I just finished reading and responding to a great blog post over on StartupNation by Rich Sloan about cybersquatting.
It’s an unfortunate downside to the Social Networking world and I’m seeing more and more of it lately.
But take heart!
There’s something that can be done about it NOW.
Does it surprise me that someone would come along and scoop up the StartupNation Twitter handle?
Nope, not at all.
The good people over on SuN didn’t see a use for Twitter at the time and didn’t register an account in their name.
They can say that their Twitter handle got ripped off, when in reality someone else beat them to the punch.
Yes, yes…in SuN’s particular case, the cybersquatter asked for $15,000.00 in return for the account (CLEARLY in bad taste).
The good news for Rich and SuN is that they had a trademark on their name, enabling them to claim the account legally.
But for the rest of us who don’t have legal trademarks on our business names (or real names) for that matter, it’s important to make sure to sign up (across the board) for the name you want to brand (even if you don’t plan on using that profile right now).
If you’re using Social Networking for professional purposes, I recommend using one account name and one avatar across the board for branding purposes.
**TIP** Use your First Name capitalized and then your Last Name capitalized (i.e., MiaChambers). DON’T use your business name as your profile name or your logo as your avatar. Be a person first and stand in front of your business. **
Take a look at this website to help you determine if your username is being used on other sites: http://knowem.com/.
While each site will have their own guidelines on how to “reclaim” your username, here’s some guidelines to follow if you find that your username has been taken on Twitter: How to Snap Up the Twitter Username You’ve Always Wanted.
Take a Saturday afternoon and register yourself on a few of the more popular Social Networking sites.
If you don’t have the time or interest to do this for yourself, have a Virtual Assistant do this for you.
Ask me how I can help.