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Building a Digital Presence V1

 

Over the past year, triggered by the onset of covid, our company was fortunate to see increased interest in our services. Many clients approached us because they realised the importance of having a digital presence. We would have engagements with their marketing departments and share the excitement of speaking the same language, but somehow, it would get stuck at the higher level of executives.

The Misconception About Digital Marketing Communication

 

We had meetings and developed proposals and pitches, but it soon became clear that many of them were not ready to truly embrace what it means to build a solid digital presence. This was evident in the insufficient budgets they allocated to the task.

In some instances, you would find that one of the partners in a business felt like they could do “social media” themselves or their company didn’t need it, while others decided that it would be better for their in-house people to manage it. Unfortunately, many believe that an online presence is having social media accounts that you post on – when you remember – and waiting for likes. So, while many knocked on our doors, unfortunately, this did not necessarily translate into business, even though, we must say, a number of them came back to us after a DIY attempt.

Building a Digital Presence

The Importance of Community Management

 

Digital marketing and strategic communications go beyond publishing social media posts. Admittedly, this is how it started until we realised that, as more people became connected, it changed from being about brands telling people what they sell to being about forging meaningful connections and relationships.

“Community management is the process of building an authentic community among a business’s customers, employees, and partners through various types of interaction. It’s how a brand uses opportunities to interact with their audience to create a network in which they can connect, share, and grow.”

HubSpot

When a company posts something online, it must consider that the person who reads and responds to their post, sends a DM or writes something on their wall might have limited time to be online because data might be an issue, they might have loadshedding or some other unforeseen circumstance. Companies must learn that the sooner they respond to contact, the more their customers feel they matter.

Adapting to Change

 

One of the reasons we moved from developing inflexible content calendars to curating flexible content is so that we can adapt to instant change. We always need to be ready to engage as and when required. It’s all good and well to have social media handles with content that has been approved upfront. But what do you do when there is a crisis that has the potential to harm your brand? We all know how things can spiral out of control because of a seemingly innocent post published by an untrained staff member, a hashtag, and the rise of cancel culture.

Furthermore, businesses must generate engagement given the number of people looking to the internet for research before making a purchase. Research shows that most people first look at a website when researching a company. From there, they look for an active social media platform with a thriving community and online reviews to see if the brand lives up to its promises.

Effective community engagement also goes beyond posting great graphics. It encompasses the ability to perceptively listen to what your audiences say to you, pick up on nuances, and respond accordingly to put your best foot forward. Companies must use all their online platforms to educate audiences about their brand while engaging on a more personal level.

Conclusion

 

Engagement serves as the building block for a solid digital presence. It provides the opportunity to set the narrative on who you are as a brand and set yourself apart from competitors.

 

Building your presence online is a significant undertaking, but with the help of a team or agency that understands your needs, the benefits to your brand are well worth the effort.

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