Twitter impersonationYour brand is one of your most important assets. Your business’ reputation and how you’re perceived is influenced not just by the visual aspect of branding but also by the communications you send out.

Branding touches every marketing channel, from your website to flyers, to your social media presence. You can take great care with your brand within your business but you can’t always control what happens externally.

Here at The Artlab we were a bit miffed to find out recently that someone had created an account on Twitter using our username but with an underscore at the end. This profile used our logo, photo, biography information and url.

The first concern about having two nearly identical profiles is the potential confusion when someone searches for The Artlab on Twitter; people could end up following the wrong company.

The second concern are the tweets being sent out by this account; so far they have been random but it’s very likely that the account has been set up for spam purposes, so initially it might seem harmless but in the future it could be used to send out spammy links – again this could impact how we’re perceived.

Looking at who the account is following and their followers, it seems they’re mainly other spam accounts; some of these are impersonating other legitimate businesses so we’re obviously not alone in having this problem.

Dealing with a Twitter impersonation

If you’ve been affected, the first step towards dealing with the problem is to report it to Twitter here. From past experience we’ve found Twitter support to be pretty unresponsive so don’t expect the issue to be resolved quickly.

Another suggestion is to report the account as spam; you can do this by visiting the profile and clicking on the person silhouette next to the ‘Follow’ button; a ‘Report @username for spam’ option will be available from the drop down menu.

After that it’s just a question of (hopefully) just waiting and monitoring.

Simple steps for monitoring your brand online

Twitter is not the only place online where you need to be vigilant. It’s worth running your name through the main social media platforms every now and then to check for anything which might be suspicious.

Something else worth setting up is a Google Alert for your company name; this tracks not only web pages but also news, blogs, videos and discussions. You can then be alerted about company name mentions, helping you monitor and track what’s happening online.

For advice on social media management, call The Artlab team on 0161 875 2528.