If social media users put aside the distractions and plethora of fake, unreliable influencers and third-party services, they are left with a diverse environment to build a digital empire. Nonetheless, one can expect to receive doubt or negative energy through direct messages or comments on a post.
This is a prominent piece of social media that people and businesses have to ignore, circumvent, or block…With exploring this digital landscape comes maturity and many other decisive traits that are required to block hate. Allowing hate to penetrate your character is a recipe for disaster, so act shrewd and learn how to act upon criticism when it arrives.
Hate often comes in the form of comments, direct messages, and stories where other social media users may tag you and proceed to leave judgemental comments about your appearance, work, or content. To understand the reasoning behind these insults, it is best to view things from the provocateurs perspective. Why would they spend the time and effort to send a hateful message to you? What brings them to the conclusion that you are this or that?
The answer to these questions may very well lie in your success. Believe it or not, most people naturally despise seeing others succeed. Humans are competitive animals who desire to reach the peak of their subconscious social ladder. When others succeed or show joy in what they do, there are always others who feel jealous or do not like seeing others happy. As blunt as this sounds, competition is everywhere: including our heads.
If you found this to be helpful, consider checking me out on social media and connecting with me!
Data is growing faster than ever before, and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. This is largely thanks to people’s passion for creating and sharing content online.
Additionally, 81 percent of the U.S. population had a social media profile as of 2017, and that is only continuing to rise. Flourishing social media platforms and tried-and-true media outlets and blogs have set us on an upward trajectory regarding content creation.
Though people are sharing selfies and brunch pictures, they are also increasingly engaging in intelligent, meaningful conversations that brands can harness for strategic social media monitoring.
If a brand isn’t analyzing social, there is a strong chance they are going to miss a majority of the conversation now and especially in the not-too-distant future
Millennials are poised to ramp up social media volume, making it the primary means of content distribution and real-time analysis essential.
The volume of conversation may seem intimidating, but with the right strategies and proper media monitoring tools, you can build audience personas, track influencers along the path to purchase and leverage social data for a more targeted business strategy that hits your bottom line.
Companies that understand social media’s impact on their brand, marketing, and PR strategies benefit in a myriad of ways. Below we’ll take a look at how social intelligence helps you better understand your:
But first, let’s explain a little further why media monitoring is something you should consider for your brand:
Why Social Analysis Is Essential to Success
If you are not analyzing social data, you are missing an opportunity to generate nuanced insights faster and less expensively than via other research modalities such as surveys, focus groups, ethnographies and more. The ability to quickly hone content and messaging strategy on the fly to improve relevance allows you to pivot mid-campaign and recognize better results rather than waiting until four to six weeks after a campaign is completed.
Social data can help to connect the dots for marketers and communicators as well. Social media monitoring can be used to help explain a drop in Net Promotor Scores in July, for example, or why you see a decline in sales among millennials in a specific region. The ability to align research frameworks and utilize various lenses and segmentations to view the data produces richer, more actionable findings.
Even though social media monitoring tools are powerful for businesses today, 58 percent of brands don’t know what people do after they consume their content and two-thirds don’t have contextual insights into audience behavior. When bearing in mind that online social data is only becoming more complex, this shows an enormous insufficiency of contextual data.
Moving towards more insight into what actions, attitudes and perceptions exist and how they shift over time, or in relation to particular campaigns and initiatives, can inform strategic planning. What content drives engagement, interaction and behaviors? What drivers move a consumer along the path to purchase or influence a response to a call to action (CTA)?
Insight into consumers’ habits and preferences, unmet needs, and pain points helps both marketers and communicators make better strategic decisions.
Social analysis is also vital as a PR strategy for brands. In-depth monitoring locates potential pitfalls right away so that they can be adverted or dealt with immediately. This kind of social insight also gives communications teams the ability to gauge sentiment throughout a content marketing campaign while keeping them ahead of events.
Discover What Your Target Audiences Are Talking About
As an industry, communications is moving beyond blunt metrics like share of voice and sentiment toward contextual insights drawn from integrated media intelligence. The ability to understand perceptions about your brand and reputation risks among various audiences you are targeting such as customers, prospects, employees, or investors informs strategy for objective setting, content and messaging direction, operational tactics, measurement frameworks and more.
A better understanding of where you are and what you’re up against competitively provides the ability to see how you’re moving the needle over time. What is working against your objectives and what needs adjustment?
The enormous amount of data available via social analysis makes it easier for brands to understand the demographic and psychographic profiles of those audiences as well.
Demographic profiling helps to determine who your target audience is regarding age, sex and location among many other variables. Psychography enables you to understand that audience’s personality, values and interests based on how they behave on social media. What do they post? What do they like? Understanding both who your audience is and what they value will enable you to create more targeted campaigns. For a long time in marketing and public relations, building personas was a time-consuming challenge. With social analysis and the amount of data it provides, persona building becomes much less resource-intensive.
In some instances, whether analyzing a real-time event or your brand in general, you may find audiences you had never considered before.
Here’s how you go about it:
SEPARATE BY DEMOGRAPHICS
Segmenting your target audience by age, industry, geography and other identifying factors enables you to visualize their needs better and speak to them with more targeted messages and content.
Cision recently had success with Bayer by separating out the demographics they were trying to reach and narrowing down their target audience. They were able to increase the awareness of the next generation with their social and digital video campaign.
Identifying the age group that is most engaged, for example, can help you provide targeted communication without bothering those likely less interested in an event with an extra touch.
SEGMENT BY CONSUMER INTEREST
A picture that showcases the audience interest of your industry enables you to understand how your target audience feels about issues and reacts to the content you share.
Considering that more than half of comms pros (52 percent) said their biggest challenge is determining what content is most effective, most brands need help or have opportunities for improvement.
Understanding people’s interests are extremely valuable to persona building and driving sales. By gathering contextual insights from segmented social media monitoring analysis, your brand can avoid losing opportunities and increase the competitive edge by focusing on what your audience wants to read, share and engage with on social.
Filtering data enables brands to sift through and find the needle in the haystack, which is the person most interested in your content. With the right social analysis, you can automate that search and act as a magnet to find that needle, filtering through layers of data to find your target consumer.
Retailers, for example, might want to have filters for mothers, fathers, millennials or Generation Z, among others. This identifies the needs, wants and pain points of each group, and provides the messaging and content to introduce them to your brand and its offerings.
Understand Your Industry and Competitors
At the most basic level, social media monitoring and analysis will show you what messages, content and tactics competitors use on which channels and how their audiences respond. You can use these insights to inform your own communications strategy, whether it’s to compete with them directly or to pivot the strategy you’re using.
Synthesizing these conversations enables you to identify what resonates, and what doesn’t, with a particular audience. From there you know when to engage with them in a specific moment or whether to change content strategies.
PLAN IN ADVANCE
The key to being able to react quickly to social media involves taking time to think about and set up your program to get the relevant, valuable data you need.
To make analysis easier, structure your data and listening focus around the user handles, topic hashtags and industry keywords you want to evaluate. Analyze even the smallest competitors because the most significant innovation and disruptors could be coming from them. To build those filters, speak with subject matter experts or third-party analysts, like Cision, who can help with consulting on what’s necessary for your branding and communication needs, while utilizing best practices to ensure you have a system optimized to bring in the most relevant content.
CAST A WIDE NET
One mistake many make in social analysis is focusing only on the branded conversation. Traditionally brands look at themselves and their competitors but are missing opportunities at thematic or industry levels to uncover emerging issues, up-and-coming competitors and unmet needs of consumers. Social media provides such a vital resource comms can tap into to maintain or gain a competitive advantage.
Remember, people may not mention your brand by name or use the hashtag you so carefully crafted. Cast a wide net to include misspellings and parodies of your brand’s name to enable you better to catch all that is relevant.
For example, if your brand needed to identify new potential customers, you wouldn’t want to limit yourself to those already interacting with your social posts. With a strategic social analysis program, you could focus on conversations around similar topics and among competitors’ followers to understand what motivates people to get involved in the discussion. Pinpointing those motivators enables your brand to expand its communication and content strategies to include them, thereby increasing the size of your audience and eventually your customer base.
BENCHMARK AGAINST COMPETITORS
Understanding the performance of your campaigns and engagements versus your competitors provides an idea of the true effectiveness of your communication. For example, if you’re only focusing on the share of voice, you may think you’re losing the social media battle. But without moving past the quantifiable data to the quality data, you won’t be able to truly know how your brand stacks up against your competitors.
Your analysis should include looking into how often your competitors post on social media, what do they like or favorite, what types of posts do they comment on, how they respond to their audiences as well as the type—and context—of content distributed.
ANALYZE PRE/POST CAMPAIGN
An event, or a campaign, may only last days or weeks, but if it’s successful it will have ripples long after the end date. It’s best to analyze for at least two to three times as long as you think the conversation will be happening, even if that’s after the campaign has ended.
Even if there isn’t a lot of buzz about the event long after its conclusion, you may be able to use the remaining chatter to pinpoint those who are genuinely engaged and cater future campaigns or messages to them.
What This Means For Your Brand
Social analysis allows you to listen in on what your identified audiences and competitors are talking about organically and inexpensively. No posed questions, no multiple-choice answers, no drawn-out focus groups that drain both your time and budgets, but genuinely unrestricted, direct-from-the-source insights on what matters to your customers and prospects.
Some of the most profound insights are in discussion forums where people have a shared purpose. They come together, establish trust and build relationships, and then their discussion spans topics or issues that drew them to a community in the first place. This behavior provides an excellent opportunity for very inexpensive research that is unprompted and quick.
From these conversations, you can gather detailed information about your audiences unfiltered sentiment towards your brand. You’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to uncovering emerging trends, identifying adverse reactions and preventing potential crises that arise.
Then you can create a plan to pivot your messaging as needed to harness the positive results, as testimonials for your product or service, create relevant content and address the unmet needs.
Social Media’s Importance Poised to Grow
88 percent of 18-29-year-olds indicate that they use some form of social media in 2018. That share falls with older age groups, but social media growth has increased in general over the past few years.
Millennials and Gen Z are making social the primary means of communication, and for the most part, older generations are accepting social media as a necessary part of daily life too.
This will only become more prevalent as social platforms develop new ways to engage consumers. For example, Instagram now has a built-in shopping feature, and Snapchat’s face filters can be bought by brands for customization.
This will only become more prevalent as social platforms develop new ways to engage consumers. Social intelligence is essential today but is going to play an exponentially more significant role in business, and it will happen in short order. Today more than 60 percent of North Americans use social media. In a generation, that number very well could be closer to 100 percent.
The Facebook’s share is about 20 percent of the United States online ad market. This may be true for the online ad market overall, but in terms of social spend, Facebook has 80% market share. Marketers typically allocate budgets by category such as search or social and then pick platforms within those categories (though, to be fair, budgets do respond somewhat to relative changes in cost structure between spend categories).
Still, with Facebook’s (and especially its subsidiary Instagram’s) dominance in the social market, it’s hard to say it has any real competitors right now. Competition has led it to innovate in order to maintain competitive as formats, but it’s inventory is unmatched and unmatchable. Even if a competitor provided substantially better ads, it would be difficult for it to provide the demanded inventory when new users are limited due to network effects.
The misunderstanding is about Facebook itself and the competitive dynamics in which they operate. They are a large company made up of many smaller pieces. All of these products and services fight for customers. Each one has at least three or four competitors with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of users. In photo and video-sharing, they compete against services like YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, an emerging competitor.
In messaging, they are not even the leader in the top three markets — China, Japan and, by our estimate, the United States — where they compete with Apple’s iMessage, WeChat, Line and Microsoft’s Skype. Globally, the context in which social media must be understood, China alone has several large social media companies, including powerhouses like Tencent and Sina. It will seem perverse to people in Europe, and certainly in China, to see American policymakers talking about dismantling one of America’s biggest global players.
Its irritating that all these righteous progs were worshipping FB only a few years ago, heedless of it dominance and obvious privacy issues, which is one reason it became so dominant in the first place. Now in their pique at their own foolishness, they want to destroy it.
In this competitive environment, it is hard to sustain the claim that Facebook is a monopoly. Almost all of their revenue comes from digital advertising, and most estimates say Facebook’s share is about 20 percent of the United States online ad market, which means 80 percent of all digital ads happen off Facebook platforms.
Just getting Facebook to act in way to avoid calls for ‘breaking it up’ seems hard enough, particularly when Facebook has said that separate parts would remain separate – ‘In March 2018 — before GDPR came into effect — a plan to share data between WhatsApp and Facebook was ruled as illegal by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
At the time, the ICO said it had investigated whether WhatsApp could legally share user data with Facebook, finding that “such sharing would involve the processing of personal data for a purpose that is incompatible with the purpose for which such data was obtained.”
The Irish Data Protection Commission has called on Facebook to provide it with an “urgent briefing” on the proposals.
In a statement, the Irish watchdog (Facebook’s European HQ is in Dublin) said it understood the plan was at a “very early conceptual stage” but that it would keep close tabs on the process.
“The Irish DPC will be very closely scrutinising Facebook’s plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies,” it said.
At the moment, WhatsApp and Instagram users are identified by their phone numbers, while Facebookers sign up with other information. Bringing the three platforms together would give the Zuckerberg the ability to greatly expand its already detailed profiles of users, creating an even more lucrative data set to mine for ad revenue.’
The European Commission also fined the tech giant 110 million euros ($122 million) in 2017 for giving “misleading information” about its acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.’
As noted by The Register – ‘Facebook has been warned it can only borg its three messaging platforms in the European Union if it meets data protection rules. There are widespread concerns about the plan’s impact.
Oluwaseun Temitope Osewe was born on 17 July 1982 in Ota, Ogun State Nigeria. He is the founder of Nairaland, a popular internet forum launched in March 2005. Seun Osewa was admitted into Obafemi Awolowo University, but dropped out of school to concentrate on internet business.
Osewa has made it big with his internet forum, projected by Forbes to be the largest online African forum. Nairaland has a huge following both in Africa and around the world, competing in the same league with top global platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Wikipedia, among others.Ranking among the top 1,000 most viewed sites in the world, Nairaland attracts over 1 million views each day, which has made Osewa a successful African internet sensation. The forum currently has almost 2million registered members and still counting. In 2015, he was listed among the Top 10 Most Influential Nigerian Online Entrepreneurs by T.I.N. Magazine.
The founder of Nairaland started his experiment for Nairaland between 2003 and 2005 when he created three forums, one of them was meant for students of higher educational institutions, the second one was for IT discussions, and the third one, Mobile Nigeria, was meant to cover the GSM industry that was emerging in Nigeria then. The latter turned out to be Nairaland the biggest forum in Africa.
Nairaland success did not come easy, as Seun had to wade off spammers and trolls on the forum on a daily basis. Eventually in 2014, Nairaland suffered a malicious hacker attack, which disabled the site for several days and deleted all the data. In 2012, he also lost Google Adsense revenue due to sexual topics discussed on Nairaland and ever since he has been selling ads space on its forum.
With all this said there are numerous benefits you can get from using the platform. The benefits ranges from making money, getting a job and also promoting your content Nairaland is a top beneficial website.Below aresome of the things you can do on niaraland to help you make the best use of the platform:
1. Its one of the best platform to get Latest / Breaking News In Nigeria, so keying into this is another ways to optimize your use of this top Nigeria forum.
2. If you have any questions or issues to discuss and you want answer, Nairaland would be one of your best choice.
3. Its is an active forum so if you face a problem and seek for help Nairaland would be perfect. Assuming you are in need of info on how to scan a computer for virus, you can easily post any request you have on the appropiate section on Nairaland and surely within a short period of time Nairalanders would tell you what to do.
4. Bloggers or webmasters can use the forum to drive targeted Nigerian traffic to their blog or website.
5. There are numerous active users on Nairaland so you can advertise your products and services easily on this platform.
6. If you need new friends who you can have open and helpful discussion with you can also find some on Nairaland.
7. You can also make money on Nairaland buy selling your products on the platform. You can also advertise you skill and in turn get employers from Nairaland.
8. You can get jobs on this platform as vacancies in Nigeria are frequently posted on Nairaland Job section.
9. If you want to share pictures, videos or audio file and trying to get more view for these, using Nairaland would also be good for you.
10.You are free to learn endless list of new different useful knowlegde on Nairaland from the different tutorials been posted on the platform daily.
With Nairaland forum having a considerable number of users based in diaspora, this statistic suggests that a maximum 3% of Nigerian Internet users are registered on the forum.
Over the past decade, companies across industries have digitized their operations and processes. Even now, businesses are employing artificial intelligence to streamline workflows and supply chains. As a result, today’s job seekers require specialized skills to help them stand out from the crowd.
While some colleges, universities and training providers have modified or expanded their curriculum to meet this growing demand for digital know-how, many educators are struggling to provide the essential skills students need.
In this article, we explore the 10 key digital skills educators should offer in their portfolio to meet student and industry needs.
1. Social Media
According to a recent study, there are 2.7 billion active social media users worldwide. Of these, 2.5 billion are active users on mobile devices. These figures show a 30% increase in mobile social users in just a year which is projected to increase year-on-year.
The ability to understand and utilize social media effectively is a core skill every professional should have. Social media marketing goes beyond posting a tweet or Facebook update; it is about understanding the dynamic relationship between brands, influencers and consumers. To put it simply, businesses need to reach out to customers in ways that will drive traffic to their website—or product—for potential conversion.
Social media has permeated the fabric of our society, and become the primary source of communication and information flow between content creators and consumers. Educators who recognize social media’s influence should understand the intricacies of each platform and its potential influence to maximize community engagement in order to provide graduates with valuable and applicable skills.
2. Search Engine Marketing
Beyond social media, search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most influential disciplines that marketers have come to rely on. To put things in perspective, more than 6.5 billion SEM results are carried out each day with Google accounting for 77% of that traffic.
Students with SEM experience will be able to increase the visibility of a company’s website on a search engine (e.g., Google) primarily via paid advertising. By doing so, the business will attract valuable web traffic from the search engine results page.
By using SEM, students will be able to capture part of the 6.5 billion search traffic results. That is why marketers, Content Managers and webmasters spend a great deal of time optimizing their websites and ad campaigns to ensure the highest conversion rates possible.
Most companies are in the business of selling products or services. It is therefore imperative that their brand is easily found online amongst their competition. Job seekers need to have a working knowledge of search marketing if they can understand the bigger context of their job function.
According to Forbes, only 22% of marketers claim that their data-driven marketing initiatives are achieving significant results.
Peter Drucker, a leader in management education and often described as the founder of modern management, has this to say:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Data analytics essentially allow students to make educated and data-driven decisions in their roles. Numbers define whether a campaign was successful, and by what percentage. The key to analytics is knowing what data to collect and measure in order to improve the next campaign. Companies do not want to waste valuable marketing dollars based on trends or gut instincts. It’s all about maximizing each campaign’s effectiveness and optimize the return on investment.
Analytics typically go hand-in-hand with SEM. These two complementary skills work together to ensure a business understands what consumers want, and how best to attract and retain their attention.
4. Content Marketing
Content comes in many forms – blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, even social media status updates.
One of the best ways to obtain and retain leads is via a tried and tested method: email.
Email is one of the oldest forms of direct marketing and still packs a punch in customer acquisition and retention. From startups to multi-national corporations, email helps launch many successful campaigns.
But make no mistake, email marketing is an art form in itself. An experienced digital marketer knows that each funnel stage has to be carefully planned. From the signup page—including its placement on a website—to the first welcome email, every step needs to be optimized in order to attract and retain users and build engagement.
People may change social media accounts or home addresses, but people aren’t prone to changing their email addresses. That is why professionals that understand the power of email to connect directly with consumers are in high demand.
As such educators should not disqualify email as an old-fashioned tool, but instead challenge students to rethink of ways to use email in their roles – current and future.
According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s recent report, mobile connectivity continues to grow with nearly two-thirds of the world’s population using mobile phones, and 55% of all active connections come from smartphones. Since smartphone traffic now exceeds desktop traffic, it’s clear that mobile is the future.
To comprehend the impact of this change, we need only to look at Google. The world’s largest search engine provider has created a mobile-friendly web app designed to test the usability and speed of mobile websites. Having a mobile-friendly webpage can enhance your search presence amongst consumers who do not have access to desktops.
Jobseekers can use this knowledge to their advantage by optimizing campaigns to make use of the latest developments in mobile search and user experience.
7. Strategy & Planning
Businesses that embed strategic planning in their marketing agenda are most likely to see measurable results in the long-term. Instead of planning on an ad-hoc basis, digital marketers need to create and implement campaigns that are based on analytics and quantifiable SEO data.
For example, setting specific KPIs and identifying methods for measuring each indicator can help a marketer remain accountable. It is also imperative that they analyze past campaigns and decide which metric is worth measuring.
To put things in perspective, strategy and planning is a leading skills gap in organizations – according to 58% of professionals in the USA, 55% in the UK and 42% in Ireland. By providing skills in how to plan and execute a digital strategy, graduates seeking new roles will have a clear advantage over their peers with little or no knowledge.
8. Social Selling
To connect with and influence customers, sales professionals need to be where their prospects are: online. As social selling is proving its worth for sellers that use it – 90% of top salespeople use social selling tools successfully – it is becoming more and more important for new hires to have experience using sales technologies.
Businesses across industries are also beginning to understand the importance of social selling investing in new ‘sales stack’ technology over and above a CRM such as email tracking tools, productivity apps, and sales intelligence software. Above all, social selling tools are seen as very effective in engaging with and influencing consumers, particularly amongst top performers.
In fact, according to LinkedIn, more than 70% of sales professionals use social selling tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and see them as having the highest impact on revenue.
As a relatively new arena for organizations, offering training that is industry aligned will help any student interested in pursuing a sales career with invaluable and highly sought after tools.
9. Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
According to Econsultancy, only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates. In addition, for every $92 spent on acquiring customers, only $1 is used to convert them.
As such, PPC is a popular way for brands to get traffic quickly. Companies with big budgets can easily get their search result to appear on Google’s first page, thereby guaranteeing massive search engine traffic. One popular PPC advertising model is Google’s very own AdWords program .
For the digitally adept jobseeker, understanding what impressions, reach, cost-per-click, and click-through-rates mean will immediately set them apart from their peers during interviews.
In the digital context, video has evolved from being just a form of entertainment on YouTube to a major social media content driver. Snapchat is now a powerful and influential platform while Facebook now uses video in its Instagram’s Stories.
Why has video become so popular in recent years? With smartphone users becoming younger by the day, social media apps like Snapchat, Weibo, WeChat and Line are becoming the de-facto tools of instant message communication. In fact, more than 60% of 13 to 34-year-old smartphone users in the US are Snapchatters.
Video as content is easier to consume than a typical blog post. It is also more entertaining and appeals to millennials. By combining the emotional power of social video with the reach and scope of digital advertising, markets can tap into a growing market of engaged consumers.
8 in 10 middle-skill jobs are now digitally intensive with roles growing 2.5 times compared to non-digital jobs. The key thing about digital skills is that they can be used in any job role; it is not solely in the domain of marketers or sellers. As such graduates, job seekers and professionals should learn these key skills to improve their odds of getting hired.
Due to the slightly mediocre quality of my YouTube content and frequent video posts, people often ask me why I am creating video content. Before going on to answer this question, it is important to establish and present the niche I am attempting to fit into.
The best thing about having a relatively small number of subscribers and low viewership is having the liberty to try out different fields of content. Whether it is marketing or tech startup based videos, I always prioritize weekly uploads to document my weekly/daily activities. Looking forward, I hope to balance my marketing efforts alongside my startup activities and side gigs.
Before optimizing my YouTube personal brand to accommodate larger audiences, I must create a social media marketing strategy which will take time and effort I currently do not have. Watch my latest video below!
Creating has many advantages that your ‘average Joe’ may not understand or know about. Here are some of the advantages I have adopted:
Increased engagement across other social media pages
Documenting the present to reflect in the future
Learn how to create, edit, and promote videos
So with the benefits above, why don’t most extroverted entrepreneurs openly create video content. That is a question I am still trying to answer. Some of the obvious answers that come to mind are that people are too ‘lazy’ or do not possess the commitment/time for YouTube. While these explanations may be reasonable, the advantages of video content are definitely worth exploration!
The search for pretty much everything these days starts with Google. What a searcher finds on the first page can make or break a reputation. This applies to both individuals and businesses. Your online presence, also known as a digital footprint, is therefore everything.
Let’s apply this to the startup eco-system. When it comes to getting a startup off the ground, half your battle is in being seen as credible. If you have a very limited digital footprint when someone Googles your name or your startup, that’s bound to ring alarm bells with potential investors, customers and new hires. So building a startup digital footprint is vital.
We like to refer to this as the startup sniff test. Passing it is essential.
What is a digital footprint, and why is it important?
So first off, let’s just define what we mean by a digital footprint when it comes to startup PR and marketing. A digital footprint is your online presence. This is the online record of you and your company. But it goes way beyond your own website and social channels. A well rounded online presence should also include plenty of earned media wins. By winning press coverage across a range of publications you’ll be perceived as being far more credible. But it’s not just the slightly -intangible quality of credibility that an earned media digital footprint delivers. It’s also vital in growing backlinks to your website. And backlinks are still fundamental to how Google ranks its search results.
How to increase your digital footprint ?
Getting the basics right with your owned media and social media is vital. After all, these are what will appear at the top of page one of Google when someone searches for you. In an ideal world, here’s what the perfect Google page one digital footprint of a startup could look like (this doesn’t include a Wikipedia entry, more on that below):
Don’t worry, I’m not about to pad out this blog post with advice such as “setup Facebook and Twitter”. Instead I’ll run through some of the often overlooked owned media platforms and earned media opportunities that can be leveraged to build a startup’s online presence.
1. Blog on Medium.
I have to confess, I love Medium. I think everyone should be using it. Not only does it give you access to a huge community of readers, it also gives you a really good shot of getting content you’ve written onto page one of Google for long tail keywords. This is thanks to how authoritative the site is, so it’ll outrank most startups’ websites without breaking a sweat.
If you regularly add content to Medium, your directory page should appear on page one of Google when somebody searches for you. This helps to grow your online presence and shows off your original and insightful content. However, don’t put all your original content onto Medium. The value from any backlinks that this content earns will go to Medium, not to your site. So just use Medium to publish a small amount of content, with the bulk being published on your own site.
2. Put your business on Crunchbase.
Setting up a Crunchbase account is a must for any startup these days. It expands your digital footprint onto another platform which will more than likely also rank on page one when someone searches for your brand. Crunchbase is more of a database of business information, rather than a business network like LinkedIn is. And it’s crowd sourced, which means users can edit or add information to any profile.
Don’t just copy and paste your company description from LinkedIn or Facebook. You don’t want to duplicate content across platforms. You should also write your Crunchbase profile in the third person and avoid superlatives. And keep the news section updated; put up press releases on your site when announcing news and link to these from here.
3. Sign up to a consumer review platform.
This one kind of depends on what it is your startup does. But if you sell a consumer product or service, you should seriously consider signing up to a consumer review website as soon as you get going. It’s another plus point with your digital footprint and acts as a strong trust signal with potential consumers.
Sites such as Trustpilot and BazaarVoice provide review services to customers. Your review page that’s hosted on a consumer review website should appear on page one of Google when a user searched for you. This type of online presence lends a lot of credibility to your brand.
4. Start guest blogging.
Guest blogging remains one of the most effective ways of how to build a startup’s digital footprint and backlinks. But some people get very nervous at the mere mention of guest blogging. This is thanks to Google’s former Head of Web Spam Matt Cutts announcing the death of this practice in 2014.
But that misses the point a bit. He announced that there would no longer be any SEO value with poor quality guest blogs on questionable websites. But if you can bag a guest post on a top industry blog, or a leading publication like Forbes or Entrepreneur, this has enormous value with both your credibility and your SEO.
This is great for both your personal brand and your startup, as people searching for both can find these articles.
5. Don’t waste time with Wikipedia until you’re well established.
People can a little bit carried away with trying to get their startup onto Wikipedia. There’s no doubt that seeing a wikipedia side panel displayed on page one of Google is great for the credibility of any growing business. The problem is that Wikipedia moderators know this only too well. As such their guidelines are pretty strict. In a nutshell it boils down to this central point:
If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list. There are no minimum amount of sources you need to reach, to automatically secure approval from the moderators. But they need to be reliable sources, not written by a guest author, and offer in depth coverage rather then just mentioning a press release or other announcement. Have a read of this guide for more information.
So, building your online presence: easy, right? With a little bit of effort applied in the right places, you can start to build a digital footprint for your startup. And the more your digital footprint grows – the more your credibility increases.
This post was written by Rudi Davis of the Publicize Newsroom, where it was originally published on Publicize.co. Conrad Egusa is the Co-Founder & CEO of Publicize, and is a Mentor for the New York Founder Institute.
Publicize is a startup aiming to disrupt the PR industry. The company was founded by Eddie Arrieta and Conrad Egusa, a former VentureBeat writer, when they realized that the PR industry’s business model was broken for startups. Publicize offers cost-effective PR solutions to entrepreneurs priced out of a broken PR industry.