Instagram vs. Reality: Presenting Your Company Online

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” sounds great, and I’m not one for presumptions. However. If I am honest, I’m guilty. I judge some things positively, and others negatively, but I have noticed these days my judgement is routinely related to websites.

You’ve seen the Instagram vs. Reality memes, right? Perhaps earlier generations recall when Sprite famously said, “Image is nothing.” How can a marketing campaign with the most recognizable athletes say, “Image is nothing,” and why are we concerned with presenting an image better than reality? This got me thinking, how much truth remains in this idiom? If we aren’t going to judge on appearances, we wouldn’t use resources that tailor images, which is literally a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Whether right or wrong, image appears to be significant in commerce. After all, there is another saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Though the glass industry may trail tech trends, glass businesses will also be judged by the way they present themselves, and especially online. If your webpage was built in 1995 or even 2005, do not expect it to be appropriate today; instead, think to yourself, is it reflecting an image I want? With my limited experiences, I can tell you disastrous websites are more easily recalled than nicely designed ones.

I’m technically a millennial, and as part of the generation that’s primed to steer the ship, I promise you we millennials will move on quickly from an archaic webpage. Many of us never needed Encyclopedia Britannica to find a few paragraphs relevant to our quest; there were always faster ways to find the information we needed; we’re also accustomed to speed. We in the industry must remember, we are all looking to catch someone’s eye in business because, without partners, there is no business. If we’re planning to attract fresh talent or new opportunities, an image can spark new ideas, and in today’s world you better move quickly.  

Maybe you’re thinking, why does this matter, we don’t need an updated image or social platforms. I vividly remember that when I came onboard DeGorter Inc. 13 years ago, my big idea was to update our logo. I got a lesson from the two previous generations, my father and my grandfather, on how businesses cover expenses and determining what provided real value. But I won the battle, and I’ll tell you how; by asking, what happens when decision-makers are replaced by someone with different expectations? I explained I wanted to update our image to present a company keeping up with modern trends. My Dad had a similar conversation with his father over software to replace paper ledgers. They both agreed change is necessary, so we changed, because if you’re not using the tools of today’s world or meeting today’s expectations, you’re less relevant than those who are. And you better believe you’re being judged.

Ending on a high note, and to spark ideas from those I think are on the right path, find below a few Instagram handles to check out. Be sure make a profile for your business if you don’t have one: yes, I’m talking to you!

#jcmoag, #woontechglass, #bendheimglass, #andrewpearsonglass, #nathanallanglassstudios, #galaxy_glass_stone, #fireratedglass, #myshowerdoor

Check out instagram.com/woontechglass/ for a well-curated Instagram.

Pete deGorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. Contact him at pete@degorter.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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