Get your company’s username on social networks

So instead of just making sure you have your company’s domain name, you need to start thinking about whether you have your company’s username on major social networks.

Geico is learning a hard lesson.  A user on Twitter is holding their name for money.

Interested in purchasing this twitter? Contact me at jondoeb83@yahoo_.com without the underscore!

If Geico ever wanted to use a Twitter account to give company updates, they’d have to use a different name or buy it off the guy.

(Thanks Peter for the tip. )

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5 thoughts on “Get your company’s username on social networks”

  1. Or they, as many other companies have, ask Twitter to let them use their name, and change the squatter to ‘notgeico’

    On other networks, you might just be SOL

  2. @Andrew I disagree. It’s the responsibility of a startup to reserve and set aside certain handles (example, the names of Fortune 500’s) otherwise I think users have a right to choose whatever name they wish. I think it’s completely lame that Twitter would re-neg and take back a name that someone rightfully signed up for. Where in the Twitter user terms does it say you must choose a name that does not compete with a known product, company or service?

    Twitter should have thought of this long ago…squatting is certainly lame, but as far as I am concerned it’s smarts on the behalf of the squatter (I do agree Geico deserves their name, just disagree with how it would play out)

    http://www.leveragingideas.com

  3. I love how this tweet kicked off a very interesting debate.

    @Sam: I disagree with you. The onus is not on the startup to set aside branded usernames (though that would be smart of them as you posted about being able to monetize them as “special usernames”) and it’s not any given user’s right to own a branded/trademarked/copywrited user name. It’s expressly NOT their right to do so based on our IP laws – though i’m not a lawyer and i hope we can get someone to chime in here who is (Joe Price? isn’t this his area of interest? CALLING JOE PRICE).

    Both Sam and I have created successful Facebook Pages for brands w/o their permission. Should they be able to be reposed and put in the brand’s hands? Yes. Is it a better strategy for the brand to engage people like Sam and myself as we are their best brand evangelists – rather than ‘put us out in the cold’ by reposing pages? Yes.

    I’d rather see an individual Geico caveman tweet his daily life rather than a generic “geico” twitter account anyway.

  4. I’m kind of torn… it does seem kind of douchey for a social network to take away someone’s username just because it is also the name of a company or an organization. But on the flip side, I’ve worked at organizations where we’ve had to deal with people taking our usernames.

    I dunno… what good does it do the consumer to have someone who’s not that company to be using their twitter account. It doesn’t do me any good to engage with an Apple Facebook page that isn’t controlled by Apple. I wanna be able to interact with Apple… not Apple fanboys.

    Another thing… with a lot of these sites, there is no way to know if you’re interacting with the company via the social network or with that company’s fanboys. What’s the incentive for a company to participate if there’s no way to prove that you’re the genuine article?

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