To be is to be online – these days, that’s almost no exaggeration. Who you are is presented to the world through your digital presence. A strong digital presence not only tells the world who you are but also provides you with networking opportunities you would not otherwise have.
So, you need to know how to present yourself and extend your network.
Decide Who You Are
Consider the ‘about’ page on a website for a company you know little to nothing about. It tells you what product or service the organization provides, the people involved, its standards and so forth.
This kind of valuable information is what we exchange with people when we first meet them face-to-face, and it tends to develop organically. Someone asks you what you do or where you went to university. From there, a picture of who you are and what you stand for emerges. That’s what you want to accomplish with your website or social media pages.
Make Sure Your Online Presence Is Up To Date
You may already have an online presence, but you need to make sure it’s coherent and up to date. Multiple social media accounts and sites should have the same information about you. This information is meant to engage your audience, so think about yourself as a brand or as a company with a mission statement.
You or your business may also appear on sites that you can’t edit, such as Yelp or Foursquare. Make sure your listing is up to date, and that you take advantage of opportunities to appear on these sites’ mobile apps.
Part of your online presence will probably include a website. Businesses have them, as do individual professionals.
Depending on the sort of work you do, you may decide that a blog is more appropriate, or you may choose a product or services business website. Whatever site you have, make sure it’s mobile friendly to maximize the number of people who can see your digital persona.
Improving visibility is not only about sculpting your presentation. It’s also about improving search engine rankings. Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves being as descriptive as possible with the information you present on social media platforms and your ‘about’ page.
You may also want to create or curate great content that others will find and share. Be sure to link to other sites and build relationships with those that may link to yours.
You can also add social sharing buttons, such as Twitter and Facebook, so it’s easy for visitors to share your content. All of this will drive new traffic to you.
Being visible often means being active and consistently engaged across platforms. To generate and sustain networks, you have to be present. Being active on social media for short spurts, and then disappearing for months at a time won’t build relationships.
When you’re active, you can begin to spot and stay on top of trends. This is particularly useful for maintaining networks. If you’re aware of trends in your area, you can become the person others look to for information.
Whether you’re just starting out or are revamping your digital presence, take the time to figure out what you’re presenting. Next, make sure your presentation is relatable, relevant to your audience and accessible in a variety of formats. Lastly, stay engaged. If you want to grow your network, you’ve got to participate in the relationships you develop.