Taking Control of Your Web Presence
Welcome to the second lesson of the course.
Digital public relations are all about reaching out online in an effective way that brings results and strengthens your brand. But before you reach out to others, you should make sure that you can easily be found.
Two points are important here: taking control of your platforms and building authority.
Taking Control of Your Platforms
The first thing to do is to take control of your platforms, meaning your website, blog, and whatever else you have. Why? Because having a presence on the internet can help you:
• Provide a point of reference to people who are looking for or talking about your brand online, telling them where you “live” on the internet.
• Show your best, because when you speak for your brand, you can present it in the best light.
• Provide information and give others more material on your brand so they can talk or write more—and better—about it (think of bloggers or journalists who need information for their article).
• Discourage unauthorized people from making claims on your brand’s behalf.
There are two important steps you can take here:
1. Make sure no one else out there is pretending to be your brand. This might sound funny but it does happen—for example, on Facebook, when you come across multiple pages that seem to equally represent one brand.
2. Make it clear on your platforms that these are your official platforms, that it’s really you communicating to people. Brand your tools! Do you have a blog? Social media pages? A forum? Be consistent across them—for example, by applying the same design and by writing content in the same style. Also, put your contact information everywhere and link often across your platforms.
These things are essential because as a brand, regardless if you’re publishing any content online, your name is probably already there in some way. Even a short mention on a Twitter account adds a little piece, however small, to your brand identity, no matter if you like it or not. So, it’s crucial for a brand to take an active role in establishing its presence.
This is all about taking control. Now, the second thing to help people find you and build authority for your brand is to share content by others.
It might sound counterintuitive but it works. You’ve found something interesting? Share it. Of course, make sure the content is well aligned with your brand, but don’t think you need to focus 100 percent on yourself. You just need to provide value, and it could be providing information, sharing helpful resources, commenting on the latest news, etc. Do you sell food supplements? Why not share nutrition articles from the experts and comment with news on the latest research in the field? These are all ways to help people get to know your brand better, while building your authority in the process.
So, we’ve talked about building your presence. Tomorrow, we’ll talk more specifically about branding . . . and voice. Because we all have one, don’t we?
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