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What To Do When Your YouTube Username Is Already Taken

Video is one of the best ways to communicate your brand. It’s engaging and gives your prospects and consumers something to do while they are online.  And although there are several options to display your videos online such as Vimeo, Flickr, Blip.TV, Veoh, Viddler, DailyMotion, and yfrog, brands want to be on YouTube because it’s the second largest search engine in the world with the potential to reach millions.

However, some brands have had the unpleasant experience of finally getting great video assets together — ready to share them with the world, only to have their sails deflated because their channel name is not available on YouTube. So what can you do?

3 things you can do when your YouTube channel name/username is taken:

  1. If the channel is not closed (once the channel is closed you cannot recover it because Google keeps a record of these, so they cannot be re-used), then you can contact the person who owns the channel directly by sending them a private message.
    a) Go to the channel you want to claim (youtube.com/user/theirusername)
    b) In the right nav, under “Created by” you’ll see (Block user| Send message)
    c) Start out being nice by sending them a message and asking them if they would be willing to transfer it to you.
    **Be sure to include the email address you want them to change the owner to.
  2. If the “nice” route doesn’t work, you can file a trademark infringement form
    https://support.google.com/youtube/bin/request.py?&contact_type=trademarkcomplainta
    **Note: This generates an automated email from YouTube. In some cases, YouTube is willing to perform a limited investigation of reasonable complaints.
  3. Lastly, you can try to create username that has your brand in it, with the words “official” or “real” or “dotcom” in it to make it sound official. This may not be the best solution, but it’s certainly an option, and also the same that many have done on Twitter.

Of course you can always upload your videos the alternatives listed above, too.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

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