Following a number of high-profile cases of mistaken identity on Twitter, we look at what you should do if someone in the news has a similar Twitter handle to your company.
From big name companies like John Lewis to fictional EastEnders character Bobbie Beale, having a similar Twitter name to someone in the news can cause all sorts of problems and damage your firm’s reputation if not handled well.
Here are some ways to make the most out of the situation:
1. Change your biog
If you’re constantly being mistaken for someone in the news – like the poor girl who was mistaken for EastEnders’ killer Bobbie Beale – then you’re going to have to let people know. The simplest way is to change your biog section to reflect this.
2. Have some fun
While some cases of mistaken identity can lead to abuse, a lot is just general banter. As Twitter works on interactions, this is the perfect chance to have a bit of fun and think of some witty responses.
For example, when the man, John Lewis was being praised for his excellent Christmas advert being a ‘perfect mix of nostalgia, sentiment and a great story’, he replied:
“I am a perfect combination of those things, but you probably meant the retail store.”
If people are laughing with you they’re more likely to share your tweets. The mistaken identity could open your business to a whole new audience.
3. Use it to your advantage
Your traffic and exposure are going to increase so make hay while the sun shines. When you’re replying to the mistaken identity tweets, include a link to your product or sites.
You could even go as far as to offer the mistaken tweeters a discount on your product, or see if you can get the actual Twitter account that’s been targeted to give you some free coverage.
Lucky Twitter user Ashley Kereke whose handle is @theashes managed to get herself a free flight to Australia to watch the cricket tournament of the same name.
Make sure your website and social media pages are perfect and up to date, as you might get a lot of new customers as your name gets pushed up search engine’s rankings.
4. Call on Twitter
If things start to get either abusive or the level of notifications unmanageable, they are ways Twitter can help.
You can set notifications to come from only people you follow. If you are getting abuse, you can report the person to Twitter and get them blocked.
5. Change your name
Finally, if the worst comes to the worst you can change your Twitter name. This is fairly easy to do on Twitter, but it might mean changing your website, business cards etc, so should only be used as a last resort.
Most cases of mistaken identity are based on news stories or events so given time will pass.