September 29, 2008

Don’t Get Brandjacked

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m here to inform you that online brand monitoring and management has reached an all time high. You’re no longer safe just soaking up and protecting a series of URLs for an existing or potential website. These days, you need to be proactive to ensure your brand isn’t being promoted under a false identity.

Earlier this year, we witnessed the unveiling of “Janet” who turned out to be a person posing as an employee of Exxon Mobil, answering questions about the direction of the company etc. Social media communities are quick to sift out others that lack transparency and position themselves on behalf of a company without authorization. As such, “Janet” was lambasted for her actions.

To emphasize the importance of brand monitoring, Jeremiah Owyang has created a “punk’d” list devoted to showcasing examples of companies that have had their brands hijacked in the social media realm.

That being said, here’s a couple quick tips to avoid joining Jeremiah’s list.

What You Can Do To Prevent Being Brandjacked  

1. Search now!

If you’re heading up social media at your company or in any way in charge of communications, I highly recommend hopping over to As Jeremiah notes, the site provides a great overall analysis of common and not-so-common social media sites. Simply type in a username at the top and let the analysis begin to see where a particular username is already being used.

2. Act!

Even if you’re just in a listening & monitoring phase, soak up your brand’s usernames on popular social media sites. That doesn’t mean you have to hit every single site out there (otherwise that will become your full-time job) but be smart about securing your brand where it matters most.

3. Continue to Monitor!

New social media sites are popping up everyday. Today’s Facebook or YouTube may be something totally different a few years from now. Thus, it’s worth keeping your ear to the ground and anticipating where trend shifts are taking place online so you can act accordingly.


Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Excellent suggestions, Scott. Thanks for the link to the namecheck website – we’re going through the list (with many variations on our name) now to see what comes up.

  2. This is a very interesting post you have here Scott. The growing use of social media in business practices is something I find extremely interesting, and you seem to have struck that cord with this blog entry. I am going to have to poke around and take a look at some of your other posts.

  3. Thanks Jennifer and Charles. Glad to provide insight. Social media is only going to continue to flourish, making online brand management more and more important.

  4. […] the least, you can always isolate your Ning URL to prevent being brandjacked in case you want to return to the site for future […]

  5. […] want to set up accounts for your company or clients on the new sites, just to prevent others from brand-jacking […]

  6. […] a trending topic on Twitter throughout the weekend. Currently, it appears that Melanie Oudin is a brandjacked handle on the site. Certainly Biz and the boys would be willing to reset the account for a budding […]


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