For a common understanding, let us first define the words “asset” and “liability”;
Asset: Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value.
Liability: A thing whose presence or behaviour is likely to be put you at a disadvantage.
A liability always acts as a burden on us, this is why we tend to avoid the liabilities. Whereas an asset creates value, hence we try to develop, maintain and grow our assets.
Due to my profession, I meet many people these days. Many of them are either businesses or entrepreneurs or startups or job seekers.
After having an initial meeting/discussion, I check what these people are doing on Social Media mainly on Facebook – to understand their social life, LinkedIn – to understand their professional life and Quora – to understand their knowledge and interest area.
And, surprisingly, I find that many of them don’t use social media effectively. Their website doesn’t have up to date information. They only post about Happy New year, Happy Diwali, Eid Mubarak or similar wishes on Social Media, but there is no content/knowledge/blog articles/news shared related to their domain. There are many negative reviews about the business on company social media page or YouTube videos, but there are no responses from the company to those reviews.
So, to understand what is stopping them to do that, I had a detailed discussion with few people and I found that many of them don’t treat their digital presence as an asset, but as a liability.
And, dear reader, if you are also doing this, then understand that this is where you are losing your potential clients or customers or a job opportunity.
In today’s digital world, where information is just a couple of clicks away, if your digital presence is not coming in front of your potential prospects, then you are losing a lot of things unknowingly. If you are treating your digital presence as a liability, it will never create value for you.
What do you lose when you treat your digital presence as a liability?
- Your potential employer is looking for profiles like you on social media or he is running Employment Advertising on LinkedIn which you are not seeing because your profile is incomplete and hence it does not match with the criteria set by the employer.
- There is a new tool in the market, which your competitors are using but you are not, because you didn’t see the ad of that tool on Social Media because your profile was incomplete and it didn’t match with the criteria set by the advertiser. And now your competitor is way ahead of you because that tool improved his productivity.
- Your potential customer is looking for the products or services offered by you but he does not call you because your website does not appear in front of him when he searches about it on Google or Bing or any other search engine.
- Your potential customer comes to your website but still, he does not call you because either the information is not up to date or there is too much resistance(popups, ads, etc.) to contact you or your contact information is not valid or you did not check the enquiries captured in your website’s contact form.
- Your potential customer goes to your social media to find Social Proof and sees negative reviews about you to which you haven’t replied since a week or a month or more than that. Don’t expect to get more customers in this situation.
- Your existing customers are not talking about you because you did not provide them with any means to engage with your brand online and hence you are not getting customers via mouth publicity.
Now you see, what you are losing. These are a few examples. When your digital presence is not treated as an asset, it can not produce value.
How can we turn our digital presence which is a liability into our asset?
You just have to manage your digital presence in a more organized way. For that, I have created a list of tips which you can follow:
Create a list of all your digital accounts and properties
People generally create accounts on many digital platforms, and they forget about it. They don’t remember the usernames, email IDs with which the accounts were created and the passwords for those accounts. Some people create multiple accounts on the same social media channel. One of my clients had changed their landline number 3 years back, but their Google My Business listing was still showing the old landline number. This happened simply because he forgot that he has created such an account.
So, create the list.
Also, keep the information of who has what kind of access to which account. E.g. Pankaj has ADMIN access to Facebook Business Page, Nikhil has MODERATOR access to Facebook Ad account. You should know this. Why? What if someone leaves the company and still has access to these accounts? It is a potential threat.
Make a habit of maintaining your Social Media presence:
And, always do this activity on priority. You have finished a course or won an award or joined a new job or left a job or published a research paper or any other activity related to your profession, post it on your social media pages, update your LinkedIn profile or post this on your website. It doesn’t have to have a fancy look. People love raw images. You can use online tools like Canva which has prebuilt templates. Learn these tools so that you don’t have to depend completely on a Graphic Designer to do this job.
Do a periodic audit of your digital presence:
Hire a consultant and ask him/her to do the audit of your digital presence. Check where can you make the improvements and how can you do that. It is like a routine health check-up for your digital presence.
Choose consultant wisely. There are many fake “Social Media” or “Digital Media” experts. Interview them. See their past work. If you want to get maximum value, you have to keep maintaining and improving your assets.
Plan your expenses for your digital assets and consider it in your annual budget:
If you have a website, you must be already paying a yearly cost for the domain name and hosting. Do an Annual Maintenance Contract(AMC) with your Website Developer. This way, you will be sure that the website will have timely updates.
You must have already planned what new developments are going to happen in your company in the coming financial year. Based on that, you can predict the edits you may require in the website. Get per page design and development costs from your Website Developer. And, based on that, prepare the budget for new developments on the website for the coming financial year.
This way, your website will always be up to date throughout the year and the costs incurring for these activities won’t look like an additional investment for you as you have already planned for it.
Like this, plan your expenses for all your digital assets. If the expenses are going too high, you can prepare your priority list. How to prepare that? The priorities can vary based on the industry and domain of the business. Your digital consultant can help you with this.
Keep sharing content on social media
It doesn’t matter whether that content is prepared by you or someone else, keep sharing the content. The people who are in your connections or following you on social media are your assets. Leverage it. Share the content. If the content is not developed by you, share your opinion on that topic along with content. It shows your knowledge and authority on that topic.
Hear your customers carefully and reply to them
A common mistake that many people do is they don’t reply to the feedback shared by the customer online. Even I was doing this mistake. Never take these things for granted. It doesn’t matter whether the feedback is positive or negative, it doesn’t matter whether that negative feedback is genuine or fake, you must reply to those feedbacks.
Your potential customers are going to judge you based on how well you treat your customers.
I had a client whose product was negatively reviewed by a third party website. The client had no clue about it. This is where your consultant can play a major role. He/She can find such things and help you in finding a possible solution for this. Or you can train one of your employees to find such things. This activity can be done once or twice a month. Keep track of your customers’ feedbacks and reply to them promptly.
Keep finding the latest trends in your industry
If you want to grab more and more customers, you have to be ahead of your competitors. For that, you must always know what are the new trends in your industry. One way to do this is, participate in the events related to your industry. But, how can you do this digitally?
Subscribe to “Google Alerts”. You can select the keywords for which you want to get the alerts, and Google will notify whenever someone writes anything related to that keyword. This will also alert you whenever someone writes about your brand on any other website. Simply add your brand name as a keyword in Google Alerts and Google will let you know whenever someone posts any kind of article or feedback on their blog/website.
These are my few tips using which you can simply turn your digital presence from a liability to an asset. Building an asset does require a lot of efforts. If you don’t have time to do that, hire someone who can do this for you. If you are not doing this, you will never be ahead of your competitors.
Do you want to run profitable digital marketing campaigns for your business?
I have a vast experience in running complex digital marketing campaigns across multiple domains. If you are looking for someone who can handle everything related to your digital marketing needs, get in touch with me.