Building a large online, and indeed offline following requires a network of all your social media and networks on all the available platforms, working all togeher to drive visitors to your website.
What’s in a name?
Although registering your username on many social media sites can extremely time consuming, risks being disingenuous, will get you bombarded with emails and can even put you in a situation where you must deal with dozens of real messages across hundreds of websites every day.
It has been said that the username is the new domain name. Registering early on ensures that you get your hands on the ‘real estate’ as a username that your business wants. This will, down the line, help you with SEO, since all your profiles should all point to the same websites. Throughout the process, you’ll find that it will force you to ask an important question: “how should I represent myself on the Internet”.
Even the big boys, er girls do it!
One brand that does that well is Victoria’s Secret with their PINK line (well we had to chose something didn’t we! lol). Victoria’s Secret has chosen the Username VSPink to use across ALL of its social networks. As you can see, on their PINK landing page they have a link both to to their Facebook fan page and their MySpace profile. Victoria’s Secret leverages the traffic their home page gets and pushes them to their Facebook fan page.
Many companies don;t seem to “get” this simple idea and lack this level of dedication to the online brand username (in this case VSPink), expecting their consumers on Facebook to find them kind of automatically. However, that’s just not normally the case.
When is the last time you went searching for a brand’s Facebook page? More likely is that a customer will just stumble upon the page, either through a friend or from a hub, similar to Victoria’s Secret’s PINK page.
(it MUST be said however that the demographic targeted by Victoria’s Secret PINK, matches exactly with the demographic that is most active on Facebook, and this hasn;t done them ANY harm at all)
Some of the benefits of registering your profile on many social sites include:
Owning Your Name
Registering the same name makes you very findable and memorable. For example, you can count on the fact that adding “stuartinfiji” on most sites will likely be me. If it is not, you’ can easily search for my alternate names. We’ve made sure that we’re holding onto a memorable name across popular social sites, make it very easy for you to find me if you need to. I’m also preventing others from using/assuming my “digital identity”. I’ve also done it for many other brands and clients.
Creating An Brand/Identity Strategy
By the time that I’d registered on a few sites, I started seeing patterns emerge. My bio, my picture, my tagline, my username, all of the sites asked the same types of things from me. By re-using my bios and pictures, I ended up tweaking it (since it was constantly in front of me) until every word seemed right to me. In essence, I created my online “identity and brand”. Now, everywhere you go, you’ll see a consistent information set that represents all of the things that I want you to know about me. I hope to become a familiar face that you’re more likely to spot in a digital crowd.
Traffic Building & SEO
By including a URL in your profile (blog, company website, etc), you increase the likelihood that someone will click on it, increasing traffic to your site. And, if the site in question has SEO ninjas working for it, it may help increase entries related to you in search engines. For examples, this Google Alerts notification came in about 10 minutes after I registered ongather.com:
Reserving your branded Username and connecting on multiple social platforms solidifies your Brand across the internet. It also connects your your main brand website to them all and can can help funnel consumers to and from all those networks.
So HOW do we go about this?
Well there are basically two routes to take in this regard…
Get someone else to do it all for you
Of course there ARE companies out there who will do all this for you of course… We are among them, and frequently do this for our clients as part of our WordPress set-up packages.
Do it yourself
See our article here for how to do this…. However, we will warn you that it is time consuming, so get your self a strong cup of coffee, a good internet connection, MP3’s to drown out the world, some spare time