In Social Media, Name Recognition is CRITICAL!
According to Wikipedia, “A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan.“
To that I also want to add that a brand includes the culture inherent in a business or individual. Examples of these are a culture of classy products, a culture of carelessness, a culture of laid back honesty, a culture of negativity or a culture of taking good care of ones customers.
But… back to brands as they relate to NAMES.
While many of us in social media marketing are (correctly) creating our name as a brand, because we are functioning on a digital platform we must contend not only with our name, but with a USER NAME.
A username is the publicly visible portion of our brand when we interact on social media platforms such as twitter.
For example, my name, Kimberly Castleberry is all over the place. However, my name-linked brand Just Ask Kim, has been shortened to “AskKim” on most of the social platforms lately.
What this means is that if someone is thinking of dropping me a message on a social platform they are just as likely to type in “AskKim” as they are “Kimberly Castleberry”.
So “AskKim” is now part of my brand.
[Insert Ominous Music]
The problem arises when someone ventures onto a platform that we haven’t attended to and searches for our brand… and finds someone other than us!
With the vast number of platforms now, being certain we’ve covered the majority of them can be headache!
Two Solutions To Brand User Name Tracking!
In a recent Better Networker video post, Shelly Allen introduced a free website that can check to see which sites your (user) name is available vs taken on.
The site she suggested is http://namechk.com/ and it does a great job for doing a quick check of about 75 social platforms.
NameChk is quick, lightweight, free and a great way to quickly rule out usernames that may be way too prevalent.
My friend and fellow blogger Gail over at Growmap.com introduced me to another site that is more comprehensive.
Gail suggested the use of http://KnowEm.com to not only analyze possible good/bad username choices for free but to use also make use of their paid service to register accounts with them all at once!
Even if you’re not looking for a paid registration service, KnowEm does a free analysis of the taken/available status of your username idea across 400 social platforms! (Wow!)
It’s important to be aware that this should be the preliminary search and does not help one avoid imposing on a registered trademark. Once you have identified a suitable brand name, be sure to check its current trademark status.
Play around with these free choices and be sure that you have your user name secured on as many sites as possible.
For the same reason it is often important to register the .net, .org, .info variants of your .com domain name, protecting your user name on social accounts is vital to avoiding fraudulent, business reputation damaging behavior by someone pretending to be your (or at least appearing to be if they got there first!).
Keep your username as SHORT and MEMORABLE as possible. If you have a difficult to spell name, consider using its short form and remember that every character eats into your 140 character message allotment on twitter.
There you have it! Now you have some great tools to evaluate your usernames and allow you identify platforms you yet need to create accounts on!
If you enjoyed this post I hope you’ll share it with others and give my twitter, facebook, digg and stumble buttons a good tap! Sharing is caring!
I look forward to your replies below and to learning what other tools you may be using to maintain brand consistency and if you’ve given it much thought at all. I can’t wait to hear from you so leave your comments in the box below and we will talk soon!
Keep on rockin!
Post originally published May 18th, 2011 and Updated Sept 12th, 2014