Times have changed and are changing. Along with them, are the branding needs of businesses.

More specifically, it is perfectly natural for these branding needs to become increasingly complex as time passes. Gone are the days when your domain and website name represented the only game in town with respect to traffic generation. Simpler times, some might say. Web 1.0, if you will.

Social Media Has Changed the Game

Then along came social media platforms (the Web 2.0 revolution) and the proverbial game changed. With domain investors and online business owners alike oftentimes confused as to what that means for their activities. As tends to be the case in such climates, two extremes became quite vocal:

  1. On the one hand, those who believed domain names were “obsolete” and that social media platforms will bring about the death of websites. Why bother going through the hassle of securing a great domain name, setting up a website and making sure your servers are up and running, when you have huge corporations that are willing to take care of everything for you?
  2. On the other hand, there were let us call them website purists. Who believed that social media platforms offered us a poisonous pill. Or trojan horse, even. To put it differently, they believed it was a huge mistake to say goodbye to the freedom and sovereignty that running your own website facilitated. Why hand over so much control to a faceless corporation that could shut down the account you spent so much time and energy building just like that? Some believed the social media phenomenon was just a fad, others envisioned a 1984-like future with these platforms in the spotlight. Regardless, website purists were firmly convinced social media should be avoided at all costs.

Domain Names vs. Social Media

Needless to say, both sides ended up being wrong due to deploying an emotion-driven decision-making framework rather than embracing reason. Here we are, many years later, and the “domain + website” duo is hardly obsolete. The same way, however, social media platforms are also here, stronger than ever.

In fact, a fair case could be made that the two arch-enemies are actually anything but adversaries. Instead, domain names + websites and social media platforms actually complement one another rather nicely. Together, they make for a landscape even more opportunity-dense than the already-generous one that existed prior to the Web 2.0 phenomenon.

Would using a social media account as the main pillar of your online activity be recommended? Most definitely not.

Even if they allowed hatred to get the best of them, website purists did have a point. The fact that by using a social media account as the main component of your online business, you’d be ceding far too much control to a corporation to which… well, you just aren’t that important.

However, there is far too much traffic on the table for you to simply ignore social media platforms. As such, more and more businesses are understanding the fact that the relationship between the two dimensions is symbiotic. In other words, of course you should use a domain + website as the main component of your system.

Why Not Drive Traffic to that Hub via Social Media Platforms?

A lot of times, one platform or another represents an excellent place where the target audience of your business can be found. If you are charismatic, why not host a YouTube show and drive traffic to your website that way? Or if you’d prefer short-form punditry, perhaps it would make sense to try Twitter on for size. Maybe Instagram, if let’s say photography would work better for your business. TikTok for younger demographics and the list could go on and on.

Furthermore, why not diversify and experiment with various platforms? Indeed, more and more online business owners are doing just that.

Match the Handle to the Domain Name

And, you’ve guessed it, this created yet another branding-related need. The need to secure your brand name on relevant social media platforms.

There are two main possibilities if you are currently looking for a premium domain name and interested in the social media dimension:

  1. If you are buying from a social media-savvy domain investor, you might be lucky enough to receive at least a few exact match social media handles as a bonus. In other words, the domain investor had already secured them and will include the handles in the sale. Realistically speaking, however, such situations are still more of a rarity than the norm.
  2. In most cases, you will have to either do the necessary legwork yourself. However, you could also delegate this task to brokers who specialize in such services.

Use a Domain Broker

When it comes to the second scenario, we would recommend the following system:

A. Start by compiling a list of social media platforms you want or might want a presence on. Then, check the availability of your perfect social media handle. If you are lucky and it is available, simply sign up for an account (free of charge in most cases) and secure it.

B. If your perfect handle is not available, you will have to choose between settling for the next best thing (the second or third-best option) in terms of available handles or trying to go after your number one pick.

If you choose to go after your top choice, there are three possible situations:

  1. The owner of the handle is still active on the social media website in question. In which case, you can simply create a random account there and get in touch through a direct message. Or, perhaps you will come across other contact details when browsing through the posts of the person in question). 
  2. Hire a domain broker that specializes in the acquisition of digital assets. They will know the best way to reach them and negotiate with them. Most importantly, protect your funds when it is time to transact.

How Much Should You Pay For the Perfect Social Media Handle?

It all depends on whether or not you have a clear plan with respect to your activity there or are simply trying to secure the handle for possible future use. If the social media platform in question represents a core element of your marketing strategy, your generosity should of course go up in direct proportion to the potential benefits you believe that platform puts on the table.

If, on the other hand, we are dealing with a “just in case” situation (possible future use), you can either decide to wait and monitor (hoping that the handle somehow becomes available). Or, establish contact with the owner without putting an impressive offer on the table. In other words, you hope the social media handle is so unimportant to its current owner that he/she will be willing to hand it over in exchange for a symbolic amount. Just like premium domain names, premium social media handles will cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. They can go up significantly from there if the handle you are seeking is tied to an individual, or business that already has a large following.

Build Your Brand with

As can be seen, it’s ultimately all a matter of understanding that forgetting the socials is not an option. Be proactive. Let’s just say that securing the best social media handle(s) will be easier today than this time next year. Procrastinating might not be the wisest idea in the world. As Auntie Buzz always said, “Don’t forget the socials!”

Are you ready to launch your company website and start building your business? Let us help you find the perfect domain name for you and your brand! Our mission is to help businesses large and small be seen online. Our domain brokers are experts in domain acquisition, appraisal, branding, brand protection, portfolio management services and more.

If you are interested in speaking with an expert from our domain brokerage service about buying a domain, please contact us for a free consultation.