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5 tips for managing your online identity

With the internet such an intricate part of daily life, and your guidelines and regulations constantly changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to manage and maintain your company’s online identity. There are five specific steps you should take to manage your online identity in order to keep your relevancy high and your customers informed.

1. Create a Google Business Profile

Building a free Google Business Profile is the best way to connect with customers through Google Search and Maps. According to a Brandify survey, 77% of consumers said they use Google Maps to search for nearby businesses, and 84% of consumers said they searched for a restaurant online in the last 30 days.

Once you’ve got your Google Business Profile up and running, make sure to keep things up to date. Any imperative information that is changed in the real world—including phone number, address, operating hours, COVID guidelines, and more—should also be changed on your profile. Use the merchant description field to highlight changes you feel your customers need to know.

If an update is particularly important, like if you need to temporarily shut down, you can build a Google Post to ensure consumers see the information in the Knowledge Panel, which is the information box that appears on Google when you search for something. In a post, you can include adding more details with a photo, title, description, and a call to action.

2. Host online events

Going virtual with events is a great way to raise awareness and engage with people that would not otherwise be able to come into your brick-and-mortar location. It’s also a practice that is part of our new normal thanks to COVID. You can also go virtual with any events that you would otherwise have to cancel or postpone. Consider hosting a webinar or organizing a live session on Facebook or Instagram.

Do you run an exercise studio? Host an online class. Are you a restaurant owner? Consider launching a cooking, taste-tasting, or even eating contest series. This is a chance for you to get creative with not only your strategy for growing an online following, but also engaging your existing customer base in an innovative way.

3. Be consistent

Make sure the services or products your company sells are being promoted and described in the same way on every platform you’re on. Everything from the hours you’re open to your latest sales promotions need to be the same to avoid confusion. If your online information is inconsistent, people may view you as dishonest, or at the very least find your information confusing.

4. Clean up social media

Those frat party or spring break photos may have seemed appropriate to post at the time, but they can damage not only your personal but your business reputation. Businesscollective recommends manually going through all your social media sites and removing any harmful content. If you’re in doubt about any posting or picture, it’s better to err on the side of caution and remove it. You may also need to ask friends and coworkers to remove unsavory items from their social media sites as well.

5. Enlist a professional service

Sometimes it’s necessary to use a professional service to improve your reputation and expand your online presence. Business News Daily has compiled a list of online management services to help you manage your online identity. The quality of services is based on cost, transparency, customer service, and the types of services offered.

Information on the internet can change in a nano-second, making it crucial to remain vigilant. You’ll need to regularly check Google and continually update your online identity.

Managing your online identity FAQs

What are ways to add to your online identity?

Creating a Google business profile, if applicable, will give you a more robust online presence, especially on search engines, which can help your online reputation. Other social networking sites like LinkedIn can also give you a professional online presence and help recruiters and potential employers find you.

What are the benefits of managing your online identity?

Reputation management is a big part of it. You want people to know what you are about, what you do, your skills, and reviews from clients. The point is to create a strong and desirable digital identity that lets people know about you or your business.

What are some of the things that you can do to manage your online identity?

Tidy up your website and online activities. Online is not real life, but it is about real life, and potential employers or potential customers still want to see professionalism. You can hire people to do this for you and clean up your social media yourself. Try to be consistent across platforms, so if your website is super professional but your Instagram is more objectionable, people can see that and might consider taking their business elsewhere. You can use your social media for marketing yourself or your business, so keeping it in line with your mission is important.

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