There is an old adage that “the early bird gets the worm.” Back in the 1990s, “domain squatting” was all the rage, where people not even involved with a brand would register the brand’s domain name—like the reporter who registered mcdonalds.com! Now the battle for domain names has moved over to Twitter and Facebook.
A perfect example of this came last month when a major movie rental service announced it was rebranding and changing its name. The whole campaign hit a bump in the road when they realized someone else had the Twitter handle they wanted, and that person’s tweets would have seriously hurt the brand…let’s just say they weren’t tweeting about movies!
Since you can’t buy a Twitter handle—Twitter doesn’t allow it—here are some things you should think about when snapping up your brand’s web and social names:
- When you pick your website’s custom domain name, secure the same name on Facebook and Twitter. For example, if your business is called XYZPlants it’s a good idea to secure www.xyzplants.com for your website, www.facebook.com/xyzplants on Facebook, and @xyzplants on Twitter. If either the Facebook or Twitter handles aren’t available, then choose easy-to-remember versions of your business’s name, like “xyzplantz” or “xyzplant.”
- While you’re thinking creatively, it’s also a good idea to buy the domains for the common misspellings of your website’s name. So a business called Kathy’s Kites might not only purchase kathyskites.com, but also cathyskites.com. Kathy can then forward cathyskites.com to the real site, kathyskites.com, so more customers find and reach her business online. Of course, you’d only use the “real” website URL on marketing materials.