Ask Haley: Why Do I Need to Claim My Social Media Spaces if I Won’t Use Them?

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Q: Why Do I Need to Claim My Social Media Spaces if I Won’t Use Them?

A: Impersonation is devastating to individuals, so what do you think it could do to your company? Now, I want to preface this by saying that you shouldn’t be alarmed or paranoid, but you do need the right tools to keep your digital profile in tact. On September 8th, Applebee’s Restaurant had a bit of a problem on their hands when a rogue tweeter created an account close to @Applebees by substituting the lowercase “L” with a capital “i,” which looks the same with Twitter’s modern typeface.  With this account, there were seemingly real tweets and a real looking profile, with a bad twist on them. This would have been bad on its own, but when Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”) who has 2,692,391 followers retweeted this-

Rainn Wilson Applebess Text

many of Rainn’s followers checked out the fake site and followed it (more than followed the real Applebees handle), giving it credence in Google’s eyes and allowing it to rank higher than the real Twitter profile. This caused a bit of an issue until Applebee’s had the site shut down and had Google take this down from search results. This site only stayed up for less than a week, but it could have been much worse if Applebee’s had not reacted as quickly.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent others from impersonating your company:

Claim your social media outlets to keep others from taking them from you. Social media outlets don’t need verification to set up an account, so you should make sure that someone isn’t pretending to be you.

Google yourself once a month, to make sure that you are not being impersonated, or that companies with a similar name are pushed down. SEO and social media can help with that.

Set up Google alerts for your company to make sure people aren’t pretending to be you. On the plus side you can monitor what people are saying about you, your services and your competitors if you monitor them too.

Use social media. Keep involved in your groups and the people that follow you.

It doesn’t have to be scary, but remember that the web is evolving. Gone are the days when companies had complete control over every aspect of their images. If you embrace social media, you can at least control the flow of conversation and know what people think about your company. Some of the comments will be negative, some will be positive, but if you at least realize what the buzz is, you can use this feedback to better your company, take care of problems and become better than your competitors.

If you would like more help please contact us at 1-888-696-2900 and ask for a complimentary review of your social media footprint.

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