Digital Strategist Discusses Tools for Enhancing Web Presence
On November 16, the American Society of Business Publication Editors held a webinar featuring Chicago magazine's director of digital strategy and development, Scott Smith. Smith introduced tools that can be utilized by anyone with a desire to enhance their presence on the World Wide Web.
Of those no-cost tools, Smith stressed Twitter and its extensions as a strong tool for publishers in these growing digital days. Twitter Lists, TweetDeck, UberTwitter, and Twitpic are some of the tools that Smith uses himself to enhance Chicago magazine's Web presence.
Twitter lists is the "new press release," according to Smith. It allows users to demonstrate authority in a certain area. Tweetdeck assists users in organizing their Twitter friends and accessing lots of information from multiple accounts. For those of us who spend more time on our phones than any other device, UberTwitter does for mobile devices like iPhones and BlackBerrys what Tweetdeck does for desktops and laptops. Twitpic (along with Plixi) allows users to take photos with their mobile devices and post them directly to Twitter or Facebook.
Smith took time to address the need for internal analytics. How many people are viewing your site? How many people are actually clicking on articles on your website? And how long are people spending on your website? He suggests using Google Analytics, a free and easy to install program that tracks website traffic and usage.
Another tool offers analytics to folks highly involved on Twitter -- Bit.ly. Bit.ly allows users to take a link they would like to share with others, and translates it into a compact link, which is perfect for sharing with Twitter friends since tweets are limited to 140 total characters. Bit.ly also saves statistics with information regarding how many people clicked on the link, and it works with Twitter to determine how many times people retweeted (re-posted in their own Twitter feed) your link.
Smith understands that it is often difficult to keep one's professional life professional and personal life personal. To prevent professional contacts from seeing personal endeavors on Facebook, he suggests taking advantage of LinkedIn, a website for the working professional who wishes to remain networked with professional contacts without needing to learn how to filter photos and status updates so only some of your Facebook friends can view them.
For professionals unsure of how or where to start in terms of getting themselves and their companies on the Web, Smith suggests asking yourself a few questions:
1. What are your goals?
2. How are you going to use the tools to meet those goals?
3. Decide what the trade-offs will be.
"Recognize that digital is a priority," Smith says, simply by taking advantage of the free tools available online. With online tools, professionals and their companies can publish vast amounts of information, market and promote events, and organize and track how many people are receiving and sharing the information.