In the past few years, I have needed to create digital identities for a variety of entities–projects, clients, groups, etc. Each time I set up the digital footprint for these entities I’ve gotten smarter about the sequence of steps.
Below is a list of initial steps to take when creating the digital footprint of an entity. These services are all FREE so it’s affordable for a bootstrap situation or a well-funded business.
- Establish Consistent Brand: Brainstorm name ideas or brand variations. Check yor top selections on NameChk.com. This service magically checks all the major, second level and minor level social media outlets (159 at last count) to see if a specific “handle” is available. You can also download the results into a spreadsheet and use it to maintain a list of site registrations and log in credentials.
- Create A Master Hub: Create a Gmail account with the user name that cleared the brand hurdle above. The free services offered in Google are astounding starting with their web browser Chrome. My other favorites are Google+, Google Alerts, YouTube, Blogger and AdWords/Analytics.
Hot Tip: When you initiate your Google AdWords account it will issue a Google Analytics code [UA-xxxxxxxx-1] from within that service. When you build your blog-based website you can embed this code for tracking customers from search to purchase using Analytics.
- Get On The Majors: Using your gmail account or GoogleID establish identities on all the major networks and companion services: Twitter/Tweetdeck, Facebook, LinkedIn/SlideShare, Pinterest, Tumblr, WordPress, etc. The advantage of using Google ID is that as long as you are logged into your gmail account (especially when using Chrome) the other services will recognize you instantly.
Hot Tip: Every single network and service contains getting started tutorials–use them! You can frequently sign up for a getting started email series.
I have become aware of many of these services by attending free webinars–usually under the heading of search marketing, but also competitive intelligence gathering.
What are your favorites? Share the wisdom.
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