3 Things You Need To Do To Manage Your Online Brand Right Now
Quite often business owners and marketing professionals become so wrapped up in their day-to-day operations that quite often they forget to check in with their online branding.
When I say “check in” I mean visit your website and social media and make sure everything is up to par.
I have learned this lesson the hard way. Quite often what you put out there, isn’t the only thing being seen. Or sometimes not being seen.
Here are 3 things you need to do manage your online brand right now:
Set Up Google Alerts
One of the number one rules for any marketing professional is to set up Google Alerts on your business. You can tell Google to alert you with an email, anytime your business name or specific keywords appears online. This is a great way to stay up to date with what is being said about your business or industry.
Tip: Be selective with your alerts. You can set them to email you in the moment, daily or weekly. However if you choose too many words, your inbox will be inundated with alerts. I would suggest setting up alerts for your name, business name and names of any executives in the company. If you are a highly specialized trade, you could add keyword alerts as well. I have heard of some businesses even having alerts on their competitors.
Search for Your Business on Social Media
The reason I say this is because one time I was searching on Facebook and found somebody impersonating my business – same name, logo and cover photo on Facebook, Twitter and Google. It is an important lesson learned – and one that many don’t think of.
Go on every social media website and search for your business name. Then go to Google search and do the same.
Tip: Now for small business owners this might be common to find a business with the same name in another area of the world. There isn’t much that you can do with this unless you have copyright and trademark on your side. However, even if they are the same name, you should be aware of your brand competition, so that you can differentiate yourself from the rest with your own online branding.
How do you do so? Here are some suggestions:
- Custom URLs – Make sure your page URL is your business name and not an alphanumeric phrase. For instance: facebook/josocialbranding.com and not facebook/josocialbranding579ag3.com. I use Facebook as an example, but you want to do this for all your accounts. Plus it makes for easier recall when sharing with customers. “You can find me at facebook.com/josocialbranding”.
- Profile Pictures & Cover Photos – When we go and search business or people online, visual previews are often provided. Make sure your profile picture and/or cover photo has your business logo or name present somewhere in the images.If you have to choose between putting your logo in the profile picture or cover photo; profile picture is always better. The reason for this is because when you comment to your fans, the thumbnail is what they see.
- Bio Text – I always encourage businesses to take information from their About Me page on their website and replicate it through their social media. Some social media sites have a limit (Instagram and Twitter) however with others (Facebook and Google), you can get away with longer text. If space is limited, always take the first two sentences that captures the essence of your business.
- Website Address – If there is any doubt with those seeking to find you, they will click on that account and seek out your website link. Make sure it is there and that it leads to your website.
Search For Your Website On the Web
Not many people think to search for their website in their browser. I go to my website quite often but even I fell into the trap.
i.e. jeannineoneil.com is my main website URL. As my business grew, I bought the URL josocialbranding.com and redirected it to jeannineoneil.com. Now quite often if I go to my website to grab a link to a blog post or event listing, out of habit I go to jeannineoneil.com. Just recently a friend was looking for something on my site and typed in josocialbranding.com and the site was down. Something happened in my GoDaddy domain settings that broke the redirect link. I never would have known my website appeared to be down, if she hadn’t found the issue.
Tip: I would even suggest taking it one one step further and go into Google Chrome Incognito Mode so that you don’t have the cache working against you.
Now these lessons aren’t meant to scare you. However, they are things people (including myself) never thought to do until I was burned in some instances.
One Final Tip: I am not saying that you need to do this every day, you will drive yourself crazy. Google Alerts will feed the information to you, so you don’t have to worry. However with the other 2 suggestions,
I would say check-in monthly or quarterly just to make sure everything is working properly.
Note: Depending on your website platform you could add alerts through plugins, however it is as simple as putting a reminder on your calendar once a month and spending 15 minutes to check up on your brand, manually.
What do you think? Have you done these tips before? Do you have other online branding tips you want to share? I would love to hear! Leave a comment below.