Elements of Digital Identity
What is Digital Identity?
This is a brand’s online reputation represented by all media types across the social web or all the online information and data specifically about an individual. Think of your digital identity as “a subset of the characteristics that define a person in the real world” (Guiterrez & Feigenbaum, 2006).
Therefore, how does a brand represent its company on various platforms? How does a person represent him or herself on Facebook? Is the content appropriate and efficient? These are some factors to think about!
Types of Digital Identity
There is no one type of digital identity. The four ways to categorize digital identity are:
- Authentication Elements
This includes your email address, user name, password, last name, first name, alias, IP address, etc.
This includes personal, administrative, occupational, banking, social data, etc.
How do you identity your brand? This includes photographs, logos, images, avatars, etc.
- Digital Traces
Where on the social web are you represented? Digital traces include contributions to public content management systems such as Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.
How to Create Your Digital Identity
In the creation process, it is important to remember the goal of the company, focus on a target group, which would determine which content is appropriate, choose efficient social media platforms and be accurate in your descriptions and data. In order for a company to have “good” digital identity, transparency is a must. After you have established which platforms to use that will benefit your company, how you create that content is important. When building your online presence especially for a brand, anonymity is never going to help you. Most companies fail by creating identities that resemble a façade.
Your digital identity will be off to a great start once you zero in on goals, target groups and accuracy. However, don’t forget about organization! No one wants to search through a highly complicated and disordered presentation and you don’t want to leave a potential customer confused and flustered. Think about how a messy online presentation will reflect on the company!
How to Manage and Maintain Digital Identity
So you created a transparent, organized and accurate digital identity, and your website is driving a lot of traffic to your brand. How to maintain this is another important element. Four ways to manage your identity are:
Focus & Consistency
Never forget the focus on your brand, and be consistent! When a company loses focus, everything from there goes downhill. If your company starts to stray from the path to success, the company’s following will stray to a steadier path somewhere
Depending on your type of company and goal, you don’t have to have the absolute latest and greatest layout, but using the same presentation from 2005 in 2013 is not the best idea. Let’s assure viewers that the company did not die in 2005.
According to Heather Huhman in the article “How Technology is Changing How We Rent, Buy and Sell Real Estate,” “as the real estate industry takes advantage of today’s best technologies, its greatest purpose is delivering the information customers need, exactly when they need it—bringing agents closer to their clients and improving the real estate process overall.” Technology is driving the real estate industry for a seamless transfer of information between clients and agents. Think! Is your “medieval times” software hurting your company?
We live in an era where information can reach from one part of the globe to another faster than you walking from 14th Street to 16th Street. Be aware of everything happening around you that relates to your type of business. According to Brad Officer, a realtor in Florida, “buyers and sellers want proof that you are actively engaged in the business and that you are a true professional.”
It is always good to be “in the know” than “out of the loop.” Outdated information was never “in.”
When building a relationship with your customers, the last thing you should come across is being robotic. Allow the customer to feel as if he or she is talking to you face to face through your social media platform. Create a genuine but not overbearing online personality that reflects your mission and employees at your company.
Digital identity is essentially how a company represents its brand on the social web. In building an online presence and reputation, the data needs to be transparent, organized, accurate and updated. Creativity, modernity and personality will allow your brand to stand out and stay ahead of the game! These basic guidelines will help you and your company to be well on its way!