by Patrick Bradley: As you’re creating the brand for your new church plant, one of your challenges will be to claim consistent social usernames.
Learn from my mistake. I already have this problem:
On Twitter I’m @plantingtactics
And on Instagram I’m @plantingtactics
But on Facebook I’m /churchplantingtactics
And sadly on Google Plus I’m /113079890154934621964 (I think that means I’m a Storm Trooper)
Why Claim Consistent Social Usernames
My son tells me it’s as important as having consistent gamer tags across gaming platforms. Hopefully the benefit of consistency is at least somewhat obvious: it makes it easy for people to find your church from one platform to the next.
But a second advantage is if people @tag you in their post and have cross-platform automation set up, the other platforms may recognize you as the same user.
And rumor has it that consistency across your digital footprint can help your search engine ranking.
3 Tools to Claim Consistent Social Usernames
Thanks to the Pro Church Tools podcast, I learned about these sites that make figuring out which usernames are available across platforms:
namecheckr – “check domain & social username availability across multiple networks” (53 domains & platforms by my count)
namechk – “see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites” (I counted 35+ domains, 122 social platforms plus the US Trademark database)
knowem – “Search over 500 popular social networks, over 150 domain names, and the entire USPTO Trademark Database to instantly secure your brand on the internet” (for a fee, these guys will do the registering for you)
Twitter has the shortest limit at 15, so keep your proposed social username to 15 characters max. Try different versions of your church’s name and see which is/are available. Throw in your city’s name or common abbreviation (like the airport code) if you need more options.
Until today I didn’t know tools like this existed. Use one and you’ll know in advance if the social username (and even website address) you want is available. Then go and claim your social usernames like it was the Oklahoma Land Rush.