A: The sum of all your social media profiles and places you are on as an individual or as a brand
Q: Why should I care?
A: Every online activity starts at your social presence – even if you just give a like, it points back to your profile (your social presence) and you should be interested that your presence grows in size, reputation and trust.
Q: Where should I have a profile?
A: You should be present where the people are you care about. That maybe personal friends, or business connections, church or club member or any other group of human beings you care about. Tip: Don’t assume one or the other network, make sure you really know. Here is a list of possible sites.
Q: How much time do I have to allocate for my presence?
A: As much time as you find worth spending with your contacts. Direct your mindset towards investing in people not in networks. With that mindset you will find the right balance of time you want to spend.
Q: How does a brand presence differ from a personal presence?
A brand presence is represented by a whole team and its employees while a personal presence is all about the individual. However the values derived from that presence are very similar. A brand is technically just a legal entity and needs humans to communicate. While managing the presence from a technical point of view can be outsourced, the relationship building and communication part cannot (should not).
Q: Can I get sales leads from my presence?
A: You can get as many sales leads from your presence as a golf player get from playing golf with his or her business friends. The best of the best don’t use golf to get leads but strengthen relationships, get deals done and be at the right place at the right time, get recommended and grow trust and reputation.
Q: What is the purpose of a brand presence?
A: Since a brand is a legal entity not a human being the brand presence is the personification of a brand through all its employees. The purpose is representing a go to point for a brand, yet being represented by its team. Also a brand wants to build relationships, networks, authority, reputation and so forth. That process however can only be done well through the engagement of the brand’s team.
Q: What is the biggest value derived from a brand presence?
A: Recommendations and mentions. Research shows that recommendations contribute 80% to a so called “educated purchase decision”. The vast majority of purchases are based on recommendations from people who have already experience with a product, service or brand. Inspiring existing customers to communicate about their experience is one of the biggest advantages of a presence. Other advantages is to get rapid market feedback, suggestions, strengthen relationships with customers and more.
Q: How can I prevent negative feedback?
A: You cannot and you should not – and you don’t even need to. It’s a fact of live that if a product or service works, there is no need to get back to the manufacturer and tell them. But obviously if there is an issue with the product or service, the user will need to get support. Only long time marketers see those issues as “negativity” because in their mind everything must be shiny like pure gold – to the rest of the population it is called marketing bullshit. In other words reading how a company is solving problems is positive – reading about lack of response is actually negative – in other words the problem itself is not considered negative.
Q: Are there business types a social presence is less important?
A: No, there is no business that cannot benefit from a social presence. Whether it is a B2B or B2C focused organization, whether it is a one man show or a global enterprise, whether it produces goods or services every business will sooner or later have a social presence. There are local hair dressers, restaurants, food stores, mid size machinery companies, sports good manufacturer, vineyards, global non profit organizations or global communication enterprises with very successful social presences and even organizations perceived as highly secretive such as the CIA has a social presence. All benefit equally from their social presence if they have the right approach – right for their business and business objectives.
NOTE: we will continue adding questions and answers in the months to come. Ping us anywhere you like in the social web if you have specific questions or suggestions we should add: http://xeeme.com/society3