Facebook and Twitter: Social media vanity URLs are for search engines, not marketing

vanitygeek Vanity URLs provided by social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Delicious, Digg and others are great for search engines, but they’re not as good for branding as the systematic use of subdomains.

Subdomains are an extension of your domain name designated for a specific purpose. For example, your website is typically located on the “www” subdomain (www.yourdomain.com) and your mail server is typically located on the “mail” subdomain (mail.yourdomain.com).

To retain control of your brands, you should utilize subdomains for your social network identities too.  Here are suggested subdomains for standardization.

  • Facebook: Utilize a “facebook” (facebook.yourdomain.com) or “fb” (fb.yourdomain.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your Facebook page.  This ensures that your brand or personal identity is controlled as part of your personal domain — rather than Facebook’s domain.  This allows you to choose vanity subdomains that may not be available on Facebook. It also lets you bypass the 1,000 fan minimum for Facebook fan pages. To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit our official Facebook page at facebook.socialmeteor.com or fb.socialmeteor.com.
  • Google: Utilize a “google” (google.yourdomain.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your Google profile (http://www.google.com/profiles/profilename). To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit google.socialmeteor.com.
  • Delicious: Utilize a “delicious” (delicious.yourdomain.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your Delicious.com profile (http://delicious.com/profilename). To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit delicious.socialmeteor.com.
  • DIGG: Utilize a “digg” (digg.yourdomain.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your Digg.com profile (http://digg.com/users/profile). To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit digg.socialmeteor.com.
  • Stumbleupon: Utilize a “stumbleupon” (stumbleupon.yourdomain.com) subdomain or “stumble” (stumble.socialmeteor.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your stumbleupon profile (http://profile.stumbleupon.com). To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit stumbleupon.socialmeteor.com or stumble.socialmeteor.com.
  • Twitter: Utilize a “twitter” (twitter.yourdomain.com) subdomain with a server redirect to your Twitter.com profile (http://www.twitter.com/profile). To see an example of this suggested subdomain strategy in action, visit twitter.socialmeteor.com.

You get the idea…By making your profile on each social network a subdomain of your website, site visitors can easily find you on participating networks. And, since each profile is redirected from your own subdomain, there is no question of authenticity.

Using subdomains to manage your social network profiles puts you in control  (rather than social networks)  and provides customers with a logical and consistent way to find you throughout the internet — which is exactly what subdomains are intended for.

Credits: Cartoon courtesy of Geek & Poke.

You’re so vain…

Speaking of vanity. Enjoy this ColdPlay parody video from Mad TV:

About Troy Janisch

Troy Janisch, Publisher of Social Meteor, is a digital marketing professional and social media beatnik. He is a contributor to SmartBrief on Social Media. Like a good social media program, SocialMeteor.com is all about content. It’s not a consulting company or marketing agency.
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