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

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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?

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.

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?

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.

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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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Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.

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Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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