I started EPR Creations a little over 3 years ago and so much has changed in that time. It used to be that you could do a little bit of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website and get high rankings immediately. Google would consider a few items to determine your ranking. Now, there are 200+ features that are considered when ranking a website in the search engines.
Most large companies have on-site webmasters. These are the guys who run the website. Most big companies also have their own social media departments to control Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. But what about the small- and medium-sized businesses?
My prediction is that small- and medium-sized businesses will begin hiring webmasters, only the title won’t be webmaster. It will be a position that will encompass much more than a traditional webmaster. I think the title of the position will be more along the lines of an “Internet Presence Manager.” This will include big ticket items like the website, SEO, social media, and online advertising. However, the Internet Presence Manager will also be in charge tasks like these:
- Online Reputation Management
- Domain Name Purchase Strategy
- Surf Engine Optimization (optimizing the path the user takes through the website)
- Training of all Employees regarding online communications about the company
- Coordination of blogs, tweets, and other messages from employees
- Deep understanding of user analytics and the communication of these results to respective management
Additionally, I see this Internet Presence Manager being deeply involved in the marketing strategy of the company. This manager will be required at all marketing and company strategy meetings. All major company announcements, updates, or mea culpa’s need to be run through the Internet Presence Manager for the most effective presentation of the content.
This job position will not only be imperative for companies, it will also be required for major organizations and major public officials. Also, boutique hotels and single-location restaurants will also be highly interested in the online reputation management part of this job.
My advice to those seeking a job in this arena is to become knowledgeable about the tasks listed above. Designing and developing websites is not enough. At your core, you are a marketer and you live in the world where advertising now takes place. Practice communicating about online strategy and become familiar with case studies of how companies have failed. Even brilliant companies like Google and Netflix have made big blunders in product or pricing launches.
The days of the Yellow Pages and TV advertising are over. A single negative tweet or review can have tragic results for a company. These negative items don’t happen over the period of weeks or months. They don’t allow for extended thinking time on how to reply and maintain clients. These things happen in real time. The lack of a real time response or overall strategy signals arrogance or aloofness, neither of which will help in a negative situation. As companies, organizations and major public personalities realize this, they will take the position of the Internet Presence Manager seriously. I would not be surprised to see this position morph into a C-level position at some of the major companies. A Chief Internet Presence Officer (CIPO).