The world of social media is vast to say the least with some people using the platforms available to vent while businesses/individuals can also use it to grow their business or personal brand. The amount of money that can be made on social media via posting ads as well as videos is enormous. Influencer marketing has also erupted allowing those with decent amounts of followers to earn via marketing to their follower pool. With all of these opportunities to earn and grow a business trademarking your social media username might be in your best interest. Below we’ll discuss the benefits of doing so as well as some things to think about if you’re considering doing this later.
The first step of trademarking social media usernames is finding out if a specific username is available. Even if you haven’t launched a business yet, claim those usernames that you would want. Having these accounts can make it easier for customers to find company social media accounts. Names that are less intuitive or are not just the company name can be difficult for potential followers to find. Aim to keep the username under 15 or so characters long as a brief and clear name should be the goal. The ultimate goal is finding a handle that is available on all major social media platforms.
When creating names for a company it is important to check the availability of the name on social media. You might find that a company in a similar industry has that name which could lead to future confusion. Create a list of names along with handles for the specified names then go down the list. Consistency with social media handles will also reduce the likelihood of influencers receiving emails like this “Hey, I just wanted to make sure this is you on Twitter before I follow.” The same profile picture along with a description of the account can be a huge help in reducing these types of emails or DMs being sent.
Stay Reasonably Active
Once you have secured the handles that you would like, the work is not over by any means. You need to stay active on these accounts as otherwise it could lead your accounts being labeled as squatter accounts. On platforms like Twitter an inactive account could be removed after as little as 6 months without activity. Other platforms like that of Facebook can unpublish pages that are inactive thus making their posts impossible to find or search for.
Create A Consistent Brand
Creating a consistent brand was mentioned above as having 6 different usernames for major social media platforms can be a nightmare. Not only will followers question if the accounts are run by the same person/company, it can reduce followers due to this. For an influencer trying to make a living marketing on their social media accounts using the username as a discount code can be a great tactic. Not only can the brand track the ROI on a post the influencer is using but this discount can close sales that otherwise would have gotten stuck in the sales pipeline. A brand having to create 10 different discount codes is simply more difficult than having to create 1.
Avoid A Negative Image From An Account Unassociated With The Business
The last thing that an owner of a business wants is an imposter social media account hurting the company’s brand image. Unfortunately this could be done by a disgruntled former employee or even by competitors to get an edge. Trademarking a name could be a huge help with this as it would help get these accounts removed in a timely manner. This does not mean that these accounts cannot be continually created so monitoring this is very important. Trademarks don’t automatically mean that a company or person will receive ownership of the account though.
Eliminates Unwanted Business Associations
A company trying to piggyback off another company’s success through using a similar username or trademarked name happens more than many would expect. A company doing a giveaway using the trademarked name of another business makes it look like the giveaway is sponsored by this business. For less credible businesses this can ruin the reputation of a credible business due to the perception there is some kind of agreement between the two businesses. The company benefitting from associating its name with another should be compensating the larger more reputable business.
What You Need To Do Going Forward
Once you have trademarked your social media usernames through the proper legal channels the work is not done. Understand that there are going to be companies or individuals that feign a business relationship with your business/brand from time to time. Thwart these attempts as you only want to partner with businesses that conduct themselves in ethical ways. By attempting to attract customers through a false business partnership the business/person already has shown their true colors.
Set alerts via social media and online for things that mention your product names or company name. This can help a business root out those that might be selling fake or low quality products through social media.
Think Ahead If Rebranding
There’s a chance that a specific name or trademark is giving you too much trouble in terms of fake accounts or there is an issue trademarking the name. Those companies that are choosing to rebrand need to take a look at names that are available. They don’t want to make the same mistake again and with knowledge of how important this is the odds are the same mistake will not be made twice. Rebranding can be quite powerful and can allow a business to shed some of the negative reputation associated with a previous company name.
Social media usernames are important to say the least in today’s digital age. Don’t underestimate the importance of having the same usernames for all platforms. It is the small details in business that can make the biggest differences!