Most of us would like to be able to say that we don’t judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, this is a lot easier said than done. This reaction derives from a natural instinct to make quick judgments on another creature - an essential safety precaution.
When you first meet someone, it is natural to filter questions through your psyche. You might ask yourself questions like:
- Am I in danger?
- Is this person a friend or foe?
- Will they be my competition or join my vibe tribe?
Whether you are meeting people at a party, a business luncheon, or trying to expand your marketing audience, first impressions do matter.
According to the Association for Psychological Science, it takes one-tenth of a second to make a first impression! This startling statistic can be a little intimidating if you have a job interview or a blind date. Unfortunately, this scary fact about us is just a natural instinct instilled within us. Whether it is fair or not, more attractive people have better approval rates.
You may think, “Ah, I’ll win them over with time.” However, most research has shown that more prolonged exposure with the person only strengthens the initial thought reaction. According to a Princeton University Psychologist, Alex Todorov, if you spend enough time with the subject, you will develop a more rounded opinion of them, usually; but facial features correlate to firm initial judgments.
There has been little in the way of research as to what facial features trigger specific responses. This also goes hand-in-hand with the fact that we make an opinion of someone so quickly; it is hard for our reasoning brains to rationalize why we formed that opinion in the first place.
The research shows that first impressions are a substantial factor in life and is something we deal with on a daily basis. The more we apply it to our professional life, the more we can benefit from these actions.
WEBSITE IMPRESSIONS 🖥
Your senior living website could be a potential client’s first impression of you. It could be the competition’s and the public’s first impression of your brand, as well. It takes users .005 seconds or 500 milliseconds to form an opinion of your website. This opinion or feeling develops from various factors, e.g. colors, structure, symmetry, spacing, fonts.
According to a study performed by Google, websites with high prototypically and low visual complexity were the most appealing to viewers. In other words, how functioning and well the site represents the brand with a simple design, will result in the highest success rate.
You can go as far as to test how well users are responding to your websites with:
- Length of the page
- And so on
The content you have on your website can certify someone’s impression of you, or it could break it. Content is the heart of marketing; it’s how you communicate to leads, consumers and followers.
Content is not necessarily the first impression of your brand, but it is significantly important to building a reputation. Your content needs to
be honest, precise, and provide clarity.
For speaking to an audience, your first impression will spark a series of emotions. You can come across as sad, disgusted/angry, afraid/nervous, or happy. As you can probably figure out, the fourth is more commonly how you want to come across. An anomaly to this rule would be the ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan trying to get you to feel the epitome of sadness to donate.
Nonetheless, what you want to convey depends significantly on content. Content is not just on your website or in speech; it can also be laden across your social media channels.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMPRESSIONS 🤳
With a smartphone in nearly every user’s hand, social media may be a consumer’s first impression of your senior living community. In today’s society, it is crucial to have an active social media presence and convey your message at a 7-second glance. It may not seem fair to the more digitally conservative brands, but people will judge you on your digital footprint – and social media is the sole of that footprint.
You want your business to be discoverable on all the popular social media platforms, but only if you keep up with posting and edits. An outdated Facebook page is often worse than not having one! If you are experiencing lulls in your posting, you may want to outsource your social media.
When someone first clicks your Instagram icon they are taken to your profile. The profile image and bio (emoji it up!) should grab their immediate attention. Then you have two rows of images to ‘wow’ them into becoming a follower. This goes for almost every social platform out there. We have less time and fewer characters to get your message across and win over users.
Together, your website, content, social media sites, and overall design create your brand’s impression for the consumer and any of these access points could be a potential first impression. It is essential to make sure your branding is consistent and a reflection of your company. To keep your branding strong, you need to focus on what you want to portray and stay true to that image.
The first impression of your brand image could be the difference between closing a deal and having an untrue reputation. Do you need help marking your first impression or growing your brand image? Markentum is here to help!