they don’t even know what’s going on with the business. Like, it’s just, it’s a really big bummer that I just see over and over again.

And I know this COVID thing is just got all kinds of people all messed up, but I’m sure this is happening a lot more. 

[00:11:55] Sean: Yeah. I mean, with all those covid stuff it definitely is going to be a lot more prevalent that this kind of thing happens, which makes it that much more important to ensure there are backup emails to be able to get into your various accounts because I can almost guarantee you this museum is going to have to start the Facebook page over.

It’s not like it’s you know, they’re not losing a hundred thousand followers or anything, but it’s still, you don’t want to have to start over again. 

[00:12:21] Torie: I think it’s almost worse than starting over is that then you end up with a duplicate that you can’t duplicate. You can’t. 

[00:12:29] Sean: Yeah, there’s more to it than just, oh, I can’t do it because, in same with websites, we’ve had a client that they had their website essentially taken hostage. And there was no, there was nothing we could do. Cause, they technically didn’t own that domain. 

[00:12:45] Torie: And the person that had it, they actually went and bought the domain for like multiple years so that they couldn’t use it. Yeah. 

[00:12:53] Sean: And the thing is, is there’s, it’s, there’s just garbage on it. It’s not like they were using it for what they needed it for. They just didn’t want to give it back, which is shitty in its own sense. But the real bummer here is that you can’t do anything about that other than creating a completely new website on a completely new domain. And then all you can do is. bury the other one. 

[00:13:16] Torie: Yeah. I hope you bumped the other one out. And the same thing with the Facebook page. Like if people search for that business like you don’t really know which page is going to come up. And there’s not really a lot of ways to like, if you’d contact Facebook like I have my own rep at Facebook and even they, like, there’s nothing you can do about that. If you get completely locked out of an account.

[00:13:40] Sean: That’s brutal. And the thing is, is, you know, if, especially like in a museum or a business like that, where people might be going in there and taking pictures and sharing them on social media and tagging the museum, they might think they’re tagging the right one, but the way it works on your phone, like, you don’t really know if there’s that they’re just going to pick the one that pops up.

And a lot of times. And I don’t think Facebook is that smart to be like, well, this, this one is inactive for two years. This one’s new, it’s just going to populate whatever it is. So chances are it opportunity to not be to the right page in that case, you might not see it. And then anybody else clicks in, it’s taking them to, an outdated page, which then may not have the correct website address on it. And I mean, it’s a whole vicious cycle and, but this is the world that we live in. So it’s important to keep all this kind of stuff straightened out. 

[00:14:39] Torie: Yeah. And definitely having somebody else have access to it are more than just one person, you know, don’t just because you hired Becky in the front office doesn’t mean Becky’s going to be there forever.

You piss Becky off and Becky might take all your shit down and that’s not cool. And then it happened well. 

[00:14:56] Sean: And it easily happens because the owner of the business is giving that person they’re large in, instead of creating one for that person. So now you’ve just given them your in and if they change their email, you know, they, they, they can make it so that you will never get that again if they don’t want you to.

[00:15:15] Torie: And that’s the nice thing about how a lot of. These different profiles online are set up is that it’s, it’s set up so you don’t have to give me your login. You actually just give another email access so when I go into a client’s Google, it’s actually through my Google account and I just have access to their account.

I don’t log in as them. They have their own login. And then we each have our own login, so Sean can access it. I can access it without denying any access to anybody else. And so that’s, you’re able to do that on Google. You’re able to do that on Facebook on pretty much any of these online profile type places.

Yeah. On your website too, you can have multiple log-ins. It’s not just like one master admin, you know, one key to the castle that if you lose or someone steals, you’re never getting in the castle again. 

[00:16:02] Sean: You can see. Who’s doing what as well, you know, so if you’ve got an employee and there’s questionable things getting posted or something, you’re going to easily be able to tell who did that and take care of it, where if they have your login, it looks like you did it you know in this. And especially if multiple people have it, you’re, you’re kind of stuck with that. So, I mean, you, you need it on your, your website your Google business page and your social media profiles all need to have your own login. And then have somebody else have their login as well whether it’s your number two various employees that like to be on social media or whatever, however, it can benefit your business and have a backup email in case something happens to your email. You’re still able to log in and get everything that you need to. 

[00:16:53] Torie: You brought up a really good other point too, with this, is that by leaving the communication open with your customers, with your patrons. Even if you’re closed for a while or something happens. And especially with all this COVID stuff, your hours change.

It’s so easy just to let people know. And what we’ve found is that if you let people know what’s going on, people want to help people want to reach out. Obviously, people wanted to help this museum because people were really quick too, you know, contact Shawn and say, no, no, no, like they’re not closed. And so if they were.

A little bit better with their communication on these things. And Google makes it really easy to do like temporary announcements and things like that. Just to let people know what’s going on and that way they’ll be ready to support you again. Or if you do need help right now that people will reach out.

That’s kind of a community, especially in the automotive museum world. It is kind of a community and everybody seems to be looking out for each other yeah. 

[00:17:50] Sean: Well, there’s a lot of history. There’s a lot of money there. There’s a lot of really cool things there that it’s a major hit when one of these places close and it happens, unfortunately often COVID or no, COVID it just happens. 

[00:18:07] Torie: The main plan when we started this was to do a printed version and it took a long time. We had somebody help us out, like getting all of the information so that we had all the phone numbers and the addresses and not just the name of them, but like their website, like all the information for every single museum and like, we’re still like, like last week you still found like two more, like more, or just like coming in. But that was like the whole point is that there wasn’t a way to be able to find them really easily. So the plan was to print out because I love print. I love doing magazines. I love that kind of like periodical field.

But it changes so often that how do you print something like that when, you know, in a year there’s that kind of give and take for things going and museums coming. 

[00:18:52] Sean: And I got an email yesterday letting me know that another museum it did close and the whole thing is getting auctioned off in two weeks. 

[00:19:00] Torie: So probably better that, you know, at least for now we keep it online. And still, now it’s hard to keep up with because things change so often. But keeping your stuff updated really helps your business recover from any of these kinds of things and helps your community, you know, stand behind you and support you. 

[00:19:20] Sean: Like let them know what they need to know otherwise they’re going to start assuming things. And if those things are incorrect or detrimental to your business that’s a bad thing. So let them know what you want them to know and keep them engaged and excited for whatever’s to come. 

[00:19:36] Torie: Yeah. Because if you leave a comment or whatever the last review was or anything like that especially if it’s on a negative note you don’t want that to be the last taste in someone’s mouth about your business.

[00:19:46] Sean: No. 

[00:19:46] Torie: So easy stuff. We have new shows every Tuesday and Thursday, and we would think it’d be great if you would come and join us and we’ll see you on the next one. Thanks.

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