Managing your online presence against doppelnamers (Pt. 2)

Digital Design students experiment with 'Light Painting' using LED Flashlights and a Lightsaber!

If you don’t manage your online presence, spooky things can happen to your name. (Photo Credit: CC BY/VFS Digital Design/Flickr)

You and your business have an online presence that you must actively manage in order to ensure your continued success. Some who share your name can inadvertently – or sometimes intentionally – choke out the success of your business online, as a weed chokes the flower. Here are more tips for maintaining your unique online identity. CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article.

Manage your online presence tip No. 4 – Social media isn’t a dead storefront

Sure, you have all the high-profile social media accounts. But do you actually use them? Your small business isn’t going to promote itself in the brick-and-mortar world, and the same concept holds true online. By actively engaging readers with posts, questions, polls, tweets and more, you encourage discussion with fans. Respond to them and encourage conversation. Google will notice, leading to promotion of search results that include your name and business. It’s golden search juice you should be enjoying, rather than your doppelnamer.

Manage your online presence tip No. 5 – Be consistent

Don’t take liberties with the sacred sanctum that is your name. In all of your web properties and social media sites, it should appear the same way. If you use your middle initial or a junior in one place – always a good idea if you have such a suffix, for the sake of distinguishing you from others – you should use it in all places online and offline. Your name is part of your brand, so fly that flag.

Manage your online presence tip No. 6 – You need some personal face time

Your name can be front and center, and you can encourage active discussion with fans and clients, but another trick – a trick with which some may disagree – that you need in your arsenal to help combat the influence of any doppelnamers is a picture. Don’t assume that this will somehow put you at risk. The people who want to use your image to harm you will find a way, regardless. Most people out there won’t actually force you to go on damage control. The positive benefit of associating a name with a face online will help your business more than it will hurt. Lack of that personal touch can make some consumers feel suspicious of you and your business, as if you have something to hide. Treat your online business relationships the same way you’d treat them in the outside world. A smile and a handshake will always make a positive difference.


San Francisco Chronicle


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