When it comes to branding a business or even your self for that matter, custom URL’s are a key place to begin. In general, social media platforms give everyone a random URL link that points the way to your online profile. This URL is usually a portion of your name, along with some alphanumeric followings.
It can get difficult to tell others how to find you online when the address to your profile far exceeds any length worth remembering. Fortunately, each social media platform offers the ability to create a custom URL to better direct traffic to your profile page.
Each platform has a slightly different way of handling this process, but the concept is the same throughout. The goal is that after you have created your custom URL, you can now easily direct people to the places where you distribute your content frequently.
It is best when choosing your URL to stay as close to the original brand as possible without using irrelevant numbers or letters.
For instance, If I was claiming a custom URL for a company called Johnny’s Hot BBQ, I would’t create something like /JohnnyHot1974 but rather something easy to to remember like /JohnnysHotBBQ.
The Same goes for personal branding as well. Don’t use your 1990’s Yahoo email address, like /WoodCutter45. As often as possible, choose to use your name with a capital for the beginning letter such as /JohnDoe.
Understand that by claiming your custom URL, you are creating a way for search engines and readers of the web to find and identify your brand easily.
Now that we have covered some simple rules about claiming your custom URL, lets look at the way to do this for the top 5 social media platforms of today.
- Go to the URL https://www.facebook.com/username
- Choose to change either your personal username or a business username
- Check for availability
- Continue with name change and enter your Facebook password to confirm.
- Note that usernames can only be changed once with Facebook.
- Open Twitter
- Click the profile and settings button in the top right corner left of the tweet button.
- Change your username.
- Enter your Twitter Password to confirm changes.
- Open Google+.
- In the top left corner, click the drop-down menu > click Profile.
- Under your photo and profile summary, click About.
- Scroll to “Links” section > find the header “Google+ URL > click Get URL.
- You’ll see the custom URLs you can choose from. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you.
- Next to “I agree to the Terms of Service,” click the box > in the bottom left corner, click Change URL.
- You may be asked to verify your account using your mobile phone number. If you’re asked to do this:
- Type your mobile phone number > in the lower left corner, click Send code.
- Check your phone for the code that was sent to you.
- Enter that code in the box on your screen, then in the lower left corner, click Verify.
- When you’re ready to permanently add your URL to your profile, click Confirm choice.
- Go to the URL https://www.linkedin.com/profile/public-profile-settings
- On the right hand side find Your public profile URL
- Change your URL
- Login to Pinterest Account
- Click the Arrow icon top right of your window and select Settings
- The settings page will open then scroll your window to User name column to change username.
- Click the Save Profile button and your user name will be changed.
This by no means is an exhaustive list, but it does cover the top 5 social media sites and how to claim a custom URL.
If there is a particular one that was not mentioned, just google your preferred social media platform and use the keyword custom URL. Another great resource is a blog by Moz called How to Rebrand your Social Media Accounts.
Don’t Wait To Do This
The last thing you want to do is wait to claim all your Custom URL’s. Chances are if your name gains any reputable following, there will be people trying to claim your URL’s so they can capitalize on your failure to do so in the beginning.
Remember that readers look for verified cues that say this brand is genuine. Don’t wait, if you have not done this already, make a plan to start claiming these URL’s immediately.
Are there any social networks not mentioned that you are having trouble claiming? What other value can you see in making sure your URL is similar to your name and consistent throughout the web? Share your comments below.