March 25, 2015

For effective branding, get your social media handles in line

On this blog, we've just discussed the importance of exploring alternate domain names to prevent misuse and loss of traffic. Another way companies can foolproof their online presence is to follow trends in social media platforms. At present, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram stand as the major mediums of building a following online. However, emerging social networks give companies the opportunity to own their corporate name before someone else snatches it. 

For example, Snapchat was once a small, ephemeral messaging platform that no one quite knew what to do with. Today, Snapchat "stories" and other features have allowed businesses to display content for followers. In the years since it was founded, millions of users have flocked to the photo-sharing app, and it's possible that some corporate entities missed the boat in securing their branded username. 

Whether you intend to use a new social platform to present content or not, it's a smart idea to seize the appropriate user handle while there's still time. 

Like "cybersquatting" with URLs, individuals can also obtain usernames that are most appropriate for your brand. Encumbering your social media accounts with underscores, numbers and other symbols can cause your strategy to look scrappy and poorly-executed. Because there's such a premium on clean, essential handles, they can be difficult (or impossible) to attain once another user has acquired them. On Twitter, individuals and companies can appeal for their custom handle, though there's no guarantee that the result will be in your favor. 

There's no telling what will emerge as the next major social platform or how tech companies will use it to promote themselves. That's why following the social media beat and proactively securing your brand name can provide benefits down the road. With an effectively curated presence online, companies can implement an acquisition strategy that reflects the tight brand they have established.