YouTube handle and online reputation management

YoutTube introduces handles to their platform

Last month YouTube announced that the video streaming social media platform would begin implementing handles for users with existing accounts. As a social media platform with which creators and businesses use to garner audiences and grow their online reputation management strategy, it comes as no surprise that handles have started rolling out across YouTube. 

Until now, channel names were available for use but there was no way to ensure uniqueness or individuality to separate you from other users. The addition of handles allows creators to connect with their audience and followers, using a name which is consistent across each platform. There are a few reasons for the implementation of YouTube handles. The most relevant being simplicity and their potential to increase awareness. 

Avoiding Copycats

However, other more serious reasons are based on security and privacy. The rise of copycats (scammers who create channels that look exactly alike) has increased the necessity for Youtube to take firm action in tackling the problem. By creating unique handles YouTube now allows for better differentiation, making it easier to distinguish between one channel or creator and another. 

Handles are much significantly more tricky to replicate and, with Youtube removing the ability to add special characters, scammers will find it tremendously difficult to continue with their nefarious work. Channels and creators will have a much stronger grip on what content is being associated with their name and be able to maintain better control of their online reputation management in relation to the video creation platform. YouTube also announced in June that they would enforce permanent subscriber count visibility to increase authenticity.

All channels will have YouTube handles and anyone with a personalized URL will have it connected as a default . This gives creators the opportunity to direct their audiences from other platforms to YouTube with the simple use of their handle. When viewing or interacting with other channels, videos, businesses and content creators, users can use their handles in the comment sections, mentions and shorts to direct them to their channel.

Benefits of Handles

Handle consistency can be important when creating a brand and raising awareness of the content that you or your brand create. Simply put, if a potential user discovers you on one platform – for example Twitter –  and would like to find you on instagram, a consistent handle makes it easier to  search for you on the other platform. 

Consistency across platforms can also have benefits when it comes to advertising.  Whether on a printed commercial or an announcement across broadcast media “follow us on social media” with one handle as opposed to “follow us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram etc.” is dramatically more confusing and leads to significantly less engagement across channels. 

YouTube handles further allow you to boost your trust rating, presenting a more professional image and improving brand perception when considering online reputation management. But what you choose for your cross-platform handle, is indeed a decision not to be taken lightly.

Tips for creating the perfect handle

Creating a YouTube handle is not as simple as it may seem. There are character limits, potential similarities to other brands, and creator or community guidelines to which you must adhere: 

  • Ensure that it remains short – Shorter handles are more easily identified and remembered.
  • Don’t stray from your brand image – Stick to the name people have associated with you as closely as possible. Consider your brand name, business name or anything the public may see and use to identify you.
  • Avoid over complicating it – Creative handles may seem like a great idea but it doesn’t always work when building a brand. Instead of putting unnecessary characters and symbols, it’s better to keep it simple.

A Step in the Right Direction

The gradual rollout of YouTube handles is certainly a step forward in helping content creators and businesses gain access to easier methods of increasing their brand awareness and user retention. YouTube is a massive platform with a whopping 2.1 billion active users per month. Statistics like these have massive potential when contemplating  online reputation management and improved discoverability.

To further improve online reputation management and understand how YouTube can help with your strategy, it’s best to consult with experts like the team at Percepto who understand methods of implementing best practice into your overall marketing plan.

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