Say my name Secure your brand’s username and vanity URL on Facebook

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 15, 2009

facebook-logoThe big event over the weekend was, of course, the unveiling and subsequent frenzy of Facebook usernames.

In the footsteps of MySpace and Twitter, Facebook members are now able to register a username, and more importantly, secure their vanity URL (e.g. facebook.com/feedgrowth).  This replaces the lengthy alphanumeric URLs that are randomly assigned to Facebook members – and are impossible to remember, pass on, or promote.  It also opens up a whole world of opportunity for companies and brands looking to establish a presence on the most popular social networking site.

Here’s how it works: go to http://facebook.com/username and log in.  Enter your desired username.  If your username is already taken, Facebook will provide you with various options.  Obviously, certain names and terms are going to go fast, so you may have to get creative.  To avoid squatters from holding brand names and popular terms hostage, Facebook is making usernames permanent (no changes, no transfers).  So, like a tattoo, choose wisely.

We’ve discussed how important it is to secure your username across multiple sites and platforms as part of your digital marketing strategy.   It will be interesting to see how brand search performance is affected.  Social juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter frequently show up in the top Google search results, and depending on the search, they may even outrank a company or brand’s actual website.

Facebook reported 500,000 usernames were registered in 15 minutes; 1,000,000 usernames in the first hour alone.

You always have to check the fine print. Facebook has put a few stipulations on username registration for Facebook Pages: your page must be live on Facebook prior to May 31, 2009 and have a minimum of 1,000 fans. Luckily, the restriction will be lifted on June 28,2009, so small brands can secure their username too.

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