Being online, a pre-requisite in today's Connected Age, requires that all organizations and people engage in a very different way. For example, the non-hierarchical and open environment of the web requires a different kind of messaging - one that is more authentic and less advertorial. And the crowded and "noisy" environment of the Internet requires that you "speak" in a clear, compelling and concise manner and have something interesting to say.
Here are my 6 strategies for online success. Please send me yours.
1) be open - this is both a cultural imperative and an important business consideration for a successful online experience. the Internet doesn't like or facilitate a proprietary mindset. sharing information widely and connecting to others is the whole point of the medium. you must embrace this fact or people will ignore you.
2) be real - in addition to being open you must share your authentic self and your opinions. being pretentious or fake will not get you far online because people will see through you. Don't forget: other people are talking about you, your company and your issue too.
3) be interesting - this is the most challenging part of any marketing strategy, but it's particularly true of online messaging. to be successful online you've got to be interesting, i.e. have a point of view, an angle or expertise worth sharing. the more specific that expertise the better because then people know what to expect from your blog or brand. there are simply too many voices on the Web for you to be dull.
4) be interested - the Web facilitates sharing, conversation and communication across time and space in a way that was impossible just 10 years ago. this is a great opportunity and challenge for most organizations; we're so used to listening to ourselves. If you're going to be online you have to be interested in what other folks have to say about your issue, your products and your services. one way to show your interest is by joining other conversations.
5) be careful - the imprimatur of the Web is that everything is set to print, FOREVER. don't forget or ignore this rule.
6) be brave - being online is a very public experience, even if you never track your website hits or receive a comment on your blog. to be successful online you have to step outside of your comfort zone at some point. I recommend wading in slowly, getting support and then diving in!