Getting smart about having an online presence is one of the strongest tactics a brand can consider. Just as life is about you creating yourself so it is with the internet. Hence one needs to manage their presence online. So what is Online Presence Management?
Online presence management is the process of presenting and or drawing traffic to a personal or professional brand online. This process entails web design and development, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, reputation management, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for a person, organization, or product in search engines and on the web in general.
Note that Online presence management is distinct from web presence management. The former is generally a marketing and messaging discipline while the latter is governance, risk management, and compliance.
As a result of the ever evolving nature of internet use, a website alone most times isn’t enough in brand promotion. To maintain a web presence and brand recognition, individuals and companies need to use a combination of social tools such as Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, as well as cultivating a brand presence on mobile apps and other online databases.
Where to start?
The online presence management process starts by determining goals that will define an online strategy. Once you put this strategy in place, an ongoing and constant process of evaluating and fine-tuning is necessary to drive online presence towards the identified goals.
An online presence management strategy has several parts. Generally these will include search engine placement/engine optimization (making sure the brand appears high in search engine results when the end user has a relevant query), monitoring online discussion around the brand and or it’s products/services, and analyzing the brand’s overall web presence.
Some basic elements of online presence management include;-
1. Web design and development
This is one of the most basic elements of an online profile. As a result of its necessity having a website has been made so easy these days its just clicks away. The real fuss behind every brand owning one is that through a website a brand is visually attractive. This is so as a result of the web site layout, logo, image placement, and an interaction spot too.
Most times this is achieved by establishing a consistent graphics scheme to use throughout resulting to brand consistency across online platforms. Other possible web developments may include programming sites, creating mobile versions or apps, and related activities.
All businesses, no matter how small, should have a website. It can be extremely basic, but it should contain the fundamental information customers – both existing and potential – need.
A favorite to many these days. Blogging can promote a brand through consistent, interesting content generation associated with a particular brand. This can be published throughout various platforms. Though sometime used as a CRM tool microblogging through services such as Twitter may be particularly effective for establishing and maintaining name recognition. Blogging too boosts in search engine optimization…. How?
3. Search engine optimization
Before the term SEO was a tech term … right now well I use more often than the curse words. Search Engine Optimization- SEO is the use of keywords in a web site to increase its ranking and thus visibility in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines. Lost already ?? Good! Let’s try this … Search engines use a spider or a crawler to gather listings by automatically “crawling” the web. The spider follows links to web pages, makes copies of the pages, and stores them in the search engine’s index. Based on this data, the search engines then index the pages and rank the websites accordingly.
I know I know I know…. So here’s a quick rundown:
What: The purpose of SEO is to make it easy for search engines to find your website and list it in their ‘organic’ (as opposed to ‘paid’) results.
Why: People tend to trust search engines, so websites that appear high in results pages are more likely to receive traffic.
How: Using search-engine friendly methods to improve your website. -Refer above-
Who: Everyone – anyone who has information that people want to find on the internet should be using SEO techniques.
When: All the time – SEO is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor the information on your website and make sure it’s current and correct. Search engines also love new content, which is why starting a blog can do wonders for your SEO. –Remember the How up there ??–
Where: Major search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing. They connect people all over the world to the content they desire, from products to services to information.
3. Social media
Social media is an important part of your online presence management as it improves your chances of generating additional revenue and building customer loyalty. It allows customers, potential customers and other interested parties to engage easily via a channel that plays an important role in their everyday lives.
Although not every social media channel will be relevant to each business or brand, it’s definitely worth looking into your options. For example, Facebook and Twitter will serve a purpose for almost any business/brand – it’s a great place to post news, tips, photos and videos and ask and answer questions. Moreover you can also post your website links on these platforms.
Once you’ve decided which social media channels to use, get a clear idea of the kind of content you can share. The more compelling and engaging your material is, the more likely your followers will like, comment and share your posts. Engagement is key to positively managing your online presence – not only will it make you more appealing to existing customers, the more positive social activity that goes on, the higher the chance is that their friends will be exposed to your brand and intrigued by what you have to offer.When this happens your brand is engaged by not only them but their networks (friends, family, colleagues) are seeing that engagement and may be prompted to check you out for their own needs.
4. Internet advertising
Internet advertising is a form of broadcasting and promotion of products, ideas, or services using the Internet to attract customers. Simple huh! Internet advertising mostly targets users interested in relevant keywords and displays a text or image ad next to search results or within various social media platforms. Did you know that internet advertising has overtaken other traditional advertising media such as newspapers, magazines, and radio.? Well now you know.
According to Google, 97% of consumers According to me and most of us, we use the web to search for local businesses brands and service providers – and if the vast majority of us- your potential customers are online, you should be, too. Hence the need to always manage your online presence.
It is important that you fully manage your online presence…. Why?
An online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what you offer to your target market. Once you’ve communicated with your audience, you’ll need to have a web presence not a website that helps portray why your product or service is so great – because that’s the next stop for the majority of your potential customers.
With this Online Presence Management starter pack I hope you’ll find the urge and hopefully away to positively manage your online presence.