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How Many Social Networks Should You Join?


Posted by on October 27, 2008

There are thousands of social networks creeping up all over the place, pretty much one for any topic you can think of. Here you are trying to build up your personal brand and your online presence, how many social networks should you become a part of and how can you maintain all of your profiles?  There’s actually a new tool called usernamecheck which let’s you check if your desired user name has been taken on a number of social networks, it’s hand if you want a quick glance for your user name.

I’m all about quality relationships and am a firm believe that if you’re going to do something, you need to do it right. What I mean by that is I would rather be an active member and contributor to 3 social networks then a non-active non-contributor to 100 social networks. I find that between this blog, twitter, linkedin, and facebook, that I have a solid online presence and I don’t really need to be a part of other networks. That being said I also do have accounts with myspace, stumbleupon, mixx, flickr, viddler, plurk, and pownce, but I never really use or update them. I just don’t see the need to.

Don’t spread yourself too think because that eventually diminishes your value. Let your users know the core places where they can find you and make sure that when they do find you that you are pumping out some quality content and building those relationships/connections.  I may not belong to as many social networks as some other people out there but I respond to every message, email, and comment that I get from the networks that I am a part of, and to me it very important that I can maintain that.

What about you?  How many social networks are you a part of and how many do you actually maintain and contribute to?

thanks for reading

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  • http://www.workalertz.com Matt

    I'm with you 100%.

    Facebook is for my friends
    LinkedIn is for my business contacts (future and current)
    MySpace is for my music (but Last.fm/Pandora is better)
    Twitter is for the random people I admire and the innovators that I want to follow.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hey matt, my social network usage is quite close to yours although I'm not really that active on myspace.

      i find it funny when people have accounts on 30 networks but only really use a few :)

      thanks for reading and commenting matt, hope to hear more from you

  • http://www.tomvanlerberghe.com Tom Vanlerberghe

    That's why I don't like apps like ping.fm… sure you can update all your communities at once, but you can never follow them all.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi tom good point. it's hard to follow the conversations, if you begin using something like ping.fm the conversations turn into broadcasts…hmm that's an idea for a blog post… thanks!

      thanks for reading and commenting tom!

  • Annalise

    For those of you spending a lot of time on social networks, you should make your time work for you and try HopOnThis.com, eZanga.com’s social network. eZanga.com is a search engine that specializes in pay per click advertising, and they recently updated their site adding, HopOnThis.com . Once you are an active member, HopOnThis rewards you with points (for posting comments, inviting friends, blogging, etc) you can trade in for cash and prizes.

  • Drew

    I really like the book, The Long Tail (pick up a copy if you haven't). An example of the Long Tail in action would be that Viva La Vida will sell 500,000 copies on iTunes, but at the same time the 500,000 smallest selling bands on iTunes will all sell just as much combined. It will continue to be valuable for iTunes to sell their music (because of low cost of storage, etc) because the Long Tail economics will make up a huge chunk of their profitability.

    I used to think this with social networks as well. I was a band manager for a while and I started a lot of different social media accounts to promote and spread the word. Using the long tail model I thought that all the small parts would help and add up to a greater force. I underestimated the power of potency in one place. While bigger bands with already established brands and fans may be able to follow this model, a smaller brand doesn't have the resources to excellently do all the sites.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi Drew, you know I've been meaning to pick that book up. i've been following chris on his blog for a while. i am quite familiar with the concept though and I do agree with it.

      also, i think there is a difference between selling a product using the long tail theory, and communicating with and managing people using the long tail theory. you have to evaluate your opportunity cost, and at the end of the day, trying to manage your fans across 50 social networks may not be as valuable as trying to aggregate your fans onto 3 social networks. relationships and products are very different, one is self sustaining and one needs constant time and attention to make it grow.

      thanks for reading and commenting drew, it was great to hear your story. hope to hear more from you in the future

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  • http://www.theworkathomewoman.com Holly Reisem Hanna

    I totally agree, quality over quantity. Good post!

  • http://www.theworkathomewoman.com Holly Reisem Hanna

    I totally agree, quality over quantity. Good post!