Today, Twitter has roughly 6 million users and is projected to grow to 18.1 million users by 2010. With all those people, the chances for networking are endless and connecting with new people can lead to career opportunities, so it is essential that your personal brand exists on the service. Today we’re going to show you how to do the same thing on Twitter. By leveraging the Twitter platform to build your brand you can showcase yourself to a huge and growing audience.
1. Claim your Twitter handle
Prime domain names, especially those ending in “.com,” have long been desirable, hard to find and extremely expensive. By not reserving your domain name, your business or personal brand is at risk and you may never be able to reclaim it once you’ve lost it. With Twitter continuing its meteoric rise in popularity, it’s no surprise that Twitter account names are starting to be treated like domain names.
What happens when you don’t claim your Twitter handle:
• Exxon Mobil failed to claim their name on Twitter and was forced to deal with reputation management problems, when an imposter started tweeting using @ExxonMobilCorp.
• Jack Canfield, founder and CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, had to take a different user name because he didn’t act quickly enough to secure his full name (he has @J_Canfield, not @JackCanfield).
• The same thing happened to web developer community and book publisher SitePoint, which was forced to settle for @sitepointdotcom, rather than @sitepoint.
Twitter handles have become so important, that there is now even an aftermarket for them, Tweexchange
, where user names are bought and sold
Stop what you’re doing right now and claim the Twitter handle for your full name, as well as any products and/or companies that you currently own or you have plans to create in the future. You can’t truly own your personal brand if you don’t even own your Twitter handle.