Establishing your digital footprint used to be as easy as building a website, but in today’s technological world, you need to have a more significant voice online to stay visible and viable (Forbes).
To explain it simply, your digital footprint is the body of data that exists about you as a result of the actions you take online.
Digital footprints can be broken down into two categories:
- Active data traces is what a user leaves intentionally. Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, social network connections, image and video uploads all are among the ways individual’s create active digital footprints for themselves.
- Passive data traces connected to an individual are left by others or gathered through activities that the user does without intent. Website visits and actions, searches and online purchases, online reviews and feedback are among the activities that add passive data traces to your digital footprint.
Why is a Digital Footprint important for a Recruiter?
Just as reviewing a candidate’s social media might help a recruiter gather an idea about who the person is outside of their resume, a recruiters digital footprint tells the same story. It is a telescope into who you are and what you represent. Your credibility and actions are on full display to your candidates and clients through the world-wide web.
According to BrightLocal, 86% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. The importance of this can’t be understated.
What are the benefits to enhancing your Digital Footprint?
The phrase less is more couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to your digital footprint. The more data about you that is sprinkled across the online universe, the more chance you have of being discovered.
Here is a list of some benefits:
- Improved SEO. The more links pointing back to your website or social media, the more traffic your site or page will receive.
- Increase new business. The farther your online voice can reach, the higher your chances are to secure new prospects.
- Conduct market research. The more avenues your customers have to find, respond and leave reviews on, the more chances you have to respond accordingly.
Where should you focus your Digital Profiles?
While more may be more more in this scenario, spreading yourself too thin can actually be damaging. It is better to do the few digital profiles that you’re active on well, than to do many poorly. As a starting point, focus on where your customers are already active.
- Social media
Chances are you won’t find a recruiter or recruitment agency that isn’t active on LinkedIn. And with good reason. Currently, up to 87% of recruiters use the platform to find or vet job candidates, more than all other major social media networks combined. Because of LinkedIn’s advanced job search filters, it is an invaluable tool for every recruiter to granularly search for and vet candidates.
Aside from the obvious benefits of matching jobs to candidates, LinkedIn’s professional platform allows you to establish yourself among your industry. By creating content that resonates with your readers, you can not only submit yourself as a thought leader, but enhance your digital profile through the re-sharing of that content.
Most businesses don’t have the time nor the ability to do more than 1 or 2 social platforms well. It is up to you to evaluate your resources and determine what social platforms will be of benefit to you. This is heavily dependent on your niche. For example, a recruiter that requires the use of visual aids to attract candidates may find Instagram to be beneficial for their needs. Whereas if your main demographic is female, you may find some value in focusing on Pinterest. Determine who your customers are, where they like to spend their time online and go from there.
- Use paid promotion.
Creating great content is a great way to strengthen and expand your brand presence, but it will produce few results if no-one can find it.
Platforms like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads are invaluable tools for content promotion. Both allow you to reach a large, highly targeted audience of people likely to respond positively to your brand. The aim of the digital footprint game is to get as many relevant eyes as possible on your website or social media. Unfortunately, for some of those platforms paid promotion is necessary to achieving that goal.
- Become a guest blogger.
Creating useful content is great and all, but it is also extremely time-consuming. While it may seem counterproductive to produce content for another person’s website, guest blogging is one of the best ways to put your content (and yourself) in front of a proven group of responsive, interested readers. Find the blogs that are highly active and relevant to your industry and link back to your website. In most cases, these blogs will gladly accept the additional content. This will improve both your websites traffic and credibility among the industry.
- Respond to reviews.
According to that same BrightLocal study listed above, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. This is where your humility and humanity is tested. Both of which are characteristics consumers are increasingly demanding to see from the businesses they interact with.
Reviews are also a great opportunity to get into the mind(s) of your customers. When it comes to third-party review sites, consumers are more likely to leave honest, open feedback regarding the way you conduct yourself. Use this information to better your processes and services to attract both new and returning clientele. Emphasise the positives listed about you and alter the negatives. All in all, the more review sites linking back to you, the more reach your online presence is able to muster.
- Make sure you can be found.
If you have a physical presence, creating and monitoring your Google My Business account is a must. For local businesses, failure to do so will result in lower search engine rankings and difficulties for your customers to find and contact you.
When you Google yourself, what do you find?
While you can control your own personal active data traces, responding to and monitoring your passive data is just as important. Online conversations about you will be held, with or without you. It is up to you as an individual to use this information to your advantage.
Take control of your digital profile and online reviews by claiming your Sourcr digital profile.