7 tips for securing your online presence

7 tips for securing your online presence

We used to reach for the Yellow Pages when we wanted to find a nearby trader, but now most people just head for Google. Studies have shown that 85% of consumers …

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29th May 2013 at 7:18 am

We used to reach for the Yellow Pages when we wanted to find a nearby trader, but now most people just head for Google. Studies have shown that 85% of consumers have used a search engine to find a local business, and 16% do so every week.

If you have products to sell there is an even bigger opportunity because the buyer to seller ratio is more favourable than on the high street. Over 70% of Brits shop online, while only 14% of small businesses sell their goods online. Who wouldn’t like to be operating in a less competitive market?

And then there is the social web. The rise and rise of social media has changed the online dynamic in ways that no-one could have predicted even as little as a decade ago. More than 60% of adults now use social media, so if you can find them you can start talking to them and turn them into your customers.

To secure your online presence and start making the Internet work for you here are my seven top tips:

1. A shortcut to securing your name: KnowEm lets you search for a name on over 600 social networks, 150 domain registrars, and the entire US trademark database. It’s completely free with links to register on each website. If you are thinking life is too short to register on that name websites KnowEm will do the leg work for you, for a price.

2. Don’t skimp on your Internet land-grab: You’ll probably only use a couple of the social platforms seriously but registering your name everywhere will prevent other people from taking the identity over and confusing the brand message online. Even if you never plan on posting anything to that platform just grab the ID anyway, especially if it is popular.

3. Clearly signpost vacant pages: A visitor to one of your pages is an opportunity to win a new customer even if you never post on that site. People find their way to webpages in very peculiar ways so make sure you include a link to your active pages on every social siute you occupy.

4. Simplify your image with an online business card: As you register your presence your business card could start to look quite messy, so simplify things with About.Me. This site provides an online ‘landing page’ to house all of your virtual properties on one, simple address – for example About.Me/WorkingTheCloud. If you don’t have your own website this is a lot easier to print on a business card than loads of individual URLs.

5. Social media wasn’t made for you: Always remember that your customers didn’t join social media platforms to make it easier for you to sell to them. You need to provide a service first and foremost. If they like you they will invite you into their own closed network, where you can start talking to them about your business and what it has to offer.

6. Profit from the inner circle: Encourage ‘sharing’ and ‘liking’ on social pages with extra bonuses and promotions for those who share. This will see your reputation blossom inside your follower’s network and any interaction will keep you higher up the ladder of their preferences in the eyes (and algorithms) of most leading platforms.

7. Know who your friends are: Twitter is fantastic for getting your message out far and fast. Use a relationship management tool like Commun.it to know exactly who is most engaged with your tweets and how great their influence is. Highly engaged followers with a decent amount of influence make ideal people to send review and sample products to, as they are most likely to spread the word about your company online.

‘Working the Cloud’ and companion website http://workingthecloud.biz is the ultimate collection of online tips, tricks and resources for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to get ahead online. You can buy it from Amazon here: http://bit.ly/orderworkingthecloud

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Kate Russell

Written by TV web expert Kate Russell. 'Working the Cloud’ and companion website http://workingthecloud.biz is the ultimate collection of online tips, tricks and resources for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to get ahead online. http://workingthecloud.biz

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