1. What is your “online presence”?
Your online presence is your (your company’s) brand established on the internet through: blogs, web pages, social media profiles, articles, photos/videos, reviews, comments, forum posts, tweets, etc.
2. Why is an online presence important?
Today your online reputation precedes you in your professional and personal life. Your online presence is your business card, your resume, your brochure, as well as the first impression of your “brand” and the basis for your credibility.
3. How can you benefit from your online presence?
- We are responsible for managing how the world perceives us online before they meet us.
- You can establish yourself as an expert in your industry
- A blog/personal site is your “digital hub” and home to data/content that you *own*. You can push out your content and message to any of these social channels whenever you like (social media sites may come & go…but your site is always yours)
Examples of blogging success stories:
- TechCrunch.com – started in 2005 as blog about startup companies. Now a highly successful network of tech-based blogs.
- SimplyRecipes.com – started as a family recipe blog in 2003. Now a popular recipe site and index.
- PerezHilton.com – started as a blog about the celebs he followed and turned him into a celebrity himself.
4. Which social media sites are most important to managing your online presence?
- The social media sphere is vast and overwhelming. Focus on just a couple tools to communicate with and grow your audience until you’re seasoned.
- My recommendations for getting started are: LinkedIn, Facebook/Twitter (microblogging), WordPress/Blogger (blogging)
- Personal experience: I have the opportunity to travel frequently in my job so I use my blog (rosemattic.com) as a way to share my experiences with my readers. Readers can subscribe via email or “follow” me if they have a WordPress.com account. My site is solely cell phone photos. I also used WordPress.com recently to make an wedding website.
- Connect your social media feeds so that when you post in one place it shares across all streams – have WordPress push your content to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Have your Twitter stream push to Facebook and to a widget in the sidebar of your blog/website. Also don’t forget to add share buttons so readers can share your content on every stream available!
5. What skills are required? How much time/attention is needed to maintain your online presence?
- An online presence is accessible to all regardless of your skill set or professional background. It doesn’t need to be time consuming.
- A great way to cultivate a following and build confidence without creating your own content: retweet, reblog, share a link, or give your 2 cents about an article, book review, product review in minutes as you’re going about your daily web browsing.
- When you’re creating new content such as articles you should spend a little more time composing, however you don’t have to do this daily. Aim for once a week while continuing to utilize the quicker methods I mentioned.
6. How can you set yourself up for success?
- Do try to use the same name on all social media outlets
- Do add value through curation (continually finding, cataloging, and sharing the best and most relevant content with your brand’s audience)
- Do Google yourself to get an idea of what content shows up about you/your company/your product (images too!) and look at what others are saying often in social media about you/your company/your product
- Don’t overtly sell, instead educate or enlighten readers to help position you as an expert.
- Don’t be offensive or inappropriate, even when readers share differing opinions.
- Don’t forget to acknowledge readers who interact with you and keep them engaged.
7. What you can do to get started today
** Make sure to keep your professional and personal social media accounts separate and lock down the privacy settings on your personal one. We don’t need to see your photos of that wild weekend in Cabo from 4 years ago. **
Here are some low risk, easy ways to get started today:
Across ALL social media sites: Search for and follow industry leaders and organizations you are interested in. For LinkedIn, search for and join/follow relevant groups, channels, and “influencers”.
- Tweet/retweet articles or links that are relevant to people in your field. Encourage replies and participate in a dialogue.
- Share articles or other people’s FB posts that would be relevant to your readers. Encourage replies and participate in a dialogue.
- Get your “about” page filled in with your contact information, URLs, and a blurb about who you are.
- Your profile is an interactive business card – show off your skills, recommendations, and experience.
- Make regular status updates and comments to stay visible in group/network streams. Participate in a dialog.
- Write a post about who (you are), why (you’re blogging), what (you’re blogging about), and how(readers can leave feedback).
- Reblog an interesting article, book review, or product review. As a way to build confidence in participating in this sphere without creating your own content. Encourage replies and participate in a dialogue.
Summary: What I want to leave you with is that we are responsible for the content available to the public about us, and our brand, online. It’s critical to maintain our personal brand and fortunately it’s easy and rewarding to do!
Weekly blog writing challenges:
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