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Like it or not, the internet and modern business have been joined at the hip for a while. A search for local services and products can now be done in seconds online; the modern consumer needs only a smartphone and wifi to access a catalogue more comprehensive and efficient than any yellow page listing could hope to be. Businesses that restrict their visibility to telephone books, billboards, and other old-school promotional methods cut themselves from a steady supply of digitally-enabled customers.

Many organizations are beginning to realize how effective a tool the internet can be; in 2016, a survey of 350 American small businesses revealed that 54 percent have established online presences. The digital transition shows no signs of slowing, and with ever more static clouding cyberspace, the companies that stand out will be those with strongest online presence.

One common trait among businesses with the deepest digital footprints is evident in the online behavior of their employees. Digitally savvy professionals will be noticeable on social media sites such as LinkedIn, or they’ll take the time to create engaging content related to their industry. The wider their online circles, the simpler it is for professionals to tap into the flow of leading thoughts and opinions in their industry; the most internet-skilled may even play a direct role in guiding industry progress.

A well-established digital silhouette accomplishes more than personal promotion, however; it demonstrates that a business is willing to change with the times to suit customer convenience. Customers can search Google, and learn what many businesses are all about in minutes. Allowing access to the professional records, interests, and personalities of the employees with whom they interact offers additional assurance to prospective customers who wield the means to shop around for service like never before.

Both individual and company profiles create a space where a business’s purpose and mission are clearly laid out, and achievements toward those goals can be displayed. Client testimonials, pictures and videos of new products in action, endorsements from professional organizations, and links to employee profiles: all these work to form an image, depicting your business not as some faceless name and address, but a community that is alive, relatable and human.
The internet offers connectivity above all; in digital space, customers can build relationships with the companies they find most reliable, and employees with strong individual profiles showcase their professional competence while solidifying internet-smart companies as purveyors of accessibility who still see value in personal relationships, even amid the age of automation.