If you’ve already been using a personal Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed that when you search for someone, you’ll get all the results for that person’s name. The same outcome applies when you search for a business. You might think your business is unique and then be surprised when a search for your business name pulls up several results.
If you’re only just creating your business page at this point, when people search for your company, they will be shown the other Facebook page results with your company name. That’s why it’s important to identify unique social handles at the same time you select your domain name. Website owners tend to delay getting going on social networking until their sites are just right or they have the staff to handle it, but delaying the plan to integrate it will only make branding more difficult down the line.
The time to plan out your social handles is when you select your domain. You’ll want to check Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn to see if anyone else is using your desired handle. Even if you’re not ready to do anything with them yet, claiming them right away will prevent others from getting them first.
Social and Branding
The sooner you can get 25 fans for your page, the sooner it will be shown in the Facebook search results. If you link from your website using the anchor text “your website Facebook,” “your website Twitter,” etc., when people search for your company, your social pages will appear in the search results, helping to push down any undesirable results, such as negative reviews. Even if it’s too soon to say much about your website, you can invite your friends and family to start building your following.
Linking your “about” page to your Google profile as well as any articles you write and then linking your profile to the articles will help your content stand out and may possibly be a future ranking factor that will benefit your website.
When your site is young, you have to be careful about how you approach link building. By beginning your social networking early on, you have a venue to encourage the natural link building process by sharing your content. It takes time for new sites to show up in the search engines and even longer to rank for difficult keywords. Sharing your content through social platforms gives you the potential to bring attention to your site even before it ranks for anything.
Until recently, social networking has been an afterthought. Today, most business owners know it’s important to their businesses and new online businesses should be planning for it from the get-go.
Theresa Happe works with NameFind.com, a tool that lets you identify available social handles while you search for a business domain name.