The Seven Key Steps: Are You in Control of Your Brand’s Digital Footprint?
“Digital Footprint” is a word used to describe the traces of information left behind by people or brands on the Internet. While you may not have noticed it, your brand’s digital footprint is likely to be much bigger than you would imagine. Websites, Twitter handles, LinkedIn company profiles, a Facebook fan page, blogs, forums, Foursquare, Yelp, mobile apps; the list is endless!Your brand probably has a profile on most of these social media platforms right now. In recent years, the notion of digital footprints has become a wary one in the public eye, often seen as an unwanted trail that follows personal internet use in a way that is felt as too public. However, in the constantly evolving digital market of today, channels are increasing their budgets for digital advertising in a way intended to increase their digital footprint for these very reasons. A larger digital footprint is easier to find, meaning greater exposure for brands and their products. Research shows that 87% of American adults are Internet users as of 2014. This massive market is far more easily tapped with a stronger online presence. It’s great to be online. You can connect and engage with your target audience almost instantly. We all want that.
But have you ever wondered whether you have your brand’s entire digital footprint under control? In the online world, fraudsters and hackers can steal your brand’s data and even publish misleading information without your knowledge. Social media is being taken very seriously today. An unhappy customer first resorts to social media to share his feedback about a product or a service with his friends and family. Though your brand might think it has complete control of how the social media company pages are being managed, there is always a considerable possibility of bogus accounts being created without your knowledge, with damaging implications. A recent CNN study states that Facebook has about 83 million fake accounts. More than half of Twitter accounts are considered “inactive”, with multiple, possibly malignant purposes for their existence. Here are a few of the most effective practices you can enact to keep control of your brand’s digital footprint:
- Always monitor and categorize what consumers are saying about your brand on social media. This includes requiring authorization from an administrator of your Facebook page to allow consumer posts to appear on the feed. Report spamming behavior, and monitor the brand name from an objective view to keep track of possible imitation accounts.
- Remove unauthorized mobile apps. Unauthorized mobile apps are the key drivers of diverting traffic away from your actual brand name. This is the forefront of digital advertising, difficult to track, but essential, and must be maintained.
- Use Enterprise DNS and SSL solutions to mitigate security risks associated with your website domain names.
- Actively manage your Google Search Results through Google’s search algorithm.
- Evaluate everything; brand mentions, updates, reviews, comments, interaction, photos, videos, and all public profiles. This is data! And it’s being given to you free of charge. Take advantage of it.
- Set up an audit team to examine your brand’s digital footprint. Audit all the communications mentioning your brand name online.
- Use Google Alerts to monitor your brand mentions online.
Do you know of any other ways to monitor your digital foot print? Let us know in the comments below!