Did you know that anyone with an e-mail address and access to the Internet can secure your brand's name using a free social network service?
Are you too late?
Someone from Singapore registered as 'nextmark' YouTube and StumbleUpon, but it's not me - I've never even been to Singapore! If a country as strict as Singapore has these 'squatters', then think about the trend that could easily take off.
I learned quickly that I'd better take ownership of our brand name on the social networks and get those user IDs and vanity URLs secured. The only problem was that there are hundreds of online networks and I only knew about the obvious ones, like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious and Digg. Fortunately, I found out about a great tool while attending the VT/NH Direct Marketing Group conference earlier this month. It's called namechk.
This tool will enable you to check the status of your company name (user name or vanity URL) on 122 social networking and bookmarking sites. It only takes a minute, and you'll be able to see whether or not your name is available for each and every one of the servcies listed.
Here's a snapshot of the namechk grid using LinkedIn as the example below. Go to namechk to run your own audit. This is a valuable service.
The provider of this service also has a feature where you may request additional services to be added to the list. For example, you may want to request the addition of Plaxo or Vimeo since I know many of our marketing blog readers and mailing list seekers use those tools for business networking and video publishing. Feel free to share your thoughts on this tool.