While anonymity was a calling card of early BBS systems and the nascent World Wide Web, today your only identity is your online identity, and perhaps crucially your businesses’ too.
More traditional bricks-and-mortar/services industries have been waking up to this over the past few years, wrestling with a website and social networking so that all companies have de facto become tech companies.
As a reflex the modern consumer will jet to Google, Facebook, Pinterest, to see what your company offers and the first impression they get, what visuals jump out at them, how high you are in search rankings, whether there is a reason for them to return to your online properties and therefore stand the chance to be converted into your customer is in effect the only remaining effective sales channel in town.
Organizations that leverage the new communication technology best will prevail. Problem is most companies are not media companies and have no core competency producing content, let alone organizing and formatting it properly to be consumed online: dealing with the way search engines work, strategies of feeding social networks with relevant material, quantifying interactions: who likes, repins, retweets, or otherwise engages with your content; ad infinitum.
Moreover, companies always underestimate how hungry the online media properties they create will be for fresh relevant content – and the far majority will not have the budget for the full editorial and content management team that in the best of possible worlds they really need.
Designing the shell of a new website and creating a Facebook profile is only the beginning: now new content must be provided, posted, tracked, and reacted to. Constantly.