You’ve heard about social media and you’re ready to join the game. When you’re setting up your names or “handles” on Facebook page and Twitter page, YouTube and others, make sure your names are as close to your exact business name as possible and try not to add funny extras like underscore or dashes or extra words. Those just make finding you in an online search harder. If someone else already has your company name, that’s a problem.
A very public example of a huge company making a giant mistake in this regard was Netflix. They had already angered their customer base with a big price increase and blew off the millions of customers who aired their rage on the company’s Facebook page for all to see. They stated that these customers were a small group and not representative of most customers. Their stock price plummeted. Netflix recently decided to separate its streaming video business and give it a new name, Qwikster. Problem was, the company evidently didn’t check on Twitter to see if that name was already taken…if they did, they would have found that it was controlled by a potty-mouthed dude whose icon was a weed-smoking Elmo. Not kidding! You’d think the company would have learned its mistake after the Facebook lambasting it took just weeks before. The curiosity seekers wanted to see what was up with the original Qwikster so his followers went from a few hundred to 9,100 in a day or two! Netflix quickly abandoned the new business name. Want to read more about this business debacle? Click here to see an article in The Atlantic by Megan McArdle.
Okay, now you’ve signed up for these key accounts. You need to make it easy for people to find and follow you on them. Make links to them in your email signature so every recipient can click and follow easily. (If you don’t know how to create links and use Windows product like Outlook and Word, just highlight the words you want to link to like I’ve done in this article, right-mouse click and choose Hyperlink, and type a link or URL in the address window at the bottom, or find the link you want on the Internet and copy and paste the URL in your browser into the Hyperlink address window. It’s easy!) Also get the little icons from each of these companies and post them on the home page of your site. Then visitors to your site can follow you through these mediums, especially if you had to modify your name on these pages at all from your company name. To get started, check out pages of others in the business that you know or admire and see who they are following, and follow them too! But stay relevant! You are known by the company you keep, even online.
Lisa Orman founded her virtual business, KidStuff Public Relations, 18 years ago, when AOL was the only email service and the internet was a baby. Connect with her on her company blog at www.kidstuffpr.com/blog, on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to her Youtube channel.