Signing up early means that you get the username you want. How did I get the gmail address "andrewhennigan"? Simple, I was there when gmail started. How did I get the twittername "andrewhennigan"? Again I was just faster than everyone else. This is useful for consultants like me because it improves my search visibility and makes the results much cleaner. For companies with valuable brands it is even more important. Just this week the new Netflix spinoff "Qwikster" is in the news because the company very carelessly neglected to grab the twitter name @qwikster, which is currently owned by someone who is making the company look ridiculous. Techcrunch covers this story with screengrabs of @qwikster tweets in Qwikster already has a lively twitter account but its not owned by Netflix/
Registering your name and brands on major sites is one of the first steps in what we call brand protection. It makes sure that nobody else can grab the name and makes sure you already own it when you need it. This is certainly much cheaper than trying to get it back later, maybe after an embarrassing public dispute. The trouble is that you never know what is going to be major. Remember Twitter? Not many people knew in 2006 that it was going to get this big, so it is prudent to register your brand on new sites even if you are not yet convinced.
In the LinkedIn thread people are discussing 340 social networks. In fact there are more than this, more than 500 today. Just to register a blank profile on all of these would take a long time so some communications people use services like Knowem.com where you can check the availability of your brand for free and if you pay a fee they will create a blank account for you or even populate your profile.
Brand protection isn't the only reason why you might want to register for new sites as soon as they emerge. There are also important benefits to your visibility and reputation, but that's another story and we will come back to that another day.
Lectures, Workshops & Coaching
For one-to-one coaching, lectures and workshops on this topic see andrewhennigan.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0033 6 79 61 42 81.
Related posts on Branding and Reputation Management:
Choosing Pronounceable Brand Names: Lessons from the Cuil Saga
Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation
Branding in the Age of Search Engines
Why Having Accounts on Photo Sharing Sites Is Good for Your Image
Sign Up Now: Joining New Networking Sites Boosts Brand, Reputation
Related Posts on Networking:
How to Separate Work and Private Networking
Involuntary Networking: Why First Street is Fascinating but Scary
LinkedIn Etiquette: How to Approach People You Don't Know
Selling Your Ideas: Influencing Your Way to Success
Professional Networking: Five Sites You Should be Using
How to Use Twitter for Professional Networking
Sign Up Now: Joining New Networking Sites Boosts Your Reputation
Zerply: Three Thumbs Up, Two Thumbs Sideways
Three Keys to Networking