By: Lee Ann Jackson June 1, 2016

It’s difficult to keep up with the warp speed social media evolves.  In an already busy world, the need to keep tabs on the latest thing “socially” just doesn’t need to be a priority.

Though, should it be?

With 71% of all adult internet users using Facebook and 52% of all online adults are now using two or more social media platforms, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Over the past four years, almost all of the major social media platforms that are consistently tracked in Pew Research surveys have seen a significant increase in the proportion of U.S. adults who use them. Some have witnessed more rapid growth than others.

My advice: Claim your name in the social domain today, strategize tomorrow. This approach is challenging for methodical mindsets like mine but if you wait for that “perfect moment” when your social media strategy is all planned out, you may find that you user name is already taken.

In case you’re still not convinced about the value of social media, no one said it better than author, speaker and social media extraordinaire, Guy Kawasaki ,  “Social media is the greatest thing to happen in marketing– it’s quick and ubiquitous.”

So maybe you already have a Twitter account and a Facebook page for your organization, but what about the hundreds of other social media sites which let you choose your username?  Just as it’s important to stake a claim on your organization’s name with a domain name, it’s also important to claim it as a username on social networking sites.

Here are three reasons why you should claim your name in the social domain now:

Protect: If for no other reason, claim your name to keep others from hijacking it and consequently, also, your brand. It’s becoming increasingly important with the growth of social media to be sure that you protect your brand by securing your username to maintain control over how your brand name is used.

Promote: More and more, your account name on each social media is the primary way that people find your organization, ministry and business. The account name you use on each social media site is an important part of your online branding and visibility.

Partner: While measuring the numeric ROI for social media efforts can be  elusive, there’s no doubt that when used properly, social media is a most cost effective, easy and “in-the-moment” way to cultivate relationships with your consumers, constituents and overall, industry.  In today’s economy, social sites play an integral role in the marketplace of partnership building.  Period.

You want to make it very easy for your existing customers and other people who know your business, organization or ministry to find you on social media. In the early days of social media, it was easier to get your ideal account names on each site. Now that many businesses are adding accounts, you may find that you have to compromise to set up accounts on some of the most popular sites.

It’s important to have a username that is consistent, relevant, and memorable. People need to be able to find you easily and clearly.  Here are some tips to consider when setting up your username:

–       If you have a good social media username but it’s not available on some of the other platforms, consider adding on words like: JaneDoeToday

–       Get a little creative, but not overly so. For example, if your organization is Art’s Windows and @ArtsWindows is already taken, try @ArtsWindows1, @ArtsWindowsUSA or something similar. (Avoid @ArtsWindows5462)

–       Be as consistent as possible with your username across social sites – the less you vary your username, the stronger your branding and the easier you’ll be found.

–       Particularly for Twitter purposes, it’s important to keep your username short. A long username will work against you when others want to retweet you.

Social media sites you should claim your name on today:

Facebook

Twitter

Periscope

LinkedIn

Instagram

Pinterest

Snapchat

Bottom line:  Social media is here to stay . . . use it to help your organization do the same!

Lee Ann Jackson

Ambassador Advertising Agency

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