Social Media for Small Business: Claiming the Name

Social Media for Small Business: Claiming the Name

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. When considering using social media for small business, owners can be eager to jump ahead and play with the big brand names. However, building a presence in the cyber world takes time, dedication, and consistency. It all begins with one very crucial step: claiming the business name.

Social Media for Small Business

When beginning to use social media for small business, owners should secure their names on all social media platforms, even if it is uncertain that all platforms will be used right away. It is important to take ownership of the company name in the social media realm before it becomes unavailable. The last thing a company wants is someone else using its company name placing any information they want in the cyber realm, or worse, pretending to actually be the company. Failure to claim the name before it’s too late disables a company from having complete control over its brand in the long run, as anonymous users with the name can disrupt communication between the real company and its audience.

Moreover, if impersonation problems do occur within social media for small business, such instances can be reported. Recently, Twitter has implemented stricter policies to help brands win back their name from frauds. If a brand can make a credible case providing specific types of evidence that it is being misrepresented and show ownership of a domain name or trademark with the desired name, Twitter will help the company owners reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Not only do small businesses want to make sure they are the one controlling their names, but their names should be brand consistent, easily recognized, and easily remembered so fans will be more inclined to tag and mention them. Tags, mentions and other interactions are the lifeblood of social media for small business.

Sometimes when a company happens to have a popular name, and did not claim it in the social media realm early on, owners will find their name take by another user who is using the name to represent something different from the company. If this happens, small modifications can be made that will still allow the company to own its virtual presence. For example, many companies add a modifying noun to their Twitter handle so it reads, “Companyname_news.” Modifiers can also help clarify the type of business a company is. For example, instead of a Twitter handle simply read, “Sunshine,” it could read “SunshineCafe” or “Sunshine_Coffee.” This is also useful for company exposure because it has a greater chance of appearing in the search results when a user enters a word describing a generic type of business such as “café” or “coffee.”

Once the social name is claimed, small business owners should customize social media webpage address links. Some social media sites, such as Twitter, automatically do this, however others must be manually modified in the account settings section. This will help produce better search engine results for consumers looking for specific businesses and in turn helps social media marketing.

Although beginning to use social media for small business can be daunting, owners shouldn’t let the fear of playing the social media game keep them from claiming their name.