A digital presence…what the heck is that? Is that search engine optimization?
Sort of, but not really.
Search engine optimization can certainly help your digital presence, but your digital presence is much bigger than SEO – it’s your essentially your whole digital life. What do I mean by that? Anything you’ve done. Anything you will do and most importantly - and often forgotten – anything anyone else does about you online is your digital presence. Whether it’s your website, a guest blog post, your Facebook page or a newspaper story - it’s all your digital presence. It’s what people will find and how they judge you or your company by after they do a Google search.
Is it what you want people to see? Is it what you want people thinking about you or your company? If not, it’s not too late. Keep in mind though, there is no “delete all” button for the Internet. Once it’s on there, it’s on there. However, there are steps you can take to either build or fix your digital presence.
Take Control – If you haven’t purchased the domain name of your brand or created every social media presence for your brand – get on it. You don’t have to use every social media platform, but you should make your best effort to not let anyone else have it. They may hold out and try to sell it to you for a lot of money or they may act as you in a way that you prefer they didn’t. You need to be in control of your brand; it’s your baby. Don’t let anyone destroy what you’ve worked so hard to build.
PR isn’t dead – Public relations has certainly changed from the days of simply pitching a story to a reporter and hoping for some space on the Sunday edition. Now, with the Internet, there are hundreds of publications to send to and an infinite space for story to get published. You can send social media releases (SMRs) which embed videos, pictures and links to make stories more interesting. Newspapers aren’t bound by print space anymore and if you give them legitimate news, chances are it will be published online. And what does that mean? Another place you can be found online.
How beneficial would it be if someone Googled your company and they were able to find a story about your new location or new product? It would be great! It shows the person searching that you aren’t the only one talking about you.
Monitor – It’s important to remember to watch what is being said about you. There are several services you can set up to monitor your name, your company and whatever other keywords you want. The easiest one is probably Google News Alerts. You’re able to receive an email whenever something is posted about you. You will also want to keep tabs on social media, so if there are any problems you can address them right away. In addition, besides negative exposure…you want to keep tabs on the good things too! You want to keep tabs on people interacting and connecting with you.
Don’t let the idea of your digital presence scare you. Sure, the Internet is this vast substance, but there are things you can do to manage it. Like anything else, it is something you need to adapt too and eventually it will become second nature to you. Growing up, my parents checked the newspaper every morning. Nowadays, I check my social media feeds when I wake up to see what is going on. And if you have your own company, and people are potentially talking about you – you should too.