Twitter and brand name squatting
Twitter is finally starting to get some serious recognition as a legitimate social networking tool for companies big and small. And well it should. I’ve been preaching the greatness of Twitter for sometime now, even though I myself have only been an active user for just under a year.
Realizing the positive impact that Twitter can have on a company’s online visibility, I decided that I would start an account for WestJet. When I went to register the account, I wasn’t really surprised to see that @westjet was already taken – WestJet is a major brand here in Canada. Unfortunately, I had yet to hear about any other companies having success reclaiming their brands, and so I contented myself with the account @westjet_sales and went on with my project.
A few weeks ago I decided to see how much it would take to reclaim the @westjet account. I knew I’d have to validate myself somehow, and the obvious strategy was to send Twitter an email from my WestJet corporate email, proving that I’m a real person from the actual company.
Not even 24 hours later, I received a response letting me know that my @westjet_sales account had been transferred to @westjet. Success! And so easy! I am so pleased at Twitter’s stance on this. They want to be taken seriously and they’re making the right moves.
Is your brand name or company name being squatted on Twitter? Just send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org from your company email address and you should have no trouble at all.
If you’d like to read a little bit more about how Twitter squatters are impacting businesses, check out the article “Twitter squatters can hijack your brand” from the Montreal Gazette. I talk a bit about my experience about two thirds into the article.