Why you need to register your company name on Twitter

I was planning to do another social media analysis (similar to the Construction companies and Housebuilders analysis) this time on the UK water companies but then I come across this little wonderful example of why social media and reputation monitoring is so important in protecting your brand online. Companies whose objective it is to communicate to consumers through many channels need to be on top of the social media game and be able to monitor and act upon brand mentions in online conversations and respond to them quickly. Likely places where consumers converse is on forums, blogs, community sites and…….social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Are you actively monitoring these places?

If you are going to open another channel for communication then conduct some advanced research first and plan…..and plan properly before you launch.

Anyway, whilst searching Twitter.com for all the profiles of the UK water companies I finally got to South West Water.

Here is the search results page on Twitter.com for South West Water (only the one result to choose from).


Search Result in Twitter.com for South West Water

And here is the Twitter profile page for South West Water:


South West Twitter Page

“Hang on! That is not South West Water” I hear you say. Exactly!

Who has the power to damage a brand’s reputation?

Ok, so in this case there are only 8 followers of this Twitter account but it is the principal of online reputation we are talking about here. I cannot believe that the Marketing  staff within South West Water have not picked up on this (yet) or taken any steps to have this profile removed or blocked through Twitter. Twitter operate a policy where you can report a violation of brand names imposing to be a company. What marketers must realise is that the social space provides consumers and Average Joe’s to voice their opinions and possibly pretend to be you. Are you seeking out and listening to these opinions? Have you covered all your company trade names? Brand names?

Burying your head in the sand will not make this go away. Companies and brands must look to fit social marketing into their strategies today in some shape or form and be actively listening, monitoring and responding.

Key points to learn from this:

1) Protect you brand name: Someone has registered the South West Water company name as a Twitter handle when it should have already been registered to South West Water.

2) Act quickly: South West Water can and should block this page and own the Twitter handle. Trademark violation! (This link is the Twitter page for trademark violation and I recommend you read this)

3) Be Pro-Active: Running commentary of bad experience with South West Water for the online world to see. Brands should be more pro-active than reactive.

4) Don’t bury your head in the sand: First Tweet was published May 6th. Over 4 months ago!

5) Continuous monitoring needed: Finally, the page is still live today so let’s see how long before South West Water get this removed: http://twitter.com/SouthWestWater

So, even if you are not intending on using Twitter as a communication channel then the least you can do is protect your brand image and your reputation right? As a Marketing Manager or Communications Manager your job is to market your company as leaders, quality and a company who prides themselves on providing their customers with value and service. But if there are more negatives than positives in the social space, you will be forever playing catch up and fixing your online reputation.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

6 Responses to “Why you need to register your company name on Twitter”

  1. Owen P

    Very interesting. I do some marketing and editorial work in the water industry for http://www.ESI.info and I was not aware that twitter and blogs had any penetration there. Even the world of pumps and valves needs to be aware of social media!

    • Nick Pauley

      Owen – thanks for your comments. “Even the world of pumps and valves needs to be aware of social media”. Very true. Whether Social Media features in current marketing strategies or not the potential for reputation damage is there for any company that deals with customers. Company names need protection across the social media landscape in much the same way as web addresses. I’m afraid Social Media is just another area that needs attention.

  2. Peter L Masters MCIM

    Hi Pritesh, You have raised a very good point, however, I feel the more traditional companies and organisations are still coming to terms with the “new” concept of social media and wouldn’t know how or where to begin looking for branding violations. To me, social media representation and/or misrepresentation is a new, fast growing business and one I’m studying very closely .

    • Nick Pauley

      Hi Peter, thanks for your comments. I agree some less tech savvy companies are likely to have a steeper learning curve than the early adopters however, there are some fairly simple steps you can take that don’t necessarily need a great deal of knowledge to implement. Safe guarding your company Twitter profile and your company LinkedIn profile are ‘must do’ fundamentals that could save an awful lot of embarrassment or inconvenience (depending on your view point) later down the line, even if you don’t intend to actually use them in the near future.

  3. Ellie Hurst

    Sound advice, this is an issue we are dealing with via Twitter and other agencies. The perpetrators are easily traced and provided you have managed the threat properly any damage they do will only be to themselves.

  4. Nick Pauley

    Thanks for the comment Ellie. I believe South West Water have actually retained that account now too and are happily engaging with customers, which is great news. Good luck with your own accounts. I think the advice to get your Twitter account sorted asap is still very valid. Be great to hear how you’re managing that process – I feel a blog post coming on…


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