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The Internet has become truly invaluable to business growth. As a matter of fact, some companies earn extremely high profits solely by existing online. But what happens when your online presence seems to be getting away from you? What if it has taken on a life of its own and you’re not quite sure how to gain (or regain) control?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get a better handle on your online presence. Here are four tips to get you started.
1. Pick the Right Domain Name
Many new small business owners fail to fully recognize how important the right domain name is. Your domain name is the foundation of your online presence. But it’s kind of like choosing a name for your baby. You want to pick one that means something, something that will be effective for your business. In this case, then, you want it to mean something for both your company and the consumer.
The one thing that arguably makes this more difficult is that you may come up with the perfect domain name only to discover that it’s already taken. However, this doesn’t mean you’re out of options. There are still many ways to register your desired domain name. One involves approaching the person who currently has it and asking if they’d be willing to give or sell it to you. A domain broker can assist with this process.
2. Buy Multiple Domains at One Time
Sometimes in business you need more than one domain. This can be a a part of your online brand protection strategy. Or maybe you have completely different companies that you are responsible for running. Or perhaps it’s just one business, but you want separate domains for each of your product lines.
Whatever your goal or structure, one way to get a handle on this is to buy multiple domains with a bulk discount. Come up with a list of the sites you want to register and buy them all at one time. This can save you time. That’s because you won’t have to go in and select each one individually. It can also save you money because you’ll be purchasing in bulk.
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3. Carefully Plan Your Social Media Strategy
If there is one online area that can get completely out of control and take on a life of its own, it is social media. This is because, although you may set up the page or profile, it’s the engagement of those who interact with you that can largely determine how effective you are.
To better manage your social media presence, take the time to develop your overall social media strategy. If you have multiple profiles on one platform, reduce them to a single one. Save even more time by automating your posts. You can use services like HootSuite or SproutSocial to post for you on all of your social media sites.
4. Pay Attention to Online Reviews
Not only do you have to tend to your own websites and social media pages to get a better handle on your online presence, but you also need to pay attention to reviews submitted to sites like Yelp and Google. Social proof is very powerful, so responding to your consumers’ accolades and complaints on these types of platforms is critical to maintaining a positive image.
Of course, the simplest solution is to conduct business in a way such that you don’t get negative reviews. However, you might get a negative review despite your best efforts.
There are some ways to effectively handle bad online reviews so as to minimize damage, though. These include looking at the review objectively to determine if it has some validity, then responding with tact and apologizing for the consumer’s experience. Finally, ask what you can do to solve the issue and make things right.
Do these four things and you’ll be well on your way to getting a better handle on your online presence across a variety of platforms.