How to Successfully Use Your Digital Footprint - Essential in a social media world
Remember when you walked on the beach? You could see a trail left by those who had been there before you. Their footprints went this way and that. Some seemed to disappear into thin air. Whilst others were firm and clear in the sand.
You left your footprints on the sand too.
And others could choose to follow you, or not.
Now, in the online marketing world you also need a footprint.
It's called your 'digital footprint'.
And it's very important.
In fact, the topic of creating a digital footprint was discussed at the recent workshops I have given about using social media.
You see, when people 'see' you online, they usually only get a glimpse of you. Maybe they read an article written by you. Or maybe they see one of your blog posts. Or maybe they read comments on your wall at Facebook.
But that's not enough. They will want more... because they only have part of the puzzle.
They need to be able to follow your digital footprint to get the complete picture.
OK, so what is your digital footprint?
My definition of a 'digital footprint' is:
The combination of online information, links and interaction that will lead a prospect to your main marketing message.
Your digital footprint can include your website, blog, social network participation, PDF documents, audio recordings, online presentations, micro-blogging (such as Twitter), photo sharing, video publication and more.
Let's look at a simple example. You publish a blog. And you have readers who receive updates when you publish each post. When your readers visit your blog and read your post, what do they do if they want to know more about you? Or if they want to find out details of your services?
In most cases they will visit your website. There will be a link on your blog to your website. That's pretty much standard practice now.
Let's look at a more complex example. An example that reaches even more prospects. You publish your blog. But you also use Twitter and you also have a profile on a social networking website called LinkedIn.
Now when you publish your blog post you also send a Tweet mentioning the new post, with a short URL link to your blog. At the same time you are also participating in an online discussion at LinkedIn about a topic you are knowledgeable on.
Someone reading your comments at LinkedIn likes what they see. So they 'follow' you on Twitter - to see what else you might have to say or recommend. They are interested in your 'tweet' about your blog post and visit your blog. They like what they find there and
decide to visit your website for even more details on what you can offer.
See what happened?
Your expanded digital footprint in the second example (website, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn) encouraged your prospect to learn more about you at each step they took.
They followed your footprint.
It was easy for them to find out more about you.
And it was very easy for you to tell them more about you. In fact, you didn't push any information at all. They took it from you.
And the best thing is... by the time your prospect reaches your main marketing message (usually on your website) they have really gained a much stronger image of who you are and how you can help them.
Your digital footprint has done it's job of leading prospects to you.