Disclosure: I have no affiliation with or stand to gain anything from any company mentioned in this post.
Your brand is everything, just ask Steve Jobs of Apple who seem to be trading simply on their brand at the moment, and everything should be done to protect it. There is however one problem; online there are infinite ways in which someone can trade on the back of your brand – this is called ‘brand sqautting’.
Brand squatting is where someone will register the name of your brand on a social media site and pretend to be you, either for their own gain or to cause your brand harm. Take for instance Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, on Twitter he is officially @ChrisDJMoyles, however there also exists @ChrisMoyles, @ChrisM0yles (with a zero) & @RealChrisMoyles amongst others that are set up to deceive users.
So what is the solution? Well for Chris Moyles it is too late to take a pro-active step, he now has to go down the removal route however for you there may be a better option. Protect your brand in all the social media portals before anyone else does.
“Social Media Accounts are the new dot com – reserving your brand or name is as important as securing your own domain name.” – Barry Wise, KnowEm.com CEO
KnowEm.com provide a service that starts at free that allows you to search for your brand in all of the social media portals and claim them if you have already registered them, and provides the sign up link if you have not yet registered. However the clever part is their paid service; from $249 they will set up complete social profiles in 100 social networks complete with bio, links, photos and all the details necessary for you. This is all done by US citizens under strict NDA agreements. By using a service like this you are both saving yourself the time of registering 100 profiles and protecting your brand and image along the way.