Having a digital presence is important
And I don’t mean social media.
We live in an age where everything we could ever dream of and more is right at our fingertips. Globalization has made it so easy to connect with people, regardless of where those people are. With the click of a button, we can be all over the world from the comfort of our living rooms.
It is for that exact reason that it is really important for everybody to have a digital presence in some capacity, and I’m not talking about a Facebook account, or an Instagram or TikTok. Social media is one way of using the internet to connect with people, but in terms of claiming your stake in the world, there are far more options available to you than joining a social network.
What is a “digital presence”?
A digital presence, sometimes referred to as a digital footprint, is how you occupy space and appear on the internet. Generally ‘having a digital presence’ is something that is associated with businesses and organisations and how they are accessed online. In actuality, it is the accessibility of a person or entity online, meaning that even having a social media account is considered having a digital presence.
When we want to know about somebody we instinctively type their name into a search engine. Our digital presence is made up of the information that we have on social media, as well as information about us elsewhere such as news articles that might feature our names or pictures in your school’s digital yearbooks, so wouldn’t it make sense to have a digital presence that goes beyond the occasional snapshots of your life? And wouldn’t it then also make sense to have some control over what you do put on the internet – beyond the level of control you have on social media?
Examples of how you might create a digital presence
Whether your primary use of the internet is to connect with people, to do business, learn or teach, you should have a digital presence that goes beyond social networking platforms. Some options for cultivating a digital presence include building your own website, ensuring that your social media accounts are all interconnected via the “log in with” feature, or gathering profile access points through a link tree. Other ways of developing your digital presence include auditing and curating your social media channels i.e. personal branding (regardless of whether you use your platforms for business).
Your digital presence can also replace address books – think of your contact list (assuming you backup your phones!) as a gateway to an email contact list, which can come in handy depending on your chosen career pathways, particularly those that include sales. Contact lists feel outdated in the days of social media, but how would you connect with people or be found if those platforms suddenly disappeared? It’s not like you are in contact with every single person that is on your phone’s contact list on a daily basis. And what would you do if one day all of the social networks you belonged to just shut down, how would you connect with people? Meta (formerly Facebook) and all of the networks it owned are gone, Linked In, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, Kik, YikYak (am I showing my age here??)… all gone. The way you share yourself with the world is linked entirely to your presence on the Socials.
Without some kind of additional digital presence you may as well be living pre-internet. You can do better.
Some of the ways you can develop a digital presence, such as creating your own website, can come at a very minor cost, but that cost can work out to be less than the cost of a single large pizza over the course of a year.
Here at MMP I’m a big advocate for creating your own website or landing page as the front door to your digital presence. You can read about why you should consider creating your own website here.