Businesses and individuals can both instill their identity and make their companies easy to find online by claiming their personal and professional locations on the platforms their clients use.
Business B2B Social Network Tips
What platforms do you use to reach your customers? Are you selling exclusive B2B or B2C, or do you have a mix of the two channels? If you’re strictly B2B, I recommend the following:
- Make sure you have a web address that matches your name or is as close as possible. If your company name is something that has common elements with your competitors or could be easily misspelled, making sure it matches is to your advantage.
- Buy domain names with different extensions or with frequent spelling errors. You may trade under one name, but domain name squatters can try to take your legitimate business name, or one that you could be wanting for expansion or a new business, and sell it back to you for a premium. If it makes sense for you to spend the $10 – $20/year (or less when you renew for multiple years depending upon who your domain name company is), to buy .info, .us, .biz or other appropriate extensions, do it to keep your brand integrity.
- Claim your company name on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. The name rush is underway for several of them, but you can still be ahead of the game if you claim them for no other reason than a purely defensive move.
Individual B2B Social Network Tips
The same concerns that we place on preventing identity theft or personal fraud in the real world should carry over to the internet and social media as well. There are a few ways to “own” yourself online.
- LinkedIn lets you personalize your URL. You can have “linkedin.com/in/yourname”; log into your account and search the help for “personalizing your URL”. This is better than putting a random string of letters and numbers after your ID, especially if you are promoting it through advertising or on business cards, collateral or other places. The easier things are to remember, the more likely people will.
- Claim your name on social networks. I’ve got @scottcase on Twitter. I was early (2009). I get confused all the time for @tscottcase, somebody much more famous. But the point is…I’ve got my name. You should have yours.
- Look at platforms that let you have your own branded page. about.me is a great one if you want to claim your name and let the page name be your name. All people have to do is remember the platform (easy enough) and your name, and it’s a no-brainer.
On a personal note, it doesn’t hurt to start for your kids, either. I know someone who had a baby this year and their newborn daughter has her own Twitter handle already. I’ll admit we set up Gmail accounts for our children; just thinking ahead.
Platforms are constantly evolving, and the big ones are heavily trafficked now. Claiming your name on social networks existent and emerging is a great way to insure that your identity is not misrepresented or co-opted online.