Which would you rather be on Twitter? Ford or Fordonlinedotcom?
Your name might already be taken!
Any good social media campaign starts with promoting your brand with a user name matching your brand or company. But the name you want to use might be taken already. Some unscrupulous types might be squatting those names (scooping them up early and planning on selling them to the highest bidder). It’s bad enough that you might have to pay to get your own name on Facebook but even worse if your competitor gets it.
If the squatter doesn’t use it; if they don’t publish anything, then no one can really accuse them of infringement.
But no one wants to ramp up their social media program and discover your name is taken. Or worse, you don’t want to discover that messages are going out that hurt you, sent by others and in your name.
I’ve written before about how you can check to see if your brand or company or name is getting buzz within the social networking sphere both here and here. And I’ve written about how to manage the sheer volume of messaging going out in your name. This blog is about how to directly obtain the rights to your names on social networks before anyone else does.
Up until now you could write to twitter and ask for a user name if it is being held by someone else but no one is using it. Twitter generally has a 9 month rule. If a name is inactive you can ask for it.
Pretty soon Twitter will be releasing a flood of names that have gone unused. The company plans this release but hasn’t put in place a date as yet.
There are several web sites you can use to check to see if your name is available on a list of different social web sites ranging from blogging to micro-blogging to bookmarking to social networks. They can also check community oriented social networks and business oriented social networks. They can check out sites devoted to photographs; to music and to news. Some of these web sites for name checking will even register your name for you for a fee.
You should go to these websites today and check all of your brand names, your company names and even the words you might use as a leader in your marketing programs. Even if you don’t register right away, at least you’ll know where you stand.
- The first is www.usernamecheck.com. You key in your name and it automatically checks 68 different sites to see if your name is available.
- The next one I’ll mention is www.knowem.com. They search over 350 popular social media networks. Plus they have programs whereby you pay a fee and they register and sign you up for up to 300 different social sites.
- Lastly www.namechk.com seeks your name’s availability at 72 different sites.
Your user name (or better yet your username) is still available at many sites. But it takes an aggressive program to make sure someone else doesn’t get there first.
So…on your mark, get set…………..go!