I recently wrote about social brand sabotage and how evil competitors can be sometimes. Today, I’d like to share 10 quick steps to help protect your brand from this type of sabotage.
1. Register a Twitter Username for Your Brand
If you don’t claim this for your brand, there’s a very likely chance someone else will. Whether they’re planning to sabotage your social efforts or squat on the username with the hope you’ll buy it from them doesn’t matter.
You’ve lost control of your brand.
There’s no reason why you should wait to register a username. You don’t need a branded email address to claim it and you don’t have to register your business beforehand, so why wait?
Get it done.
2. Snag the Facebook Page Vanity URL
The second place sabotaging companies might strike is your Facebook page. The sooner you snag a vanity URL (that’s the customized version of the URL associated with the Facebook page you’ve set up for your company), the more likely you are to protect yourself from sabotage.
This is important because you’re probably going to be directing people to your facebook page in effort to build your following at some point. Having a branded URL not only makes it easy on your users, but it looks more professional too. If you find yourself out of luck here, don’t worry, you can always get creative and have fun with it by designating your mantra as the URL instead.
3. Get On Tumblr
It’s the year of Tumblr and the importance of content marketing is more powerful than ever, so consider registering an account on Tumblr and claiming your branded URL.
As a free publishing tool, Tumblr enables users to create blogs by creating subdomains. For example, if you were to register a blog for your brand, you’d end up with something like this:
Again, if someone has already beaten you to the punch here, don’t worry … get creative and carry on.
Pinterest is one of those insane success stories, because of it’s incredible growth rate. Get on it! Register an account and start pinning it up. Create a board for your brand and lead the way.
If you don’t, someone else might and people might be confused about your company. For example, if you’re company, Super Bright Markers, specializes in art supplies but another company comes along and regisers the name Super Bright Markers and begins pinning pictures of their products (street cones and neon markers), your customers might be lost when they find that your brand is on Pinterest … because it’s not your brand at all.
Similarly, you need to get on Google+ and start sharing content with a branded page. I know, I know … Google+ may or may not make it as a social network, and it doesn’t look like the masses have jumped aboard (yet), however, the impact your activity will have across your direct and indirect community will be substantial as Google now includes personal search results whenever someone searching for something.
For example, if you visit FuelYourVenture often and you search for the Ultralight Startup, you’ll probably see the post I wrote a couple weeks ago. The power here is tremendous for publishers, because it ties the person searching the web to sources of information they already trust.
Like Pinterest, other companies can take advantage of your brand here. They won’t show up in the search results, but they might confuse people when people on Google+ search for your brand. Again, when someone searches for Super Bright Markers in effort to find your company, yet they find the street cone company, they’re going to be confused.
Protect Your Company
These five basic destinations can help you protect your company from social brand sabotage, as they enable you to claim your brand and control your message and appearance to the public.
There are hundreds of places where you can register and claim your brand name (I’ll work on putting together an extensive list here), but it’s just a matter of aligning yourself with the company best for you. For example, some companies don’t find Pinterest particularly helpful in terms of conversions while others have doubled or even tripled their business. Likewise, some might find success with Twitter but not Facebook and vice versa.
What do you use to protect your company from social brand sabotage?
Image by Nevada Tumbleweed