One of the basics of social media is that people need to find you. And the easier you make it for them, the better. It also makes it easy for people to know it’s really you. There are a lot of fake accounts out there, mainly on Facebook and YouTube.
When your brand name is Emerica it’s fairly easy, as the word Emerica is really only used by the skate shoe company. When I started working for Emerica in June 2010 one of the first things I did was sync up all the social media sites. It took me about 4 weeks but it was well worth it. At the same time I found out Emerica.com was reclaimed a few years prior so the web guys forwarded Emericaskate.com to that.
Look how simple it is now! Can’t get any easier than that huh?
Pretty hyped I got this all fixed. You want to do the same? I highly recommend you do! It’s not super easy but it’s far from impossible. Here’s my breakdown.
YouTube is by far the hardest company to deal with. Besides the fact that it takes them a long time to respond they won’t transfer your videos, views, or comments over. So when they gave me the URL youtube.com/Emerica I had to upload all the videos again. This was right before Stay Gold dropped, so I knew the views and comments would soon go through the roof.
I still don’t understand why people would name their YouTube URL their brand name followed by films, tv, or movies. I mean, what else is YouTube about?
MySpace is on it’s way out so I don’t think we have to worry about that to much in 2012.
Facebook used to be fairly easy. The first email I sent was answered by this girl Valerie that helped me change the URL for the Emerica, Altamont and eS Facebook page. She also shut down fake pages for all 3 brands and moved the fans over to the real pages. She did similar things for the facebook fan pages of Andrew Reynolds, Ed Templeton, Brandon Westgate, Garrett Hill, Braydon Szafranski, Aaron Suski, Kenny Hoyle and Theotis Beasley. Numerous times she shut down fake pages for Jerry Hsu and Kevin “Spanky” Long. (Both guys asked me to do that since they didn’t want to have a profile on Facebook.)
I even hooked up my friends at ThirtyTwo, etnies, Zoo York, Flip, Zoo York, Nixon and Shake Junt with my contact, and she took care of similar issues for them. Unfortunately she isn’t responding anymore. They probably got overwhelmed with all the requests from everyone. Now you just get automated emails back that tell you to check out the help section. So think about it before you claim your username at facebook.com/username! You can check out the help page if you need more info.
Twitter makes it really easy to change your username if your name isn’t taken. If it is taken you can either try to contact the user or file a trademark claim. When the username you want is inactive filing a trademark claim is really the only way to do it. But just like Facebook, Twitter has been a lot harder to get a hold of in the last few months. Pretty bad on their end, as it would be in their favor to, as it would help them too if brands can use their own name on Twitter. (Like the inactive @vans account I mentioned yesterday).
Vimeo wasn’t to much of an issue, although I don’t really recall how easy or difficult it was. I guess that means it was easy. If you do need help I suggest to contact them through their copyright page.
Instagram wasn’t on the radar yet in 2010, so it wasn’t on this flyer. In the late spring of 2011 I emailed them a few times with some minor issues. Best thing they did for me is help me with Garret Hill’s username. I told them Altamont teamrider Garrett Hill used @GarrettHill on Twitter and he would really like to use the same name on Instagram. I never checked to see who had it, but Garrett told me a pizza plaza in Pennsylvania was using it. Either way, Instagram kicked off whoever was using it and gave it to Garrett. Power moves, haha!
Instagram used to have a contact email on their homepage. Now you can go to their (pretty extensive) help page or send them an email.
I hope you realize you need to be pro-active when it comes to (new) social media platforms, both for yourself and the brands you work for/with! If you wait, you’re too late! If you see that a new social media platform is on the come up, sign up for it and claim your username. You don’t have to start using is straight away, but it will save yourself a lot of hassle if this new social media platform blows up!
Your fans and followers will go with you to a new social media platform, and if you lead them there (instead of the other way around) it will look good on your end. Lead not follow!
Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.