The announcement of Facebook vanity URLs isnt the end of days for your facebook-less brand online.
While it may be first come, first served for individual users such as myself, marketers and brands have a different rulebook.
Facebook has thought about the land grab that may ensue on Saturday June 13th at 12:01 AM EDT.
To protect brands against cyber squatting, Facebook is requiring that a page had to be created prior to May 31st and garnered at least 1,000 fans. This acts as a sign of some legitimacy for the request of a vanity URL.
It is important to point out; Facebook has allowed the registration of businesses, celebrities, and brands prior to this announcement! Some notable companies with Facebook vanity URLs are Betty Crocker, Vitamin Water, and Guess. By using the site operator in Google for facebook.com, you can see many, many more. Some dont even have the required 1,000 fans.
So you havent been using Facebook for your brand, dont sweat! Beyond the registration restrictions, companies can block the registration of usernames using trademarked terms via a contact form. Simply enter your trademark and your trademarks registration number.
It's 2009, Why Aren't You Using Facebook
The combination of Facebook's trademark protection and registration restrictions should protect your brand, if you want to play it safe.
Maybe, instead of merely protecting your interests, this might be a perfect opportunity to figure out how youd like to employ the Facebook community to further your future business goals.