I constantly run into this massive brand management mistake involving Social Media profiles; they forget to claim the profile’s custom URL. When you forget to claim the Social Media profile custom URL, but spend millions of dollars promoting your new tagline or product name you can end up in trouble.
I have worked with many creative teams, agency and in-house groups, that launch a new tagline, product name or campaign name. They spend months developing the new concept creating a year long release calendar and tons of promotional events educating their target consumer. They pour millions of dollars into TV, Print and Radio. They blitz Paid Search and deploy SEO so they can dominate the search engine results page. Then someone notices their Social Media profiles all have different custom URLs. How can that be with a “new” concept or name? No one knew what this new word was until the campaign launched or until this new product was introduced at the latest conference.
Well the Social Media team did not create the laundry list of Social Media profiles until weeks or months after release. While you were spending valuable time, resources and money promoting your new tagline or product name there was a legion of “entrepreneurs” creating Twitter, Facebook and Google+ profiles using your new word for their custom URLs. Now their Twitter profile is sitting in the number three position in Google and there is nothing you can do about it. The social networks will not boot the first person that claimed your custom URL; you are out of luck.
Now half your Social Media profiles use the actual tagline or product name and the other half do not. Brand consistency is tossed out the window and you will endure consumer confusion or worse; lost revenue opportunities. When your customer cannot find your Facebook profile but they are landing on a “fake” yet active version you are losing out.
This also can lead to reputation management issues. What if the owner of that “fake” profile is not responding to your customers in your company’s voice? What if they are getting testy with your current or potential customers? All you can do is sit back and try to find ways to drive those people to the correct profile page.
However, all of this can be avoided if you create these profiles before the launch of the campaign or new product. You do not need to actively post yet blowing the cover on the new concept, but at least claim them. Do not overlook this problem when you are planning your new campaign or product launch. Protect your brand.