The world has become Internet-dependent with breathtaking speed, and many of us are still coming to terms with how we fit into the digital space. With more than three-and-a-half-billion Google searches performed every single day, it is important to understand how this can affect you with threats to your privacy, your legacy, and your reputation.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, spending so much time online means all of your activity is being tracked, captured and stored, leaving a digital trail in your wake. Everyone has an online presence, and therefore, an online reputation. By implementing a comprehensive digital strategy, you can secure and protect your online presence.
Astonishingly, more than half of all adults – as many as 56% – say they don’t think about the consequences of their online activities.
A digital (online) strategy takes all of your online presence into account and presents a plan for action. It identifies those elements, or assets, that work in your favor; those that could be improved, and those with the potential to harm your online reputation.
Digital assets include:
- Your social media presence; 90% of Internet users visit a social media site each month
- Your professional or business citations
- The design, content and user experience of your personal and/or professional website
- Any personal or professional profiles or bios you have online
- Your blogs, including guest blog posts
- Articles or papers you have written
- Any comments you have written
- Negative information removal and suppression
- Private information removal and suppression
If your name is attached to it and it’s on the Internet, it is a digital asset; a search engine can and will find it.
Why Do You Need a Digital Strategy?
In an ever-changing digital landscape, protecting your brand and legacy, and maintaining a good reputation, depends on what you do – or in some cases, don’t do – in terms of a digital strategy. Yet, as many as 46% of brands do not have a defined digital strategy.
Digital Strategy Benefits
More than just theory and planning, a digital strategy provides a checklist of actions to accomplish your individual goals. Often, your strategy will include website development, review management, search engine optimization, and other techniques that help you establish, and keep secure, an online presence. It enables you to enhance positive assets, eliminate threatening ones, build personal or professional brand consistency, and track any new online mentions, which can appear at any time.
“Strategy,” wrote blogger Alex Bean, “is understanding the best mix of technologies and platforms.”
A well-conceived digital strategy provides you with many benefits:
- Identifying potential threats on the Internet
- Safeguarding any and all sensitive information online
- Protection of your legacy
- Control of your online information
- A rapid response to any changes to your online presence, which can happen at any time
- It places your digital presence in its proper perspective
- Self-defining who or what you are online: what you want others to see and know about you
- A better defense in the event of an online attack
Why Do You Need a Reputation Advisor?
For all of its virtues, the Internet remains an unconstrained, freewheeling place.
88% of adults believe it is all but impossible to remove inaccurate information about them from the Internet. Few people have the time, resources and knowledge required to build an effective online presence. That’s where a reputation advisor comes into play.
The Big Picture
The job of a reputation advisor, also known as a digital consultant, is to see the big picture. Are there any potential threats to your online reputation? Are there steps you can take to improve it?
The analysis is done conscientiously and comprehensively. It identifies and evaluates every element that comprises your online presence. Once each of these elements has been examined and assessed, a unique course of action is designed to enhance, neutralize or eliminate that element. It is a systematic, collaborative approach. Digital consultants work closely with each of their clients to determine what strategies work best to reach the desired outcome.
Your Trusted Partner
The Internet is constantly evolving. Every day seems to bring a new technology or social network that may be relevant to what you do.
It is difficult to keep up with these fast-paced changes. A skilled digital consultant thus becomes a trusted partner whose specialty is protecting the reputation and legacy you have built: someone whose expertise you can count on as you navigate the often-hazardous online world.
Your focus should be on your brand or business. Your reputation advisor protects it.