Online, reputation is everything. It drives you professionally, personally and algorithmically. Have a good one and you’ll see positive returns. Develop a bad one and you’ll have to work doubly hard to come back into your customers good graces.
While it’s impossible to monitor every venue showcasing public opinion and reviews, you can work to protect your business’ reputation by registering your business’ name with as many social media, forums, and discussion sites as you can, especially the popular ones in your niche.
Why? Well anyone can register any name at a social media site and pass themselves off as you. Or just register the same name and tie it up so you can’t.
If you’ve worked hard at promoting your name (or a forum nick-name), people will assume it’s you they see on various social media sites.
Imagine their confusion when some guy starts posting crazy comments and ideas that aren’t congruent with yours! By not registering your name you’ve also missed the chance to build on it and promote your business image.
Any idiot can come along and register your username, no verification or identification required.
Once they become “you”, they can seriously damage your reputation by making outlandish accusations or promises on behalf of your company.
At the very least they cause confusion without actual malice. It could go on for months before you find out about it and by then…negative opinions about your business are made, your small business’ reputation is damaged and people are left scratching their heads.
If you think it’s a big waste of time to go around and establish your branded username, consider the time and expense it will take to get those negative comments deleted and the confusion straightened out.
Also consider the added link bonus you’ll get by taking possession of your username; many of the social media sites allow links in their profile that will pass PageRank..
Be pro-active and register your small business’ name on as many social media sites as you can. Tie up your username and avoid damaging your reputation, don’t make it easy for anyone to steal your online identity.
Here are some sites to get you started. Just set up your profile so you can claim your business’ name…and your name also if you want.