Back in August I highlighted Knowem.com, a cool new startup that I thought small business owners needed to be aware of. Well, earlier this week partners in crime Michael Streko and Barry Wise unleashed a new version of the brand-claiming service which has made it an absolute MUST for small businesses. This is one that simply needs to be on your radar. KnowEm 2.0 launched on Tuesday with a brand new Web site and a host of new features that make it even more powerful than it was before (and it was pretty impressive the first time around). The KnowEm Enterprise Dashboard has been helping Fortune 500s secure their brands in social media since May of this year through private profile set ups (complete with links and pictures). According to KnowEm Co-Founder Barry Wise, "since the launch of the private invite beta of the enterprise dashboard, [KnowEm] has secured over 100,000 profiles". Now, with the relaunch, they're not only extending that service for major brands, but giving small business owners a way to get in on the action. With the free, basic version of KnowEm, small business owners can instantly check brand name availability on 330 social media sites to see where their name is or is not registered. You can also register your personal name or brand for free on the site. If you haven't yet launched that site or product, a quick KnowEm search is a great way to get some insight on names you'll want to avoid or gravitate toward based on what's already been registered. Once you've identified where your brand is available, you can then choose have KnowEm secure it across any of the networks. There's also a personal dashboard that SMB owners can take advantage of to access all of their social accounts from one centralized location. If you've ever had to manage multiple accounts, you know what a time saver this is. To help businesses further control their brand, KnowEm offers three fee-based services: The Individual Edition: KnowEm will start the signup process for you at 150 different social media sites. They won't create profiles, though, so you'll have to do that manually. Cost: $99 The Corporate Edition: KnowEm will personally register your username across 150 of the top social media Web sites, setting up a basic profile that includes photos, bio, URL and a description. These profiles are not automated and are set up by a living, breathing person from New Jersey (insert your own joke ;)). Cost: $350 Subscription Plan: A monthly services that will sign up your username as new sites emerge (up to 30 new sites a month) to help ensure you get your brand on the next hot social site before it's too late. Cost: $49/month When we talk to clients about creating social media plans, our first step is to advise them to grab their brand everywhere. And we actually recommend KnowEm when we do it. It's very important that you have control of your identify all over the Web and KnowEm is a great way to do that. If you're looking to fill out your Google 10, now that KnowEm offers company and personal profiles, it's also another site you can use to help you get this done. From a security and branding perspective, KnowEm packs a powerful punch that you simply can't get anywhere else. Most SMB owners don't realize the importance of creating a consistent brand. You don't want someone else to register your brand name and then misrepresent or malign you across the social media channels. The consistency also helps people who know you in one community to trust that you're the same person in another. It's about all about building authority and credibility through a trackable history. I don't think SMB owners really need to go the route of the Subscription Plan (unless social media is the core of what you do), but both the Individual and Corporate Editions are definitely worth the investment. Even if you simply opt for KnowEm to create and fill out basic accounts for you and you personalize the ones you'll be using the most. It's really important that you take the time to build a presence in social media.\u00a0\u00a0 As a result, KnowEm really is worth its weight in gold.