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Is bigger better or is less really more? Social media profiles & followers

As social media becomes more and more a part of our daily lives, many of us have asked ourselves this question: is it better to have lots of profiles and followers or is less more?

When I started “playing” with social media a few years ago, I set up a profile at every site I could find. I grabbed up my name on platforms that I can’t even recall because it might be the next big thing. (remember Plurk?)

This is going to be one of those “no right or wrong” sorts of discussions.

Lets start with the “how many profiles is too many” part of our discussion today. Personally, my name is my brand, so I did use checkusernames.com and namechk.com to search for availability and grabbed the ones I wanted to hold. That being said, the reality is that I really only use Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis. I found that it is too distracting and difficult to monitor and participate on more than that.

I don’t mind those profiles floating out there, but some people do and want to delete them. But what if you know you made these, but can’t remember all of them and have no clue where to start searching?

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Enter services like lullar.com and yoname.com. Plug in your email address and these services will show you your profiles so you can go investigate, tidy house or delete.

These could also be used to find the profiles for friends (or other people you want to stalk).

Deleting said profiles varies in ease from site to site. Many are as simple as a polite goodbye and a few clicks, others offer layers of guilt and legal mumbo jumbo to weed through before you can break up. Facebook, I have been told, will even throw it in your face that your friends will miss you.

Now remember, any data that is stored on these profiles will be deleted when you cancel, so make sure to move photos, blog posts, etc. before hitting the final button.

Now onto the “how many followers” question. I know lots of Twitter friends that went through their list and weeded out followers with a ruthless conviction. They insist that this will help them to get back to more engagement on the medium. While I absolutely agree that engagement is THE key, I only delete people when they really really upset me or turn out to be spammy (which is really the same thing as upsetting me). Personally, I prefer to utilize lists and columns to keep my interactions simple and real. Only you know how many is too many or not enough, follow your instincts on this one.

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That being said, if you would like to clean up your Twitter list there are a number of applications that can help you with that job. You can ask Nest Unclutterer to analyze your “nest” or Friend or Follow to see who is and is not following you.

So you tell me: bigger is better or less is more?

Written By

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Jeff Royce, Frankly Real Estate

    January 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Having profiles on sites where you just dabble is not necessarily a negative, but doesn’t do much good either. I think you need to regularly engage a given community to have any impact on it. For example, I have an AR blog that I’ve posted to twice in the last 2 years. I don’t think it hurts me that it’s out there, but I think I wasted my time with those two posts. They won’t do any good just sitting out there all alone. My rule is that if I’m going to spend anytime on a community, I need to fully engage on a regular basis.

    That being said, it is tempting to sign up for sites that pull all your information from your existing communities and display that on their site. For example, I have a Plaxo account that I rarely sign into, but it shows my posts from Flickr and Twitter, where I engage regularly. Plaxo has become a way to connect with a few people even when I spend no time on it beyond what it took to send my other feeds there. Sites like that still tempt me, but I don’t get real excited to sign up for services that would take a lot of time to engage in. I’m better off spending that time in places I already have contacts and relationships.

    • Lesley Lambert

      January 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      Good point of view Jeff, I like the way you sum it up! Thanks for reading and sharing!

  2. Matt Thomson

    January 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Having a bad social media presence is worse than no social media presence. I believe if you’ve got profiles on sites that you don’t visit or don’t understand how to use, you’re really hurting yourself. You’re telling everyone who finds you on that site that you’re either out of the business or don’t know what you’re doing.
    You can’t do every type of lead generation off line, why try online? You can’t join every club, organization, support group, etc off line, why try online?
    Find the sites and groups that matter, the ones where the most people are, or the ones you think you’d actually use and actually try engaging with the other people there.
    Having profiles all over the web is equivalent to hanging your business card on the coffee shop bulletin board. Just ’cause you’re there doesn’t mean you’re getting anything from it.
    While you’re driving around town pinning your business card on every bulletin board, I’ll sit down face to face with people and connect with them, and I’ll get the business.
    Social media sites and profiles are only as good as you’re willing to make them through engaging.

    • Lesley Lambert

      January 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      I like the analogy of joining clubs, great point!

  3. Sara Bonert

    January 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    This is really interesting. Personally I think you should set up profiles in a number of places, even if you never use them. Some companies reward profiles with pretty good SEO juice – another link into a place you really want the viewer to go. But when it comes to spending your resource of time, I think we can all agree to pick a few that you know work and that you are dedicated to and spend your efforts there.

    When it comes to size, it is a double edged sword. Smaller numbers likely equal better engagement. But that would be ignoring the phrase ‘perception is everything’. If I have 3000 twitter followers, even if a large chunk of them are unqualified, I still look popular. That may be a factor when you, the qualified tweeter, are deciding whether or not to follow me. So as with most things in life, there is probably a nice balance in there somewhere.

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