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Is It Vanity Or Is It Strategy?

Social media sites


You started out your business, and you grabbed a Facebook business page. Over time, you’ve added a Twitter page, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest,Instagram. Holy crap do I need to Snapchat now? Oh yeah, and my LinkedIn page. What? I need a LinkedIn Company page now?

It’s overwhelming, I know it. I want to ease the pain a bit here today and give you permission to pick two or three sites that really resonate with you and with your business, and focus on them. You need not, and should not, be posting on 10 social media sites a day, at least not until you’re making enough money to get some help.

But that’s not why I’m here today.

When you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a sales professional, marketing online can be VERY lucrative when done strategically. So while I don’t want you to be posting on each site every day, I do want you to HAVE a presence on each site, and here’s why.

Snag Your Vanity URLs

You never know how your Social Media Brand Strategy is going to evolve. Today your strategy may include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but as you evolve, you may shift your focus to other sites. In anticipation for that, I want you to snag your branded vanity URLs NOW, wherever you can.

I’m in several business groups, and typically each group member shares the URLs for their social media sites so that the members can get to know each other. RARE is the occasion when you find someone that has personalized all of their URLs. It’s such a simple step to take, and adds serious credibility to the business when it’s done.

Ideally, you want to use the EXACT SAME handle on each site. Doing so allows seamless cross posting, for example, if someone tags your handle in an Instagram post and shares that post to Twitter, that “tag” will automatically carry over to YOUR Twitter handle if it’s the exact same handle. I use @karenyankovich on Instagram and Twitter, and I get double the exposure when I share across platforms with one post.

So how to you do that?

There’s no need for me to go into detail on each platform when they do it so well themselves, so I’m providing a link to each site’s help page that will take you through how to personalize your URL for each site. I’ve included links to all of MY branded sites, I’d love for you to connect with me all over the place!

Just a quick note about Google – Gmail, Google+ and YouTube should all be connected to the same account. Just doing that does NOT give you a vanity URL, so you still need to take these simple steps.

Facebook Business Page
Twitter Username

When you’re done, you’ll have a list that looks like this:


Create that list for yourself and save it somewhere, it comes in handy! Of course, come connect with me.

A Consistent Brand Presence

This whole process will take you about half an hour, and will SAVE you a lot more than that over time as you figure out how to find your URLs. You’ll be able to easily send people you meet at networking events or at Little League games to your social media sites. Most importantly, you’ll be branding yourself, your business, and your social media to establish a consistent presence across all sites.

So go ahead. Grab your branded URLs for all of the sites above while it’s still available. You don’t have to actually be using the site right now, but I want you to be ready when the time comes to add a new social media platform to your strategy. Keep an eye out as new sites are started, grab your name, then file it somewhere and forget about it until you need it.

BONUS TIP! If you are not going to be actively using a platform, please don’t include a link to it on your website. Promote only what you have a strategy for. I want you to shine as an expert, and a promoted social media site with tumbleweeds on it does not support that expert status. Only share the platforms you are actively participating in.

I hope this was helpful! Please comment below and tell me what YOUR top 3 social media sites are for your business, and why you love to use them.

Photo credit: Jason A. Howie on flickr

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Krista February 4, 2014, 8:32 am

    This is great, Karen, thank you! What about your biz page on LinkedIn?

  • Allegra Stein February 5, 2014, 5:48 am

    These are awesome, Karen — thank you for pulling them together! I was on the FB train but with the poor numbers have been neglecting that world. Twitter is my new social BFF (in no small part because of your help) and I’m still trying to stay in the LinkedIn scene!!

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 6:58 pm

      Awesome! And that’s enough! No need to make yourself crazy.

  • Jennifer S February 5, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Awesome tip! I’ve snagged my URL’s for most platforms…still need to do linked in and Google+. Thanks for the reminder.

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 6:58 pm

      Great Jennifer, you definitely want to grab them before someone else does. 🙂

  • Marisa February 6, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Very helpful thank you! I’m an currently only using FB and twitter …for now…

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 6:59 pm

      You don’t have to expand and actually use them, I just want you to snag the names before someone else does. Helps your marketing stay consistent.

  • Jewels February 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Thank you for a great article Karen. I did my FB vanity url a year ago. But I have found that I’m using LinkedIn a lot now. So off to update it. I appreciate the links of how to to it. Keep the blogs coming. They’re super helpful.

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 7:00 pm

      Fabulous! I love hearing all the LinkedIn Loving!

  • april February 6, 2014, 6:01 pm

    you helped me personalize my URL for linkedin, karen – excited to make it uniform across the board! thanks for the very helpful advice/links.

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 7:00 pm

      Yay! Happy to help.

  • Sabrina Bolin February 6, 2014, 6:37 pm

    This is great, Karen! As another recommendation – no matter what your brand is, snatch up your personal name too if available!

    As I’m rebranding from MyMiBoSo to Sabrina Bolin, I was grateful to already have the vanity url for my Twitter and FB already so that the transition was easier than if I had lost it to a different Sabrina Bolin!

    Right now my main social hangouts are FB, Twitter, and Pinterest as that is where most of my tribe gathers :). Your tip about focusing efforts is great – I’ll be doing just that over the next 5 months with 2 intensive months focused on FB marketing, 2 intensive months on Twitter, and then 1 month on optimizing Pinterest! If I stay on track, I’ll be rocking by summertime!

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 7:02 pm

      Sabrina I LOVE Twitter, I get a ton of good stuff there. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve got cooking!

  • Jenny February 6, 2014, 6:40 pm

    Love this Karen! I’m creating another new business on top of Jenny Ravikumar Yoga and will be implementing it asap. I’m also just about to re-do linkedin stars in order to get a great handle on creating my linkedin page!! Thank you 🙂

    • KarenYankovich February 6, 2014, 7:02 pm

      So awesome! And so much FUN.

  • Elyssa Bulthuis February 7, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Great tips Karen. I still don’t have a handle on LinkedIn and Facebook is getting sad. I’m finding Pinterest to be hopping! I hope to be social savvy soon!!! Thanks!

  • April February 9, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Excellent post Karen, Thank You!!! Very, very helpful!! I use Facebook & Pinterest primarily but I’m now branching out to Youtube & Google +

  • Tania Mercer February 9, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Hi karen,
    Great advice. Thank you! I had quite a time with Pinterest, when someone actually ‘stole’ my Twitter profile (pic and info) and created a Pinterest account. Took over a month for Pinterest to take it down.. ugh. Question for you: Why is your FB name different than all the others ?

  • Sue Ann Gleason February 9, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Thank you, Karen! As always, very sound advice with a great deal of “practical” thrown in. I so agree that social media can suck up a LOT of time so I’m constantly assessing and reassessing where to put my energy. I especially liked your bonus tip: “If you are not going to be actively using a platform, please don’t include a link to it on your website.” I remember hearing the phrase, “Google is the new background check.” The first thing I do when I visit a website is to check out their social media sites to see if they are walking their talk. I’m off to check out all my links, which are probably very different due to my multi-passionate entrepreneurial life. Thanks, again!

  • Elizabeth MacLeod February 9, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Karen… Thank you. I only really use Facebook and am now blogging… and have been thinking about this as I build a new website…and start to use social media more and more. I’m trying to get a handle on twitter! I am going to review all this… see what I need to do… I ran up against someone else having my name for a website so your sound advise comes at a perfect time. I’m going now to review all of this and see what I need to do… Thank you.

  • Cheryl February 9, 2014, 7:09 pm

    I’ve taken a similar strategy where I’ve been able, but Karen you are killing me with this SnapChat. Another one? 😉

  • Kelly Hine February 9, 2014, 10:11 pm

    Thanks for the hot tips Karen! I’d never even heard of “vanity urls” before now! I have a LOT to learn! At the moment I’m using Facebook and starting out on Twitter and Instagram. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with it all but we just have to prioritise and take one step at a time.

  • Michelle February 10, 2014, 12:41 am

    Check to all of the above except…drum roll, please….Snapchat. This is honestly the first time/place I’ve heard of that one. Is it brand new??? Stop the constantly expanding social media world, I want to get off! 😀

  • Susie Mordoh February 10, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Great tips Karen! I am always focusing on GreaterThanWe for branding and now I’m thinking some Susie Mordoh options are necessary. OY!

  • deb February 11, 2014, 6:42 am

    great idea – some of mine are deblange some deborahlange – some ??? would be great if they were all consistent!!


  • farah February 16, 2014, 10:51 am

    Oh Karen- you totally rock! You are my go-to-gal for all things SM, simply and easily explained 🙂 I especially love: “Promote only what you have a strategy for. I want you to shine as an expert, and a promoted social media site with tumbleweeds on it does not support that expert status. Only share the platforms you are actively participating in.” OMG- that alone lifted a weight from my shoulders! Thank you, I will continue to learn and implement from you Karen!!


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