This week I am reposting some popular Blogkeeping posts to help you prepare your blog for 2013. This post first appeared on July 21, 2012 and has been updated with new information.
So you have myblogisawesome.com, but facebook.com/myblogisawesome and @myblogisawesome are taken? No worries just yet, you may still be able to claim them, if the people claiming the accounts aren’t using them. (It is possible to claim accounts that are active, but you must have a trademark for your case to be considered.)
From my research, Facebook and Twitter are more likely to grant you the inactive username if you own the matching domain name, and even more so if you own the trademark. You’re probably out of luck if you want it for personal reasons, but your blog does count as a business.
For Facebook, you’ll want to fill out this form. When I submitted my request, Facebook emailed me in about 5 business days to let me know the username had been deactivated and was available for my use. From there, I logged into my page, went to edit page, update info, and change username. It told me the username was not available, but I replied to the email from Facebook, and they were able to transfer my username for me. So now you can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/elembee!
Twitter is a little more tricky. You’ll need to fill out an impersonation report. Treat your blog as a company — Twitter does not release inactive accounts for personal use. Select that your company is being impersonated, and you would like to report an issue not involving trademark (or fill out the trademark form if you do own the trademark). From there, you’ll fill in your information and explain that the account in question is inactive, you own the domain, and you would like the username transferred to your account. You MUST enter an email address from that domain name, or they will immediately dismiss your ticket.
I have submitted twice, and it has taken more than a month to hear back from them both times. Both times, I was told that while Twitter is working to release inactive usernames, the account in question does not qualify, and certain signs of activity are not publicly visible. What is publicly available shows me that @elembee has not had any new tweets, follows, or followers in several months, so I’m not sure what is deemed “activity” by Twitter. My alternatives were to try to contact @elembee myself (which I have done to no response) or settle for adding an underscore, which is what I did (you can find me @elembee_).
This method has worked for many others and will hopefully work for you, so it’s still worth a try, it just unfortunately did not work in my case. I’ve been told that if you are persistent, particularly if the account in question isn’t tweeting, following, or gaining followers, they will eventually grant your request, but I honestly don’t know how much truth there is to that. I may try persistence at a later point in time, when I’m running low on my newly ordered business cards.
Good luck securing the usernames you want, and I’d love to hear if these tips worked for you!