As a Graphic Designer who specializes in image advertising, I have been well-paid to protect the reputations of the companies who have hired me. And these have been big companies, with big budgets. So when someone with a small company asks me how they should promote their company, many times I tell them not to.
But if you feel like you are ready to speak up, and would like to avoid making you and your company look foolish, here is how to start
• Get a logo. Hire a pro, like me. That logo that was designed by your niece is just an embarrassment. It may have sentimental value, but that's it. It looks ridiculous. And once you have the new logo, replace your old logo everywhere. Yes, on that expensive sign, on your business cards, on your website, everywhere. That alone should be enough to keep you busy and spending more money than you ever wanted to.
• Get a decent website. Remember the designer who made that cool logo for you? They can probably do a nice website, or find someone who can. Make sure it's perfect. No misspelled words, no bad links, works on every browser. It would be nice if it worked on phones and tablets, too. And if you're thinking of getting a cheap website at GoDaddy, or something, well, all I can do is sigh. Sigh.
There you go. By the time you get to marketing on Facebook, or Google+, you will already have a strong foundation. When you jump into social media (which is just Public Relations and Marketing) chances are very slim that you will do an actual damage to your company's reputation.