Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 12th, 2009

Facebook: Claim Your Brand Now

I hope you packed a lunch today, because by midnight tonight, you and your company’s entire social life will never be the same. As of 12:01 a.m. EST on June 13, Facebook is allowing users to create ‘vanity’ URLs for their pages. Every Facebook page will shed their lengthy and irrelevant URLs and become Brands can go to to make the change.


There are stipulations, however. The marketers that are eligible for their brand URL must have been live on Facebook with at least 1,000 fans as of May 31. You cannot just rush onto Facebook and start a page or scoop up hundreds of fans today. If you are eligible, you should go read the Facebook FAQ, before you register your new vanity URL. There are some rules that can determine your username. For instance, you cannot use a generic term, like ‘pizza’. Think about what best represents your brand, what will look good offline on billboards, television or radio spots. Be very careful and choose wisely. Typos are irreversible. It goes live tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get registered. You may want to check and see if anyone has already applied for your trademark.


Why should you care about vanity URLs? Brand protection and promotion. No one wants some lame duck to wind up with their brand’s URL. There could even be a possibility of people grabbing a brand and trying to sell it. Protect yourself and your brand. Your Facebook username can be promoted through other marketing and social media channels, both online and offline. I’ve started seeing commercials that include Facebook URLs as their main source of advertised contact.


If your marketing page didn’t make the cut, don’t lose your job over it. Facebook will undoubtedly open more windows for claiming vanity URLs. Just keep scanning Facebook for any trademark infringement violations that are being made against your brand.

This move means that Facebook Pages of brands will be more actively promoting on- and offline now that they have URLs they know people will remember. Regular users are able to pick their own URLs as well.

The SEO Affect

This is very important for search engine ranking as well. Especially Google, who is increasingly giving social media sites more clout in their page rank. A Facebook URL with your business or personal name will likely find itself on or close to the front page. Consider using your main keyword or term as your vanity URL. There will be competition that is both legal and illegal, but it is easier to grab the URL now, than win it through a messy court battle later.

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