James Iles

Why You Can't Let Social Media Control Your Brand

By James Iles, Apr 17, 2019
  1. Recently, a prospective client told me that a domain name is "not that important in comparison to our social handles". This CEO owned a company offering a valuable, physical product. To someone involved with domain names, this came as a shock but upon closer inspection, it shouldn't be a surprise.

    Social media is a powerful resource that connects you directly with your consumers and therefore, it is worth putting time and effort into creating a strong social media brand with regular, engaging content. More followers equals more potential clients.

    However, putting all a brand's resources into social media including the acquisition of a username, advertising and hiring a social media team, may be a dangerous strategy that some CEO's and brand leaders may not have considered.

    This belief is more relevant recently after I tweeted a news story in which Instagram took away a username to give to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The username, @sussexroyal was taken away from a British football fan and was replaced with @_sussexroyal_.

    According to the BBC report, "no-one from the Royal Family or from Instagram contacted him beforehand to ask if they could make the change". This should be frightening to hear for brands and social media influencers.

    I read through the terms of service of three of the biggest social networks to see whether they could take control of a username at will. Here are the results:

    Twitter - Source - 4. Using The Service (paragraph 2)
    Instagram - Source - Additional Rights We Retain
    Facebook - Source - 4.5.7

    It's clear that from the terms we agree to when using these services, social networks are able to take control of any username in its system. There are instances online where usernames have been taken without prior warning such as this @girlfriend Instagram account or this situation where the @kathleen Instagram handle was given to a Facebook employee.

    Domain Names Are the Solution

    Putting content on social media is part of the typical marketing process of promoting a brand, service or product. However, especially in light of the facts above, more emphasis should be placed upon a central online location that is completely under the control of the company operating it.

    The solution to that is a domain name. Preferably, the best domain name that you can get to match your brand. The startup Pitch (founded in 2018), for example, has acquired the Twitter username @Pitch, but it has also likely placed significant resources into the acquisition of the Pitch.com domain name as its central location with links to its social media accounts.

    Consumers can easily navigate to the memorable Pitch.com domain name to find out more information about Pitch, and from there can follow links to social media.

    To investors, investment in a premium domain name shows a sense of permanence and confidence that could transform into funding. Jason Calacanis, for example, revealed that something that influenced him in his decision to invest in Calm was it’s ownership and use of the calm.com domain name.

    Whilst social media usernames are vital to a brand’s marketing strategy, the domain should be central to the company’s ecosystem and existence.
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry writer. Contact james (at) jamesiles.co.uk For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected] For James' own blog, visit JamesNames.com

    This is James Iles's 642nd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  5. Comments (10)

  6. dande

    dande Gold & Silver VIP

    Likes Received:
    I have known it for a long time, that Social Media is one of the major reasons there have been serious drop in domain sales and prices.

    Celebrities no longer keep personal websites. Small business owners no longer care about websites, they simply open Instagram and Twitter pages.

    These has contributed greatly to the fall of domain prices.

    Thanks for sharing
  7. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

    Likes Received:
    This is such an important topic, thank you for raising it @James Iles!

    With respect to...
    I agree entirely but say it is not just for company content. Many individuals create valuable online content too , and are essentially letting FB, Google, etc. reap the revenue from it and control it's future.
    ^^^ THIS!!!


  8. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

    Likes Received:
    Thanks for sharing.

    With the whole privacy issues with these social sites, nothing beats owning your content and doing with it what you deem fit.
  9. Larion

    Larion Established Member

    Likes Received:
  10. White Fang

    White Fang CustomerService.com ★★★★★★★★★★

    Likes Received:
    I find it interesting that companies rely very heavily on having a social media presence and yet, according to an article I read not too long ago, many of these same companies do not closely monitor the posts on social media to find out if their customers are happy or not with the company's products or services. If a company has an appropriate domain/website, it's possible that a disgruntled customer would contact the company through that site and there would be no public post that everyone could see.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  11. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

    Likes Received:
    So many people are ignorantly putting all their effort and money at developing someone's property and they do not know or don't think of developing their own property.

    @James Iles thank you for this major contribution
  12. topdom

    topdom Top Contributor VIP

    Likes Received:
    Part of social media, and some of the most popular apps are run by some of the most evil people. I don't understand why most people and many serious companies use them.

    I'm not sure but I think "social media" makes it possible to use the same user/pw for everything, and this is very convenient for most people. So you surrender to a powerful entity and it allows you to connect with other slaves. Russia and China developed their own internet but are using deepstate's FB. Why not invent your own social media. Very strange.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  13. dande

    dande Gold & Silver VIP

    Likes Received:
    Social media platforms has grown to the point whereby you can not help but give them your content. No one is to be blamed here. They are larger than life!
  14. Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  15. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

    Likes Received:
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