Social media continues to be on the move. It continues to present a viable business opportunity. Forward thinking brands have understood this opportunity for some time, but 2013 is proving to be a game-changing year for the masses.

Back in the early 2000s, in response to the opportunity to have a website, it is not difficult to recall many business leaders saying: “I don’t need a website.” And then adding some justification like: “I don’t do e-commerce,” or “My customers aren’t on the Internet.” Today, that is absurd. It is understood that to be a viable business, a website is an absolute must.

Today’s business environment has also shown that a web “site” is no longer sufficient. Today requires a web “presence.” However, simply being more present is not sufficient either. The new standard is, and will continue to be, having a web presence of relevance and value.

Web presence is now considered to be a fully visible and activated presence of new media. By this, I mean to say that your web and social assets are consistently kept up-to-date, and are based on a well-conceived strategy for providing the right content that is relevant and of value to your audience.

Since each web and social asset presents a different opportunity and strategy for each business, it’s difficult to have a defined list of how to create a strong, effective web presence. But to start somewhere, the standard presence for most businesses typically includes: your website, blog, and social assets such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and a branded YouTube channel. In addition, other assets, like Pinterest, Instagram, and Slideshare, are important considerations.

But again, this is not a call to get on Facebook or start Tweeting. This is a call to understand the business opportunity of engaging your audience.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are you listening? With several tools available, this is a must, and an important place to start.
  • What is your content strategy for different types of content, namely, relevant and timely content, valuable content, attractive content, and lead generating content?
  • Who are the thought leaders in your company that can contribute, if not lead the way with blog posts and other content creation?
  • Is your brand identity strong and cohesive across all assets?
  • Does your strategy include ROI as an expectation? It should.

2013 is gearing up to be a game-changing year for bringing businesses and social media together. “Social…usage in the U.S. has increased 356% in six years. These days, the question isn’t should you use social media or not, but rather, is your use of social media better or worse than your competitors?”