Your brand is your business. It is your child. You need to protect it. You need to be proactive and not wait for an attack. The question is, how do you protect your brand in the Internet age? I recommend doing 3 things.
1. Submit your brand name to all major social network outlets
The easiest way to do this is by using a service such as http://knowem.com. There is a free plan for all you boot-strapped startups. (You might have to dig around their website to find it.) With knowem you can submit to hundreds of social networking sites. You’ll probably see some that you didn’t even know existed.
2. Register your domain name for at least .net, .org, .com and .info
A little while ago I wrote an article about registering domains. You can read more here: http://goo.gl/E2GXq. Think of a domain as a piece of property because it is. It is cyber property. When you buy a domain name it’s yours and nobody can take it from you. Just remember to renew it when it comes due.
Some tips for buying domain names
- Choose a name that people will remember
- Choose a name with some keywords in it (if possible)
- Keep it as short as possible
- Register your domain for at least 3 years
- If pointing multiple domains to the same website use a 301 redirect
3. Listen, listen, listen
There are a few ways you can monitor your brand for free. Here are two.
Twitter Saved Searches - http://www.Twitter.com
The first is by creating a saved search on Twitter. Log into your Twitter account, type your brand name in the search box and hit enter. Click ‘save search’ and you’re done! Check it throughout the day for any good or negative feedback and respond thoughtfully with kind words.
Google Alerts - http://www.google.com/alerts
Google has done it again. They have a simple, easy to use interface for creating what is, basically, a saved search.
Enter the topic you wish to monitor (in this case your brand name), then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive.
Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
- monitoring a developing news story
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
- getting the latest on a celebrity or event
- keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
This article just hits the tip of the iceberg on ways to start protecting your brand. The main point is that you start now. Put automatic searches and alerts into place so that they do the work for you. Register your domain names, preferably for 10 year terms. And finally, make sure you have your brand registered with all of the social networking sites out there. These few things will give you a good start at protecting your brand. Remember, it all starts with 5 minutes a day!
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