By Linda Day Harrison, theBrokerList, Chicago, IL
Whether you like it or not, online marketing is here to stay. Don’t think that tomorrow you’ll wake up and not have to deal with it or worry about it, like a fad. No such luck. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that it’ll go away is not likely to help either.
So what is a person to do who doesn’t want to do anything, but deep down they know there are some minimum things they should be doing for the “greater good” of their company and future generations of that company?
Well, my first rule of thumb is to advise the person in charge of the company to protect the brand. Okay, so what on earth does that mean? What it means is to get your name secured in the top online marketing platforms out there, and if you don’t have a domain or blog, get the name registered as well.
What sites am I referring to? The major sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. All of these sites offer customized URL links and, depending on your business, there may be others as well. Again, you ask, what does that mean? It means these labels or URL links are a pattern of letters or numbers or whatever your name is composed of. If someone else in another geography, company, or industry has a similar name, they may beat you to it, so grab it now.
For instance, if your company name is Markington Real Estate Services, you will want to secure the following URL customized names:
These are only examples, and whether you wish to use these services or not depends on your business. However, the names are going quickly, and those with more common words or names will not have much of a selection when they do decide to select a name to match their brand.
If you’re a new company, it’s strongly recommended that you do your homework before you start your new property management company. Research the name and find out if the name is available across the various social media platforms. Do not select a name until you determine the availability of these sites, as well as the domain name for the company website and blog.
I have seen so many companies make the mistake of selecting a name, incorporating the name, and then later determining there is no chance to obtain a cohesive name across all customer touch points. What does this mean? If your name is Markington, people are going to search Markington. That’s it. The letters are the online link back to you and your content. If you are marketing apartments, offices, and retail, and you’re looking for new building owners, they are going to search for Markington.
If you think it’s easy to get good SEO for three or four different variations, you’re mistaken. It’s hard enough to build your SEO with a single name, let alone a variety of configurations.
If you are set on a name and there’s no other way around it, think of creative ways to abbreviate or create acronyms with your name, again, being consistent and creating a brand with the abbreviation or acronym.
So if your company name is Markington Real Estate Services, consider MRES or MarkRES, etc. The other way to do it is with a geographic reference, say MarkingtonAZ, etc. Use caution, as the letters you are permitted may be limited. For instance, with Twitter, the number of letters is defined on their support pages for the real name, different than the username. Also note, with Twitter, the real name can change as often as you wish, but the username is fixed. Click here for more information.
How long can real names and usernames be?
- - Your username can contain up to 15 characters.
- - Your real name can be 20 characters long.
The bottom line is that all of the sites work together to let customers find you. It’s important to plan and think ahead. At present, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube are not going anywhere. Based on that information, it’s prudent as a company executive or business owner to protect your brand and get your URL before somebody else grabs it and makes it that much harder for you to have the name that is so near and dear to you and your customers.
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