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 www.usernamecheck.com. 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.
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.