One of the most common tips that I read when people talk about social media strategy and even how to avoid social media burnout is that you should pick to a couple of outlets and focus on them. By not trying to tackle every single social media platform you are able to focus and really get something out of your effort instead of being spread thin.
I completely agree with that idea. However one thing I would suggest is that while you don’t need to participate on every social media platform that comes along I would sign up for just about anything new and shiny that comes down the pike unless it was something that doesn’t relate to what I do at all.
Why you ask?
1) Protect your/your company/your product/ your blog’s name- I had a client that I was dealing with and I went to register their name on multiple social media sites in order to protect it. When I started to that I ran into dozens of accounts where people were using the company because they liked it. (Nobody was posing as the company thankfully.) The accounts weren’t very old, so it wasn’t really a name squatting situation, but imagine if they were prepared or had a strategy this wouldn’t have become a headache.
By being proactive and just placing a stake in the ground on this social network you save yourself hassle in the long run. You may never use the account again but it is better than when you decide to want to use it and find out that someone has your username.
2) Getting in early has it rewards sometimes- Two examples that immediately spring to mind when I think about this are Twitter and MySpace. Both sides have avatars showing who your friends are. Originally MySpace’s top 8 friends were determined by how long your friends were on the site for. So people with lower user numbers appeared early on your list. This allowed for certain users to really grow their friends list just by having interesting avatars for the first few years because they were routinely appearing in the top 8 of most of their friends. Twitter is currently set up the same way it looks like with people with older accounts appearing in your initial Twitter friends on your homepage. (I am assuming this based off what I see I could be wrong about Twitter.)
In the end taking the five minutes to sign up for an account on a new and emerging social media site might seem like a waste because you may never use it. But I think for these two reasons alone it is five minutes well spent.