Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Part 1. Your online presence, your domain, Linkedin, Facebook, twitter

Establishing a Virtual Presence allows you to expand the reach of your brand and your idea to a really large population. It has been found in many studies that enabling your social network through multiple platforms allows you to address audiences more effectively.


SETUP DOMAIN ON GODADDY:

To enable our online presence we went about setting up a domain name. While researching which vendor we wanted to go for, we chose godaddy as our preferred choice as they had a direct link for an automated setup with google apps for business.

We bought our domain from godaddy.com by paying for the relevant fees. You could choose the duration for which your domain should be active. You can extend the domain by setting up a yearly schedule.

Godaddy at any point in time has coupons and deals that allows you to get good offers. In our case we choose the option of picking only the domain from them, as we had planned on setting up our domain on the google business apps. 

However, if you want you could also go for additional services like web-hosting, email configuration, website builder and others.


CONFIGURE YOUR DOMAIN ON GOOGLE APPS FOR BUSINESS:

Once we setup our godaddy account, we went to the Google Setup wizard to setup Google Apps for our domain. Follow the steps indicated by the wizard and voila you have your domain records pointing to the google servers in no time. 

For sure, at this time it will be good to point out to you regarding the cpanel, MX records, A records and other such terms which will help you in locating and setting up your domain. Just copy the above terms onto google and get an understanding of what these mean. And trust me, setting up your domain cpanel and the google admin panel is a really easy task which can be done by meticulously following the documentation.

Now at this time, i would like to point out that till this point in time, i have spent about USD 2.50 to purchase the domain for a year. And starting with buying a subscription for 10 users on the google apps for business. Google provides a fixed plan and a flexible plan (allowing for adding user accounts as your company grows, will recommend this for the starters). 

  • Price: the Annual Plan is $50 per user account per year (billed in monthly installments) and the Flexible Plan is $5 per user account per month, totaling $60 per user account per year.
Once your domain is setup on google apps for business, the next apps that are automatically and immediately available to you are the mail, calender, docs, sites. So now you can get your business cards printed with your domain name and your domain based email id. All in a matter of a couple of days.

Cost of setup up till now : USD 602.50, for 10 users. We opted for a flexible plan.


CREATE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK

Next, step would be to create a "company account" which you could use to share not only on your website, but also on all the other social networks. We found this to be really important since we were able to have all the social network chatter routed to this account, which allowed us to be responsive to the chatter from this single company account.

Once you have created the company account, you can proceed to each of the social networks and create your logins using this company account. Please note Google + and Facebook require personal sounding email id's to create your account on their websites. So be ready to provide your email ID's on those networks.

We went about setting up our company profile's on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Google +. We started with these social platforms but there are others like pintrest, foursquare and others that one could add your presence to.

With this we come to the end of the Part 1, of our series of setting up an online presence. We have for the sake of brevity not gotten into giving a step by step account of setting up purely because, the documentation is very elaborate and following it step for step will have you up and running in a couple of days. 

Please note however, while you are setting up your domain records, you might have to wait a while for the new values to propogate in the google servers. For this reason, the entire process might land up going to about 2-3 days.

Do write into us on info@hcitexpert.com with your comments. Alternatively, please leave your comments on our blog page and we will respond back.

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