Smart Setup for Online Business Profiles

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We recently covered how to avoid the urge to set up new online profiles unless absolutely necessary. But your digital accounts, whether private like email accounts or public like social ones, help with productivity and help you communicate better if you use them correctly.

So, how can you set up digital accounts for optimal results?

Public-Facing Accounts (social channels, blogs, websites)

  1. Think about the contact information you want displayed to the public. Make sure your business address is consistent across all public online accounts (watch for St. vs. Street, for example). List a non-personal email address and phone number that you are connected to often. You don’t want to miss important prospect messages because you didn’t check the general inbox
  2. Customize your profiles with branded images like your logo as headers or profile images. Make sure they fit within the space provided without being stretched or cutting off part of it. Also, choose images that won’t cause difficulty reading your profile information. For example, don’t use a white photo for a profile that has white text. Adjust the colors on your Twitter profile so your information is legible and matches your brand.
  3. Make sure your business website is prominent and accessible without clicks. For example, add your company URL in the "About" box on your business' Facebook page. Google+ automatically displays your provided URL proudly on your business page.
  4. Keep login information somewhere safe and change passwords regularly. Make sure all team members have the correct information and sign a confidentiality agreement (usually included in employment or client agreements). Consider trying some of these multi-platform password managers.
  5. Designate managers whenever possible, versus sharing logins with many people.

Private Accounts (email accounts, third-party software, productivity tools)

  1. Think about the contact information you want captured by the platform. For email, choose your first and last name or business name for contact information for alerts and notifications about your account. Gmail offers the option to provide a phone number in case you can’t be reached through email from Google.
  2. Follow the same guidelines on keeping passwords in No. 4 above for "Public Facing Accounts."
  3. Set up "rules" for emails you want forwarded to your primary email and enable sending from other email addresses in your primary account. Capture all incoming emails to multiple email addresses and switch the ‘from’ email in your primary account to stay efficient and responsive. (Try checking mail from another account in Gmail.)

When setting up an account online, think about the personal information you’re sharing, creating easy access to login information, account privacy, and enabling features to be productive and attentive to those who need you.

Rebecca Otis is the Content/Social Media Manager at Digital Third Coast, a Chicago digital marketing agency. She started her own small business marketing consultancy at the age of 26 and has spoken at HP Catalyst and BlogHer events on social media and education and small business marketing on a budget. She is a member of the Chicago Blogger Network and Chicago Food Bloggers organization, also serving on the Social Media Club Chicago board. You can find Rebecca on Twitter and Google+.

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