A Consideration When Buying Your Brand Domain: Social AvailabilityPosted: January 16, 2012 | |
The stars may not always align in your favor, but sometimes you can help make sure they do.
These days, starting a company involves not just setting up your own presence via a website, but setting up your social presence as well. There’s a possibility soon that social media may drive more traffic than search engines. Given that, you want to make sure you put yourself in the best chance to succeed.
Even though we generally think of type-in traffic as being exclusive to domains, type-ins can happen with social media profiles too. For well known brands, they would be expected at twitter.com/brand, facebook.com/brand, youtube.com/brand and linkedin.com/in/brand. You would never expect anything at twitter.com/google but Google’s official Twitter profile.
Even if you are starting a local presence, your name may get prominent enough locally that you too could be expected on your brand name at the various social networks. What if you don’t have your matching name in those networks? You could lose valuable opportunities to engage in customers, as those type-in visitors might then assume you’re not ON those networks, or simply wouldn’t know how to find you.
Well if you haven’t selected your brand yet, you’re in luck. You have the opportunity to check first and see if you can unify your brand across all the major networks. The benefit of course would be that everyone could easily find you on other networks or even find your site if they find you on a social network first.
There are a few things to keep in mind regarding social availability of your brand:
1. Good for the future, even if you don’t intend to go heavy in social
Perhaps you don’t believe in the power of Facebook or Twitter yet. Perhaps you don’t plan on putting out any videos anytime soon. Regardless, it’s best to secure your accounts now just in case you ever change your mind. Bear in mind if you are a small business and your currently employees aren’t very “social”, you could always hire someone at some point to manage your social presence.
2. Is your brand really short? Your name is probably gone
Just like with domains, short social media names are quite popular and rare to find available. Twitter’s focus on short URLs may have been part of why really short names were snapped up, along with general speculation of usernames.
3. Is your brand over 15 characters? You can’t get your matching Twitter name
It’s an unfortunate fact of life – Twitter set a maximum length of usernames at 15 characters. So if you are using a longer brand, you’re not going to be able to get the matching Twitter name. The best you can hope for is an abbreviated version of it, which is still better than nothing.
If you can’t stay consistent with social, consider staying consistent ON social
What I mean by this is if you can’t get the exact matching username on any one of the major networks, consider using an alternative across all of them. For instance, for our social media accounts relating to our site Doma.in, we use “DomaDOTin” as a username given we couldn’t get “domain” on any network. Since we’re able to use it on all of the networks, people going to one of our profiles should find us elsewhere.
Overall, the main thing to keep in mind is to keep social in mind. Don’t get your brand without at least looking around to see if you can get the matching name on networks. If you can’t, don’t let that alone talk you out of a domain purchase – if it’s the right domain and the brand fits you best, go with it. That said, think about your most viable alternative and grab those up immediately.
If you haven’t selected a brand yet, you can let social availability help you make a decision between a number of viable options. Especially if social media marketing will be a major focus of yours, social availability may be one of your main guides to which brand name to go with.