Get your Twitter handle before someone else does

That's the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows. ITBusiness.ca had a story yesterday about a Humber College professor named Tom Green who uses @tomgreen as his twitter name. Fans of comedian Tom Green have been campaigning him to give his twitter name to Tom Green the comedian, who uses @tomgreenlive.

While it is an amusing story, and professor Tom Green has every right to keep his twitter handle, there is a lesson here.

Even if you are not a social media fan, and you don't have an immediate desire to tweet or update your facebook status, it is a good idea to at least register your name on twitter, linkedin, and facebook before someone else with a similar name does. Or before someone else who has an axe to grind with you registers it.

Anyone starting a new business, or creating a new brand should look at social media availability. The usual corporate name searches and trade-mark searches may not be enough for a business or brand that wants a social media or web presence. And let's face it, every business or brand that has customers or deals with the public should.

So when making name and brand decisions, see if the corresponding domain names and social media names are available, and lock those down immediately. If they are not available, then you might want to reconsider the business or brand name. It costs nothing or next to nothing to do - but the cost of not doing it could be significant.