Free “brand” insurance. Just one mandatory “must do” whether you’re using social media or not.


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My mom used to say, “Maureen if everyone jumped into the lake would you follow them?” And with her finger pointing at me stabbing in the air, she would continue, “No. Be a leader – not a follower!” Now to be honest I grew up on Lake Superior and it’s very cold… so it was easy to follow my mother’s advice.

This blog has one message which applies to all business owners – whether you are a leader, follower, or have no plans to use social media. Why does your business need to leverage what I refer to as – free social media insurance? Read and act upon this solid advice; it may save you more than a headache or two later.

As Canadian business owners we know the value of owning both domain names or URLs (the .ca and .com) – it’s important for brand identity and protection. The same concept applies to social media. You don’t have to read any farther – set-up social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube before someone or another business takes your company name.

Social media may not be a priority right now and may never be. Even if you don’t see social media as a priority – you should still set up your free accounts or profiles on the key social media platforms. I was fortunate to get my business name – McCabe Marketing on twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. I got my name without any dashes, numbers, or something equally hard to remember on LinkedIn. Most LinkedIn users aren’t aware that you can create a unique URL. If you send me an email I’ll send you the link so you can do it too.

Why is reserving your company or brand name important? When you are ready to start “tweeting” your business name may already have been taken. This has happened to three clients. Unlike domain names where you can buy the name from the owner – you can’t with social media.

Even if you can convince that teenager from Idaho to stop using your business name on Facebook (although your name has nothing to do with his real name or the one he chose) you cannot start using it once it has been deleted. Why? Facebook will always keep it in their database.

TIP: Secure your brand identity now before someone takes your business name!

Today you cannot use your business name in the URL for Google Places, Google Plus business page, or a company page on LinkedIn. However, once you are in the “setting up profiles mode” it would be a good time to set these ones up as well as your prospects and customers are likely searching for you there.

Although this blog was not written to advise whether you should be engaging in social media, although some statistics are provided below with candor.

If it seems like everyone is doing it – there must be some value to social media – right? Many businesses are dabbling with Social Media as indicated in Constant Contacts’ fall 2011 survey, Small Business Attitudes and Outlook.

Two gee-whiz facts from their survey:

  • 81% of small businesses and organizations have started using social media marketing (up from 73% in the spring 2011 survey).
  • For the 19% who aren’t using it, over two-thirds are expecting to start marketing through social media in 2012.

Most of my clients who are dabbling without professional assistance acknowledge that they know just enough as my mom used to say – to be dangerous. While the other 19% have neither the time nor interest, they fear the negative impact of not doing it right.

I have to admit I’m not the biggest believer in social media – it takes time to do it well. As a business owner you are likely thinking about how much time it will take and are you willing to commit to the unknown? I have to do “some social media” because I’m in marketing consultant, however, I am not a Social Media Maven.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Maureen McCabe
Proven Team Delivers Results. Do you lack the time, resources, or key marketing knowledge and need a marketing strategy and marketing plan to increase sales leads and generate more profits? Since 2007 many established and new small business owners in the US and Canada have worked with McCabe Marketing. Led by Maureen McCabe, they provide affordable marketing strategies and programs by drawing upon an extensive team of professionals customized for each client situation.


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