In the digital age, your online presence is more than just a website or a social media profile. It’s an extension of your personal or company brand, a digital storefront that tells the world who you are and what you stand for. One of the most critical aspects of this online presence is your domain name and social media handles. Recently the new Social Media network Bluesky, a possible Twitter heir apparent, created headlines in actually making the connection of domain names and their handles a core feature of their network. Twitter – or X, as the network just rebranded itself this week, is a perfect example of the importance of preparing your digital brand strategy, by the way. While Twitter officially announced the rebrand to X, the handle “X” was actually already taken and some users saw a parking page on x.com instead of a redirect to Twitter.
How could you do better? Let’s dive into it.
Authenticity and Trust in the Age of Decentralization
In the digital world, authenticity is a currency. It’s what separates genuine brands and influencers from the sea of imposters. With the rise of decentralized social networks like Bluesky, the concept of authenticity is evolving. Bluesky’s new feature that allows users to use their domain names as handles significantly enhances the trust factor when interacting with that handle.
This feature could become a game-changer in the realm of online identity. It’s akin to Twitter’s aka X’s verification system, where a blue checkmark next to a user’s name signifies authenticity. This checkmark is more than a symbol; it’s a badge of credibility that tells the world that the company behind the platform has verified the account’s authenticity. It’s a powerful tool that can increase a user’s visibility, add accountability, and even prevent identity theft.
Similarly, Bluesky’s custom domain handles offer a decentralized method for account verification. When a user’s handle is „@yourname.com“, it sends a clear message about the user’s authenticity. It’s a statement that says, „This is me. This is my domain. I stand by my words.“ This level of authenticity builds trust with the audience, a crucial factor in building a strong online presence.
Moreover, this feature provides users with a consistent identity across various platforms. It’s like having a verified badge across the internet. This not only makes it easier for your audience to find you, but it also strengthens your brand recognition.
To summarise: Securing your brand as a domain name and using it as your handle across social media platforms is a powerful way to establish authenticity and build trust with your audience. Whether you’re a personal brand or a company, it’s a strategy worth considering.
IONOS has great domains for this usecase. Of course many users will gravitate to a .com or the relevant country TLD for their location (.co.uk, .de, .ca etc). There are however great alternate options like .me, .xyz or .social. .dev can give great context, .guru or .ninja are more playful. .link, .cloud and .online are further popular options.
Consistency Across Platforms
Consistency is key in branding. When you use your domain name as your handle across different social media platforms, you’re providing a consistent identity across various platforms. This not only makes it easier for your audience to find you, but it also strengthens your brand recognition. As Joseph Liu, an expert in personal and professional branding, points out, securing your FirstLast username and URL across various platforms, including your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Medium, and Clubhouse, looks more professional and can help you rank higher in search results.
Control and Flexibility
When you own your domain name, you have more control over your online identity. You can keep your custom domain handle even when you switch services, giving you more control over your online identity and providing flexibility. Don’t like the way Twitter/X or LinkedIn is changing? That’s fine: Take your domain and move away from that platform. This level of control is crucial in a digital landscape that is constantly evolving.
Future-Proofing Your Brand
Even if you’re not sure about your future plans, securing your domain name and social media handles now is a smart move. As Liu emphasizes, even if there’s a 1% chance you want to create your own personal brand or become a thought leader in your field, you should secure your social media real estate right now. Most of these assets are free and only take a few minutes to set up. By doing so, you’re future-proofing your brand, ensuring that you have the digital real estate you need to grow and evolve in the future.
Securing your brand as a domain name and across social media platforms is not just about protecting your brand. It’s about building trust with your audience, providing a consistent brand experience, maintaining control over your online identity, and future-proofing your brand. So, if you haven’t done so already, take the time to secure your domain name and social media handles. Your future self will thank you.