Before we begin, please note that doing business online, be it digital marketing, eCommerce, lead generation, whatever you choose to do will always be equal parts offense and defense. This means that, even if you end up not spending much time in some of the online platforms, you’re still going to want to own your brand(s) presence in the space. If not, competitors, trolls, or any malcontents can be
somewhat thwarted in taking your name and using it in those spaces.
“Well, aren’t there several legal precedents in place to prevent it?”
Sure, but it won’t prevent those malcontents in the moments when they’re masquerading as you and hurting your brand. With that in mind, pay attention to all the properties in the list.
Now, let’s begin with the first 21ish of 13 properties [you’ll see why]
- Google : As we wrote about in the previous article, Google is always the first account we get in our projects. It’s the one we recommend for others regardless of the size and scope of a project with an online presence. It’s also the one we use when setting up the other property accounts in this list. Speaking of other properties, remember to set up YouTube & Google+ & Google My Business once you get your Google account.
- Facebook : We typically think, “do the search engine accounts first,” when we set up profiles, but Facebook has become simply too big and too powerful to ignore. The Facebook profile is is unique because if you already have an account that you use for business purposes, then all you really have to do is make a page for the business and pick up the vanity url so you can have facebook.com/yourbrand. And because Facebook has a nice administrator user tree, where different operators of the page can have different roles and privileges, folks don’t need to make multiple accounts just to make a page. You can just include them with their existing Facebook accounts.
- Twitter: Once again, I’ll get the social media properties before anything other than Google. It’s a battle of immediacy vs. relevance. Platforms like search engines Bing and
, if they can make up their damned minds as to what they want to be now,Yahoo! will be vital long term, but their tools allow for a little brand variance initially because they typically work behind the scenes to put promote your online presence. So, even if you don’t plan to use Twitter much, grab it first. It’s a powerful tool regardless of whether you or your competition uses your brand in that space.
- Bing: I can only change so much. Eventually, I’m going to have to get the search engine accounts. Bing is the only other search engine in the US, at the moment, that indexes its own results and gets relevant traffic. They also have free email and – to us, the most important – their own Webmasters to help tell you how your website is performing in Bing.
- LinkedIn : Until Yahoo! figures out whether or not they want to be an actual search engine with a full-service ad platform, you can get projects running on a few other platforms first. Go to LinkedIn. If you don’t have a profile yet for yourself, set it up. Then, set up a company / brand page, depending on what your project is. It’s typically the most serious of the platform. Bring your ideas first, jokes second here.
- Instagram: IT’s known for it’s visual community. It’s also a great place to post content to and have them syndicate to Facebook, Tumblr, FourSquare Swarm, Flickr, and Twitter (even though the images don’t appear).
- Gravatar.com: This is used by countless websites and online platforms as the defining branding gravatar for your user profiles. Most notably, WordPress uses this for websites and comments. They match it up to your login (which is typically your email). Set the Gravatar with your Google account and you’ll unify your branding in numerous locations.
- WordPress.com: Note that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are technically different. WordPress.com are sites the company hosts. WordPress.org are copies of the free software developers and cloud companies can use for self-hosted blogs. This will also be the account you use for commenting on others’ WordPress blogs.
- Snapchat: The kids love it, so early adopter marketers are using it to attract visitors. So, enjoy it while it lasts.
- Pinterest: It’s niched. It’s domestic. It’s graphic intensive. If it’s your niche, then it’s beautiful.
- Tumblr: Sweet, simple blogging platform and a nice pop culture community who uses it.
- Yahoo.com: At the moment, Yahoo! is a hot mess. One day they’re talking about indexing content again, the next they’re not. One day they’re going to start providing their own SEM platform again, the next they’re hedging their platform based on devices. That said, get an account and monitor them. If they ever figure it out again, they’ll have a sh*tton of eyeballs on their screens. And, they have Flickr, and you want that for images.
- Yelp: They can legally fudge with their reviews, but reviewers still use them. So if your niche applies, you’ll want to make sure you put in your business address and info is in there and make sure your asking clients and stakeholders to give reviews.
The next batch of properties you should get while you’re at it
- Moz : It’s an SEO Software company that used to do consultancy. They’ve got a couple cool tools, including Open Site Explorer, which will provide great insight into competitors. And, if you’re not sure about Search Engine Optimization, then check out their SEO beginner’s guide
- Also, if you need SEO, check the SEO Starter’s Guide from Google.
- Reddit: Honestly, sit around for 3 months learning and commenting. This site will help you understand what makes the internet tick. You’ll see how crazy, jacked, outlandish, and beautiful it is.
Other local directories that are worth it
- TripAdvisor: It got Katie and I from Chicago to San Francisco and back, and forth, again. It’s more than hotels and restaurants.
- FourSquare: They brought the gamifcation back, but change the name of their app because, God, I know don’t know why. Maybe it was because it was a Tuesday.
Video video and streaming content apps
Even if you’re not ready today, the phone that you’re either you’re reading this on, or is in your pocket, purse, or nearby table, probably has the tech available to capture video. It means it can probably perform video streaming.
- <a href=" https://vine.co/" Vine: Though they’re not a streaming device, yet, they were the first social media app to prioritize video in social networks. With the rise of Instagram video, Meerkat and Periscope, they should be streaming shortly.
- Meerkat: It’s a streaming app. A great place to start.
- Periscope: Another great app. I know it because ESPN Chicago Cubs reporter Jesse Rogers uses it to show batting practice before games.
Incredible double-secret probation bonus tips: own the misspellings
- You’ll spell it right, but “close enough” often gets the job done online. Get the misspellings so no one can run a job on you.
- 1B – Also own your name with the following words attached: