June 30, 2014
Secure your username on social media sites before someone else does!
By Maureen McCabe
Kaleigh Rogers from The Toronto Star interviewed me as part of a piece they put together about using Pinterest for small business. As one of the latest social media trends, it can be hard to determine whether or not Pinterest will be an effective marketing tool for your business. While the image-based social network seems like a natural fit for highly visual small businesses in the design, beauty, art, and fashion industries, it might not be the best place for a financial advisor or IT services provider.
In the article, I offer the recommendation that whether or not you plan on using Pinterest as part of your small business social media strategy (or any other social network for that matter!), it’s still important that you claim your username or profile on these sites.
I call this “social media insurance.” It’s essential that you set up an account in order to stake your name, even if you don’t have the time to actively use the platform. Anyone else can easily set up a profile with your preferred username and establish themselves on a page with YOUR brand or company name. Not only are they taking up your prime real estate, they might even impersonate you or your business, so you’ve got to protect your brand. Securing your name is also beneficial if you do ever decide to use this platform in the future — you’re ready to go with a profile that matches your brand.
Read on for more tips on securing your username across social media for small business:
1. Hop on All the Latest Social Sites
Was a brand new social media network launched today? You can’t be sure whether it’s going to be the next big thing or a total flop, but at this point it doesn’t matter. Sign up for an account ASAP so you can get the username you want before someone else grabs it. Repeat this step any time you learn about a new social network to claim your business name.
2.Come Up With Options, But Be Consistent
Your preferred username might not be available, so you’re going to need a plan B, plan C… and maybe even a plan D. If you’re a little late to the game and are only signing up for a Twitter or Facebook account now, you might be out of luck when it comes to claiming your brand name. For example, I aim to have the username McCabeMarketing across all my social media profiles. However, if that were taken, I might use McCabeMarketingToronto or McCabe_Marketing.
In any case, it is a good idea to use the same name across your profiles, AND have your full business name in your username for SEO purposes — you want your potential customers to be able find you!
TIP: Use a site like namechk.com to quickly see if your preferred username is available across many of the most popular social networks.
3. Fill Out Some Basic Info
Once you’ve claimed your business name, complete your profile with some basic information. If possible, upload a profile photo of your logo so your page is easily identified as belonging to your brand. Include your contact information and a link to your website so anyone who does land on your profile can get in touch with you, even if you aren’t actively using that social network as part of your small business marketing plan.
No matter which social media sites you are active on as part of your small business marketing efforts, it’s essential that you take the time to secure your profiles as soon as possible. Even if you’re not completely ready to begin a small business social media marketing strategy, I always advise my clients to reserve their digital footprint for the future.
Check out my other blogs related to social media marketing for small business:
LinkedIn Showcase Pages: Using LinkedIn for Small Business Marketing
Why are social media and brand building important for your small business?
Pinterest is the latest social media craze. Is it right for your small business?
Six key benefits of social media for small business owners.
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