I recently attended a seminar hosted by Cirrus ABS on social media optimization. I'm going to share a few things that I have found that have worked with claiming or creating your brand across the internet.
An amazingly handy (and somewhat overwhelming) site to check if user names are available for different social media or networking sites is Namechk.com
Namechk.com was designed ... to instantly show you if your desired or branded username was available at the majority of the top social networking websites. By typing your username into the “chk” search box, it will query all the social sites listed on the page and display whether the username is taken or available. ~ according to the site.In looking at different results, it can be too much to take in if you consider your brand name is not available on all 159 of the sites that are checked there. But, there is something important to keep in mind. Are the most widely used ones, or ones that are relevant to your business available? Can you get the name you want o Facebook and Twitter? How about Four Square? Those may be the only ones you need.
If you have the time or energy or an intern or employee with a lot of time on their hands you may want them to work on claiming as they can. You may not (and probably should not) try to maintain all the identities, just the ones that are needed. Claiming them keeps others from using your name in a way that is out of your control!