Out of a half-dozen presentations on social networking the last couple of months only one of the groups was trying to harness Web 2.0. Some of the entrepreneurs in this group were doing more than others. Some didn't really use the Twitter account they'd created, or the Facebook profile or the LinkedIn profile, but they'd developed an Internet presence and claimed the real estate.
Excuses I heard . . . "I don't have time for all of that." "What am I supposed to do with it?" "My clients don't use it."
Just because you can't imagine why you'd use a social networking site doesn't mean you shouldn't get on it. Frankly, if you have time for a coffee run, then you have time to create a social networking account or two. And, whenever was networking about only being where your current clients spend their time?
But, let's get down to the main point. It's your brand! Do you want someone else to control part of your brand? Claim your real estate by creating accounts with your name and/or business name before other people use them.
For example, I'm always surprised to see how many Honeycutts there are in the world. Because there are so many on the Internet, I was especially surprised that Honeycutt was available on Twitter. Remembering how I lost out on the honeycuttconsulting.com domain a few years ago and ended up with honeycuttconsulting.us, I immediately swooped that sucker up. Any search for a Honeycutt on Twitter brings me up. (Yes, I have Weirding Word®, too.)
Not only do you get to protect your brand by preventing others from using the name, you also increase your search engine optimization (SEO) -- you make it easier for people to find you in web searches. And you get to list your website, blog, key words, and much more. If that's not worth spending a little time on social networks, then I don't know what is.