If you’re like me, you participate on a lot of social networking sites.
Part of signing up on these sites is picking a username or vanity URL (i.e. Facebook.com/JoeSmith). I try to keep my username consistent across all the sites I spend time on. I do this for three reasons:
- My personal brand is important to me and using something like “JayTheVikesFan22″ isn’t as descriptive as “JayLane”
- I want to make it easy for other people to find me and connect with me online
- It’s easier for me to remember my username or vanity URL if I consistently use the same thing
Nothing is more frustrating to me than when I go to a site to create a username and find out that the username/vanity URL I want is already taken. For example, I had to settle for Facebook.com/jaylane2 instead of what I wanted (Facebook.com/jaylane). I was able to get the vanity URL I wanted for my company Facebook page though (Facebook.com/JayLaneMedia).
I recommend going out and signing up for accounts on social networking sites (i.e. Twitter) even if you don’t have immediate plans to use them. They are free and it doesn’t hurt to be a little proactive.
There are great Web sites that will go out and check what usernames/vanity URLs are available for you instead of making you go to each individual site.
Check out a couple of the options below.
namechk is a free service you can use to see if your username is available on some of the most popular social media sites (145 of them to be exact)
In the example below, I’ve typed in “joesmith.” You can see that it’s available on quite a few sites.
KnowEm is a provides a similar service but they will actually go out and register the usernames for you depending on the type of account you sign up for. They have a free service similar to namechk.
My suggestion to you is to check on your desired usernames (your name and/or your company name) to see what’s available.
If the usernames are available, go sign up and protect your personal brand.
If you don’t, you might regret it later.
Have you found any cool tools for protecting your online personal/company brand?