When we speak of online presence, we mean much more than just having a website. A website is usually the starting point – the home base, your online head office. As in the offline world, building a brand and reaching a target market is tackled using a variety of coordinated approaches ranging from collateral development, direct advertising, relationship building initiatives such as running seminars, focus groups, contributing to professional journals etc. Online is really no different, and to run effective campaigns means extending the organisations’ presence beyond the website and into maximising the opportunities the online space brings.
Online presence should be two way.
Relying solely on people visiting your website to engage online is limiting your presence to one dimension. Building your presence should also encompass a strategy of actively going to the people. Are there online communities you need to be part of?
Create a big online footprint.
How much of a footprint does your organisation leave online? The strength of having an online presence is that it can project a footprint much larger than your offline one. The accessibility of the Internet, global reach, readily available communities and platforms to speak from means that creating a large online presence can be quicker and more cost effective than building your offline one. Building your online presence is about continuously expanding this sphere of influence.
People will only listen to you online if you give them a compelling reason to do so.
You can build an online empire, but if nobody is listening then you have nothing! Unless you build strategies that give people compelling reasons to listen to you, you may do more harm than good.
If you are not actively looking to fill the space, you can be confident your competitors will.
As in the offline world, you have to fight to be heard!
Online presence should be an extension of your offline presence.
It’s not a replacement, and it’s not something to be developed in isolation.
Join the dots.
A successful strategy will put in place a number of points of presence online that work cohesively together with pathways in place for people to move from point to point and discover more about your organisation and extend their level of engagement.