10900080_MAlthough the average business may not realize it when first starting out, brand names are often quite similar and have the potential to cause a lot of confusion. When marketing via social media, your brand is what you’re ultimately trying to promote. Having a brand name that’s similar to someone else’s creates confusion and can cost you business in the long run.

Most of the confusion comes when people search for businesses by company name. If they type Company X into their browser search, who exactly are they finding? Are they locating you, or are they finding a company with a similar brand name that has been in business longer and thus has more advertising power? You can be drowned out by similar brands, and even the strongest social media campaigns won’t help you recover.

It’s important to recognize the potential for brand name confusion before you begin branding yourself. Preemptive measures are vital for brand separation.

Tricks to Avoid Brand Name Confusion

Seek the Separation

Confusion rears its ugly head via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks more often than other mediums. This is because people are searching identifying terms. So, to separate yourself, your brand needs an identifying factor. Think about adding adjectives or a prefix or creating an acronym. Research potential similar brand names and separate yourself before you complete profiles on these social sites and work to brand yourself.

Show Consistency in Your Branding

The average small business out there is started by one person. Although this person may have partners and investors, it’s usually one person in charge of the business’s name. So if you’re just starting out, remember that consistency is key as you move cross-platform to brand yourself. From your main website to your social profiles, business cards, advertisements, and everything in between, your brand name needs to remain the same. You can introduce confusion by not being consistent across all platforms.

Use Your Name Proudly

You get to add “/YourName” to most social profiles, and you can name your blog and website links whatever you want. So this gives you an opportunity to literally own your brand name by using it in the domain address of your sites.

Get Your Name Out There

When you’re planning ways to use the best Facebook ads, and as you’re looking to pull in as much traffic as possible, it should all be done under your brand’s banner. Get your brand name out there on all of your advertising and marketing materials. The larger your brand presence is, the less chance there is for confusion.

Share and Sign

Share and sign, sign and share – either way. You need to create more brand exposure by sharing items in your brand’s name and by signing your brand’s name to what you’re doing online. For example, your brand’s name will become your signature. And when you encourage sharing, you’ll encourage it under your brand name. Your goal should be to have your brand name promoted for you indirectly as well as directly.

Once confusion sets in, you’re going to lose a lot of exposure. Fortunately, the tips listed above can help you prevent brand confusion. Research, be unique, and work to circulate your brand name with consistency to help solidify your brand and avoid confusion.