Once a company or an entity steps foot in the digital world, it leaves a trail. The trail signifies the digital footprint or web presence. Your online or web presence is your virtual reputation which is under your directives and control. It is different for a business because it takes the form of an earning media. Businesses are deliberate while making posts and publishing because they have an impact. Web presence defines the company’s location on the World Wide Web. It is reflective of its vision, strategy, values, culture, message, products, and services. Therefore, web presence management is a digital approach that manages the fate of a company in a virtual habitat by establishing and maintaining its web infrastructure.
Some eminent examples of web presence for companies include:
- Corporate websites
- Pages on review sites
- Wikipedia pages
- Social media touch points (Instagram and Twitter accounts)
- LinkedIn company page
- Facebook brand/product page
Web presence control can sometimes be partial, complete, or in chunks. The control decision is at the discretion of the business operating online. It can choose to leverage control to a third party. For example, an online business hires social media agency to handle its online publications. Every channel and medium of web presence carries a unique web address that distinguishes it from other online touch points.
Individuals also have a web presence similar to business entities. These include personal websites, blogs, vlogs, YouTube channels or social media presence, profile pages, and Wikipedia pages. A person’s social media account also counts as their web presence tool, especially when they are celebrity, artist, and brand ambassador.
Importance of Web Presence Management
There are several reasons why businesses require a deep and thorough understanding of their digital footprint. Some integral reasons include:
- It establishes and maintains a strong digital network for the business to operate online
- Businesses protect themselves from online risks and vulnerabilities
- It strengthens the digital habitat by laying a solid foundation for the brand’s online
- Companies can seize online opportunities for expanding their market share, brand equity, and brand portfolio
- It enables brands to escape from the shackles and limitations of the physical world
- Companies can reduce the high overhead costs of physical stores
Web presence management and social media governance and compliance work hand in hand. The strong digital association between the two allows companies to:
- Mitigate risks
- Neutralize potential bottlenecks and problems in the system (for example, counterfeiters)
- Establish a uniform, consistent, trustworthy, and robust brand presence across the web
Web presence management helps companies identify, tackle, and prevent different threat vectors, including non-compliant POPs, attached or associated POPs tools, and unknown POPs. To timely detect, minimize, and even prevent these bottlenecks, companies implement:
- Regulatory compliance
- Online rules and regulatory protocols
It enables businesses to reduce corporate risks while strengthening brand standards and equity.
Work Dynamics of Web Presence Management
Online presence management discusses and explores different ways to implement, govern, and address the following protocols and concerns:
- Adherence and compliance with corporate policy, company strategy, and brand standards
- Adherence to regulatory protocols and compliance
- Corporate, brand, and community-engaging platforms
- Personal or corporate inventory web presence such as for partners and advocates
- Location of the company’s assets and businesses on the web or digital landscape
- Impersonation or piracy(theft/plagiarism) of a company’s assets and businesses on the web
- Control over the web properties
- Novel web properties that are not in anyone’s personal or corporate inventory
- Authorized, governed, unauthorized, and illegal alterations to one’s creations of a web presence, such as branding
- Streamlined workflow to create a web asset or property which is in compliance with the corporate standards
The core purpose of the web management system is to manage the digital footprint and handling of businesses. The process encapsulates the collection of domain names, digital accounts, social media handles and accounts, websites, etc. These are the most significant digital footprints of online businesses where they are represented with or without authorization. It caters primarily to the following pivotal features:
- New presence discovery and exploration
- Inventory management
- Change identification
- Data accumulation features
- Stakeholder collaboration and coordination
- Compliance management
Essential Elements and Covenants of Web Presence Management
Online presence management entails different strategies, techniques, and methodologies for the optimal success of an online business. Among many of its key elements, the notable ones that most companies utilize and focus on include:
- Web designing and development
- Reputation building and management
- Social media
- Paid advertising channels
- Link sharing
Most of these are pretty basic and commonly used, whereas some of these can be a little confusing for the business and the customers, such as reputation management. Not only is it confusing, but the most significant covenant of web presence management that helps to deal with potential problems on the web, as mentioned above.
Reputation management governs the influencing principle in online businesses. Freelancers, celebrities, and companies usually employ this technique to elevate one’s online value and reputation. A good reputation helps with brand strengthening and positive word of mouth (marketing) in the physical and virtual worlds. So, what helps with reputation management, and what are the relevant steps of this process? It involves:
- Monitoring negative comments
- Getting mentions and shoutouts on social media and other networking spaces
- Being proactive and experimental about new product approach
- Publishing original content
Tips for Managing Your Online Presence
A mere understanding of the different elements of online presence management is not enough. You need to understand how these work in coherence, come together to represent the company and improve the existing business processes and strategies. We will now share some tips with you for effectively managing your online business or presence.
Start From Scratch
The process of improvement begins from the very beginning. Take a deep look at your existing website and ask yourselves:
- Is it easy to search and navigate?
- Does it have amazing content to attract an audience?
- Is it user-friendly and appealing?
- Can you read it easily?
If any of the answers are “no,” then you have to start digging from scratch. Your website needs cleaning up. Clean up the web design to increase the frequency of visitors to your website to make purchases. Afterward, go through the content and check for spelling and grammatical errors. It will help your SEO and add credibility and reputation to your information and sources. And for future reference, always seek editing help for your content.
Maintaining a Good Reputation
This rule works for the physical and virtual worlds. Always avoid getting into things and stuff that are harmful to your image and reputation. Once your reputation is ruined, it is hard to reconstruct. Whatever information or data goes on the internet stays there forever and spreads faster than before. Posting something rude, snarky, lewd, inappropriate, culturally racist, or otherwise can cause you great damage than ever imagined. It will stay there forever, and millions will see it even if you delete it.
So, to ensure that customers always speak highly of your brand and your reputation is intact, do the needful:
- Go through comments, content, and messages before sending or posting
- Keep your data clean, appropriate, and controversy and dirt-free
- Be polite when addressing a controversial topic
- Address negative feedback calmly and politely
- Remain professional
Increase Online Activity
Focus on increasing your online activity levels by being regular and active on different channels and platforms. Start using social media activity to stay up-to-date with other businesses, industry trends, and practices. Be more frequent and regular on YouTube, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Post appropriate content regularly and participate in online discussions. Share content while marketing your brand or business for upcoming launches and events. Market your products and services, if any.
Ask and Give
If despite all your efforts and activities, your online presence is weakening and suffering, then it’s time to rethink. When nothing else works, the most straightforward and basic solution is to ask. Just inquire from your audience and seek their feedback regarding your business. Ask them the following questions;
- What do they want?
- How do they want it?
- What are they looking for?
- How can you improve to facilitate them?
- What is lacking?
Engaging with your customer can help your business recover from the damages. They are better judges than you ever will be for your business. The audience can guide you better regarding their expectations of your brand. By holding such polls, contests, and votes, you can get a clear idea and give them their desired level of service.
Web presence is not a hard thing to master. But it takes time to perfect. You need practice and patience to see your online family grow and reap fruits for your business. Every good business goes through ups and down somewhere during its lifecycle. The key is to keep going and seek help from the consultants who can guide you on this. Xavor is the place to look for tips, ideas, and ways of improving your web presence. So, let the experts do their job.