How Many Social Networking Sites Should You Join?

by Sherryl Perry on May 1, 2013

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How many social networking sites are there? Does anyone really know? How in the world are we supposed to know which ones to join? Sure, we should probably join the major ones that pop into most everyone’s mind (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter just to name a few) but what about sites like Biz Sugar, Blog Engage and Triberr? Aren’t those important social networking sites too? How do you determine which sites fit best into your social media strategy?

The Number of Social Networking Sites out There

Out of curiosity, I searched to see if anyone claimed to know how many social networking sites there are today. As expected, I did not find a definitive answer. I decided that the best resource for this piece of information may be to go directly to KnowEm.com.

KnowEm has been tracking social networking sites since April of 2009. This company was founded to help individuals and companies secure their name across multiple Social Media networks and to help protect their brand. On KnowEm.com, you can check to see if your username is available on the most popular social networking sites for free. Then, you can register for the ones that you want to join.

As an alternative, you can sign up for one of four different plans ranging from $69.95 to $649. (The plans include sign-up, email confirmation and uploading your photo and bio for you. The least expensive plan includes 25 networks and the Enterprise plan includes 300 networks.) They also offer a brand protection program (for an additional $59.95) where they will secure your user name on new sites for you.

According to KnowEm, their database includes over 550 popular social networking sites. So, for the sake of this article, let’s assume that there are at least that many sites. So how do you get started and how can you not quickly become overwhelmed?

Tips on Getting Started with Social Media

1.) Choose Your User Name: Since your username is a big part of your brand, you’ll want to make sure that you’re selecting a unique username. Start by going to KnowEm.com and search to see if your username is available. (Keep in mind that Twitter only allows up to 15 characters for your username.)

2.) Register your username on the most popular networking sites that you’re familiar with and on those sites that are specific to your niche. (Even if you have no intention of being active on a site, reserving your name prevents someone else from reserving it.)

3.) Set up your globally recognized Avatar at Gravatar.com. (This is free and easy to do. Simply register the email address that you will use to comment, the URL of your website and upload your profile pic. Whenever you leave a comment, your pic will appear. That’s it.)

You’ll also want to create a keyword rich profile on all of the social media sites that you join. I think it’s a good idea to keep track of which sites you’ve joined and what profile you used. Since I’m a bit of a spreadsheet addict, I maintain this info in an Excel spreadsheet. That way, if I refine my profile, I can easily see which sites I need to tweak.

The Case for Creating multiple Social Media Profiles

Leora Wenger has an interesting post on her blog titled New to Social Media? Understand the Challenges. The guest author, Carlo Pandian, addresses the issues of deciding which sites to join and how to manage your time. (There’s a lively discussion going on in the comment section too).

In the comment I left for Leora, I suggested that it’s a good idea to reserve your username and create a profile on several social media sites – whether or not you have any intention of ever being active there. My reasons for recommending this include:

  • Reserving your username protects your brand. (If you don’t reserve your username, someone else can.)
  • A site may not fit your strategy now but either the site and/or your social media strategy could change in the future. (For example, you may  decide to start a business or blog in a new niche and those potential customers/clients may be very active in networks you never thought you’d be active on. So, why not reserve your name now?)
  • A site that you can join for free today may turn into a membership site in the future. (It’s not uncommon for these sites to grandfather early adopters.)
  • Being a member of a social network can add to your social proof. (When I join a new site, I’ll often look to connect with people who regularly share my content.)
  • Your site profile has the potential of being do-follow.

Over to You

Which social media sites do you actively participate on? Do you agree that it’s a good idea to reserve your username and create a profile on multiple social networking sites? What are your top 3 sources of referral traffic? (Last month, mine were Twitter, StumbleUpon and BizSugar with Twitter driving three times more visits than the #2 and #3 sources.) Lastly, LinkedIn is my favorite social networking site for building mutually beneficial relationships. While it doesn’t make my top three sources of referral traffic, I can attest that many of my clients first met me there.

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Dave June 14, 2013 at 5:56 am

We now only use facebook and google+. Facebook because everybody is on there. Google + because it is much better for networking with other bloggers and people in the same field that you haven’t met yet. We did have a twitter, Pinterest and a few others but I started to think that a half used account is worse to come across than no account at all. We just have to remind our readers that they can find us on only them two sites. Perhaps we are losing a few people but for the amount of work saved it equals out 🙂
Dave recently posted..Best Genesis Child Themes for 2013My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 14, 2013 at 8:18 pm

If Facebook and Google+ are where the majority of your clients/customers are, then that certainly makes sense for you. My potential clients could possibly be on any one (or more) of the most popular social networking sites. So, I try to maintain a presence on most of them. For me, LinkedIn is my number one source for connecting with potential clients. Twitter is my number one source for referral traffic and I use FB to connect on a more personal level. As for Google+, I’m making an effort to be more active there for the SEO benefits. What’s important is for everyone to join the sites that work the best for them. There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all solution. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds – Facebook Hashtags, Google and CommentLuv do-follow LinksMy Profile

Roslyn X. Rosales May 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

People are increasingly learning about news stories via social networks, but the percentage is still small. Only 27 percent of American adults regularly or sometimes get news or news headlines through social networking sites, according to a report by the Pew Research Center released in September 2011. The number increased to 38 percent for people under 30.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

That’s a great fact to share Roslyn. The Pew Research group is a wonderful resource. Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to comment. I apologize for not replying sooner. Somehow, your comment got by me.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Triberr a Part of Your Social Media Strategy?My Profile

Silviu
Twitter:
May 25, 2013 at 6:16 am

I don’t like the idea of participating in many social networks. Why? It is very difficult to be present, to engage people and create real relationships on one social network. The second one will double the burden and so on. In time you will be exhausted.
I think the best way is to choose 2-3 and go with them. The only way to resist in 5-10 or more is to have a powerful and sophisticated automated system that will do 90% of the work for you.
For the moment I am involved in Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest. It is very tough.

OK. One more thing. Your commentluv plugin is not OK. I tried with tweet, +1 and like buttons and they are not working. Each time I lost the comment and need to start over again.
Silviu recently posted..Check Spam Have FunMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Silviu,
I agree with you that we should limit the number of social networks that we participate on but I still advocate reserving our username and completing our profiles on the majority of the major sites. The last thing I would want would be for someone else to be able to reserve my username and then start using it.

Thanks for letting me know that there’s a problem with my tweet and +1 buttons. (I wonder if the issue may be my Digg Digg plugin.) They’re working for me in Firefox, Chrome and IE. Both plugins are up to date. Someone else was having problems leaving a comment for me and they ended up being able to leave one after clearing her cache and deleting the cookie for my site. I’m sorry you ran into this problem.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds – Google Plus, Penguin 2.0, Twitter & Teaching Children to Code #FridayFindsMy Profile

Lisa May 20, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I can see the value of signing up on as many social media sites as possible. Simply keeping them open for the sake of a backlink and keeping your name protected. I have wondered for a bit of time when I would get to the end of these sites but alas I see the value of having many sites registered even if I do not have time to focus on them.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Lisa,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I don’t think we could ever get to the “end” of these sites but if we can reserve our names on the major ones, we should be good.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds – Google Plus, Penguin 2.0, Twitter & Teaching Children to Code #FridayFindsMy Profile

Jeo May 10, 2013 at 6:06 am

Globalization is responsible for the flocking of these networking sites. Though we all know, not all of them become a hit among the masses. But the urge to cover the entire world through technology is unfading. I think we must encourage more sites for better communication options.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Jeo,
You raise a great point that I don’t believe anyone has mentioned yet. Globallization has definitely contributed to the number of social networking sites that are available to join.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds for Weekend Reading – Google Penguin 2.0 UpdatesMy Profile

Evan May 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

This is a very interesting discussion. There are lots of pros and cons of the number of social media that a decent business should join. i would say it has to be the number that won’t make you feel uncomfortable by using it…

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Thanks for weighing in on this Evan. There are even more sites than I realized when I wrote this. The good news is that a lot of us here do network on the same sites and by using the same username and Gravatar, we are building recognition even if we tend to participate on a few sites that are key to us. That’s great because it’s always nice to network with someone who you can count on for providing valuable content. (Now, I’m off to tweet for you! :))

Richard
Twitter:
May 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

I agree that registering and protecting your Name on these sites is a good idea. But only for a large company. If like me you are only small and only provide a service to a small graphical area then it just not going to benefit. I just don’t have the time and wont get any extra business from it. The best thing for a small business is to Network on a local scale.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Hi Richard,
I’m definitely not a big company but I do see the value in building your brand on social networking sites. You never know when a small business can become a big (or at least medium sized) business. My logic for branding “KeepUpWeb” rather than myself is that at some point, (if I were to build a business worth selling), the social media associated with my efforts could be of value.

Even if you’re serving a small graphical area, a lot of people may want to connect with you on sites like FourSquare, Facebook and Twitter. You are so right about the value of your time though and I’m always grateful when a reader mentions networking locally. That can be the best thing that a small business can do. Thanks so much for joining the conversation! (BTW – I apologize for the late reply. I went on vacation and I’m way behind!)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

Jack May 6, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Hi Sherryl, I am very much aware of the craze people are following these days. Yes, social networking has become a craze, and that too not with one network. People want to be seen on all platforms, I often wonder where do they get so much enthusiasm to be always posting on these networks.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Jack,
Sorry for the late reply. (I’ve been on vacation.) I hadn’t heard of social networking being described as a craze before but that’s a great description. The big issue with social media is that it can be a huge time waster and not produce the results that you’re trying to achieve.

Thanks for joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

Harry
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Sherryl – The answer depends on how actively you can participate in the social networks you have joined. Joining number of social networks for the sake of joining and getting “friends” is not really going to help you if you are not prepared to engage in real dialog and conversation with them.

I would rather join fewer networks and participate more than other way round. Having said that Facebook and Twitter still remain the big kahunas. Outside of that you should consider joining niche social network that focuses on your industry.
Harry recently posted..Small Businesses Benefit from Local SEOMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Hi Harry,
You sound like you’re in the camp that limits the number of social sites that you join to a number that you can reasonably manage. While I appreciate that point of view, I still don’t see the harm in joining sites, claiming your username and setting up a profile. That’s part of the concept behind KnowEm.

I don’t expect all of the members of a site to be active. Yet, if I visit a site and see people that I recognize, it does trigger something in me. I recognize them and it brings them to the top of my mind. If they have a profile but aren’t active, it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just reinforcement of their brand to me. On the other hand, I get comments and connection requests from legitimate bloggers who have found me on sites like Blogger and FourSquare. Those are sites that I rarely visit. Yet, I know that some people have found me there. It could very well be that they recognized my username from sites like Twitter but the fact that they chose to connect with me there reinforces (to me) that I made the right choice to claim my space there.

There are definitely cases to be made for joining and not joining sites. Thanks for weighing in on this topic. I had hoped it would be an interesting discussion and it’s proving to be one.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

RobG May 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hello Sherryl, This is my first time here nice to met you. Nice post my friend. This is a great question for most of us who use social media websites to promote our blogs or websites.

I prefer to join only what I think will help me to gain more connections on line. I don’t really see the point of joining sites you may never even use don’t you agree?

Thanks so much for the nice write up my friend. I hope you have a wonderful day…

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Hi Rob,
It’s nice to meet you too. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll check out your post on vSlider. I’m always keeping an eye out for new plugins.

Honestly, I don’t agree that there’s no point in joining sites that you don’t plan to ever use. There’s clearing two points of view (at least) on this issue. I advocate signing up and building a profile on as many relevant social sites as possible. (I do not sign up for dating sites, gambling sites etc.) To me, it serves two purposes. Obviously, it reserves your name and prevents someone else from squatting on it. (Usernames are part of our brand.) Secondly, (to me) setting up a profile is like getting a listing in the phone book. Someone may come across you and check out your website. Additionally, if the site is do-follow, the search engines could potentially find you (helping to establish your social proof).

I always keep an open mind and if I ever come across a study that builds a case for not creating profiles on sites that you don’t intend to manage, I’ll reconsider my position but until then, I’m staying course on my current strategy.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds for Weekend Reading – Link Building, Social Media & CSSMy Profile

Keral Patel
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

I recently went a bit out of my mind and registered on almost 150 social sites because I wanted to reserve my username. Who knows which one would be more famous in upcoming future. I used knowem.com to first of all check where my username was available and where it was already taken.
Keral Patel recently posted..How to become a webmasterMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for sharing that with us Keral. I have to admit that you’ve registered for more social sites than I have. When I checked KnowEm recently, I noticed a few that I need to register for.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds for Weekend Reading – Link Building, Social Media & CSSMy Profile

Jeri
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Twitter remains my top referral source, followed by Facebook, than G+. Pinterest is a good place to share pictures of quotes I’ve made with my web address on the bottom, but all that sharing doesn’t necessarily mean it drives traffic to my blog. I’ve added a few more social sites recently, but I try not to overdo it. What I am trying to do now is to take a few social sites like Tumblr and use them more for my personal interests like photography.
Jeri recently posted..Author Interview: John HartnettMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

That is so true about sharing not necessarily driving traffic nor is the traffic always traffic that will convert. There’s no sense driving the wrong traffic to your site. It reminds me of the time that I discovered that Sitizens was my number one source of referral traffic. I had never heard of it before. The traffic was part of a game they were playing. The bounce rate from that traffic was extremely high. That lasted for a while and finally faded away. I think I still get traffic from it but it’s a fluke.

Lisa
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 6:45 am

Hi Sherryl, I used to join every one that came out but recently I’ve got back and focused on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I do want to join MySpace but not sure when I will. I need a little more time in my days. I had done a post a while back on ditching social networks and I no longer use Digg and only occassionally use StumbleUpon. I would guess I’m on 20+ networks. I can’t imagine 75 like Carl.
I haven’t used Biz Sugar in a while, interesting it’s one of your tops Sherryl – I may have to revisit that.
My top 3 referrals are Twitter, Triberr followed by Facebook.
Lisa recently posted..Old Twitter Followers That Haven’t Tweeted Being Swept AwayMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi Lisa,
I love Biz Sugar. I think it would be a great site for you to revisit. The managers of Biz Sugar are very involved and often they’ll visit your blog and comment. I don’t usually receive comments on my posts when I share them on most social media sites but for some reason, Biz Sugar members do tend to leave comments (on Biz Sugar). I reply and usually end up adding them to my friends and sharing their content (if it’s good and so far, it has been). I created a MySpace account years ago but that’s one that I leave dormant. Thanks for dropping by.

Elizabeth Scott
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 2:11 am

I can not imagine how many social networks there really are out in cyber space. I have focused on the main ones that I know such as Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and Triberr. I also use Hootsuite as a management tool for social media.
Elizabeth Scott recently posted..What is Triberr?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 11:55 am

Elizabeth,
Michael (from KnowEm) commented below and he mentioned that their database includes thousands of social networks. It’s enough to boggle my mind. 🙂

It’s smart to focus on a few sites Elizabeth. I’m active on the same sites that you are. I had dabbled in Triberr when it first launched and I wasn’t particularly happy with it. After I was invited into a tribe by a blogger (who is in my niche and shares some of my reader base), I found a home and I’m now a big advocate of it. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation. I’m off too share your post about Triberr. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds for Weekend Reading – WP Security & Best Website AwardsMy Profile

Max Christian Hansen
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Social media have me too busy to keep up with other work. (That’s my excuse for not including this excellent post in my Thursday Think Roundup.)

Five social networks make up over 95% of my usage: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, YouTube. I named them most important first, and then descending in importance. Their weights could change. Right now I’m very focused on Twitter because I can beat the daylights out of it and nobody complains that I’m posting too much, as they almost certainly would on the other networks. I’m also very focused on building up my following there. As a result, right now it’s the biggest driver of traffic to my websites.

I agree with Sherryl that it probably does no harm to have a user name but an uncompleted profile, in most cases. But that varies from site to site. For example, I think that even if you’re not going to be an active user of LinkedIn, it makes sense to get your profile there up to snuff. Otherwise it looks like an empty résumé. On other sites, I think it matters less. On YouTube, for example, a spiffy profile is a nice plus, but people are there for video shares, not to inspect your profile.
Max Christian Hansen recently posted..First-Ever Thursday Think RoundupMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hi Max,
Thanks for taking the time to join the discussion. You’re the first person to mention YouTube. I have a channel but I don’t use it yet.

I believe that everyone should take the time to complete their profiles on every social media site that they reserve their username. As I mentioned in my reply to Susan, I think of our profiles as a listing in a directory. Even if we’re not active on a site, someone may see us there, be intrigued by our profile and then hop over to our site. To me, not setting up a profile is a missed opportunity.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Social Media Snapshot Men vs Women (#Infographic)My Profile

Susan Cooper
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

When I first started out I joined anything and everything under the sun. Since that time I have settled into Tweeter, G+, LinkedIn and Facebook for sharing. My main source of traffic has come from Google, StumbleUpon, Twitter and referrals from others.

As far as my Gravatar and avatar profiles, I try to be as consistent as possible with my picture, name and logo. It seems to work pretty well and helps with branding me and my site. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Susan,
It sounds like your approach to social media is very similar to mine. You get a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon too? I hope your visitors from SU stay longer than mine. The thing is it’s an average though. So, there may be a visitor or two that becomes a regular reader. Unless someone tells you how they found you, there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Teepu May 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

I honestly cannot fathom managing many social networks. I’m already having a had time managing a few, how much more 10 social networks! Oh my gawd, I never thought there were THAT many social networks. Thanks for the intro to KnowEm, it might be interesting to check out a few that has some of myu interest. Thanks for this great share in Bizsugar! Enlightening if I may say!
Teepu recently posted..How to Show Your Clients the Value of Facebook in 7 Easy Steps [INFOGRAPHIC]My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi Teepu,
Thanks for letting me know that you found my article on BizSugar. That is such a great place to find contact and meet other bloggers.

I think it’s smart to limit the number of networks that you participate on. I don’t visit all of the networks that I participate on daily. I usually visit Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Triberr on a daily basis but I usually visit the other sites that I visit (like BizSugar, BlogEngage, BlogInteract etc.) when I’m promoting a post (which is once or twice a week). I actively promote other bloggers’ posts and then submit mine.

Christine May 2, 2013 at 7:20 am

Good points for any business or Startup who haven’t invested much time and effort in building their social media presence. I like the how Social Media could help Recruitment of Motivated & Talented Staff to acquire the best people for their work. In my freelance business Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook has helped me lot in finding prospects and converting them into successful gigs.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Hi Christine,
Thanks for sharing your experience with Twitter and Facebook with us. Social media is a must these days. I’m still amazed by how many readers here haven’t set up a Gravatar yet. I know some bloggers who won’t even approve comments if the person doesn’t have a Gravatar. They assume that they’re spam. (I usually give people the benefit of the doubt.) There are several regular readers here who still don’t have Gravatars but they’re definitely not bots. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

Susan Oakes
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I think it is a good idea to reserve your username Sherryl, however I am not sure about setting up profiles. The reason is because a page with a profile and no interaction is not a good look.

Linkedin, Bizsugar and Business Exchange are biggest referrers. I have heard before that Stumbleupon sends traffic but has high bounce rate. Your statement about LinkedIn and clients is a key point. Traffic is one thing but unless it is translating into business results what is the point. Finally what some may not realise is if people stay and leave comments naturally the time spent on the site is longer. What I also look at is what other pages they look at or actions they take so the results are put into perspective.
Susan Oakes recently posted..Improve Customer Retention The Smart WayMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I think setting up profiles on sites that you intend to be inactive on is accepted practice. I look at it as having a directory listing in a phone book. To me, the fact that KnowEm is marketing this service to businesses gives credibility to my assumption that it doesn’t hurt. Personally, I think it’s a missed opportunity to not complete it.

That’s an excellent observation that traffic from LinkedIn is often from engaged bloggers who are commenting for us. That hadn’t occurred to me. Thanks for mentioning it. BTW – I still am unable to access Business Exchange in the U.S. I don’t know if it’s just me but it’s probably been close to a year now.

Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I confess to being tied to the most obvious small group of sites, but I have wondered about expanding, so your post is welcome. I get overwhelmed when I think of all these social media sites. I think picking and choosing is my best strategy. But it would help me to register for more (per your suggestion of protecting the brand) and also dip my toe into a widening pool. I always get a lot from your posts, Sherryl, and also from the excellent comments you get.
Judy Stone-Goldman recently posted..If You Want to Feel Happier, Build Happiness SkillsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Judy,
I really appreciate knowing that you value my blog. It can be overwhelming to manage a lot of sites. I try to keep an eye on whether or not I’m getting traffic or if there are other indications that it’s a good site to be on. Some sites that I’m a member of, I don’t get any direct traffic from but that’s okay because my reason for being there is simply to support other members of my community. There are a core group of bloggers who share my content and I reciprocate. All of these bloggers are people who I have followed for a while and I am confident in the value that they provide. So, it doesn’t take a lot of my time to support them.

Thanks for mentioning the comments on my blog! I think they can be pretty awesome. 🙂

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Good article Sherryl. Quite an interesting discussion we have here about how many social networks we should join:-)

Also left Pinterst not only because I wasn’t using it but also for the possible legal implications of that site. Was a member of Xing when I was in the Middle East but left. But have the feeling my profile is still on that network. And the same applies to MySpace that I left years ago. Seems to me, maybe wrongly, that many social media networks don’t remove your profile even if you leave. Let’s face it they need as many members as possible, even passive ones.

Personally use Linkedin, Google +, Twitter and Facebook. Sincerely have not got time for more. Get most of my traffic from Google, Linkedin and Businessweek.
Catarina Alexon recently posted..Do MBAs harm the economy?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for your input Catarina. It’s interesting to hear what everyone is doing regarding their social media profiles. Personally, I don’t see any harm in keeping inactive profiles on these sites. (If you or anyone else comes across a resource that can prove otherwise, I would be open to being convinced otherwise.)

After learning that Google could potentially reissue your feed name (if you delete your RSS feed rather than migrating it and letting it sit there), I’ve been even more leery of deleting profiles. I’ve heard too many stories about companies that have had to fight competitors to prevent them from tarnishing their brand. The thought of someone being able to create a social media profile with the username that I’ve been branding is frightening to me.

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
May 2, 2013 at 5:29 am

Agree with you Sherryl. It’s high time the same laws that apply offline are implemented online. Too many people commit crimes online that would put them in jail in real life.
Catarina Alexon recently posted..Do MBAs harm the economy?My Profile

Michael Streko
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 10:50 am

Thanks for the mention. Our database actually has thousands of sites from around the world. Everything from small niche movie fan sites to senior citizen networking sites, in multiple languages.

We basically use our in house algorithm to determine what are the most popular sites and that is what we show to the public for search and sign our clients up on.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thanks for dropping by Michael. Thousands? I had no idea it was that many but it’s not surprising. I tend to join those sites that I see mentioned by bloggers who I follow or that I learn about on major sites. BTW – The ability to search for free on your site is appreciated! I’m sure many of your clients were first introduced to your site by wanting to do some simple research.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

Michael Streko
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Yes, that is basically how people learn about our services is via our free search. We actually launched our original site back in Feb of 2009 http://checkusernames.com – KnowEm.com was the evolution from there.

Since then we have broadened our spectrum to including domains and trademarks. We actually have some new services launching shortly. Here is a sneak peak 😉 http://publish.knowem.com Again, it is our natural evolution.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks for the info Michael. I’ll keep KnowEm in mind for the future. Sometimes little businesses that use free services grow up to be bigger businesses that becoming paying clients. Free is a strategy that works.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

Sherryl, I had not heard of Knowem.com. Thanks for the tip. I will explore and decide what to do. I am conflicted about simply registering for a site and not being active, although it is important to protect your brand name. For example, I registered for a Pinterest account because I feel it’s important to understand the most important (or the “hottest”) networks, but I have been entirely absent because it’s not my audience. I’m actually thinking of closing that account because visitors coming to my site would find nothing of interest posted. Google is my top source of referrals, but surprising to me, at least, is that direct traffic is my second leading source followed by LinkedIn.
Jeannette Paladino recently posted..In Designing a Website for Mobile Viewing Where is “Above the Fold?”My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

You’re welcome Jeannette. As for deleting accounts that you’ve created already, I wonder if that username could be re-registered by someone else. I was amazed when I learned that if you delete your Google Feedburner account, someone could create a new one with your old username.

Google is my top source of traffic too. Less than 17% of my traffic last month was from referrals and even though I get more traffic from StumbleUpon than LinkedIn, the average visit from a SU visitor is 18 seconds compared to about 3 minutes for a visitor from LinkedIn. The only reason I think I get SU visitors at all is because I stumble a lot when I’m reading blogs. (It just takes seconds.) So, hopefully, I may get a new reader or two from SU but since it’s such a minimal effort, I always think it can’t hurt me and it may be helping someone else.

Geek Girl
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

I signed up for a few, but in the end only use 3 of them with any consistency. It’s just too overwhelming and time consuming. I use these like a newbie. Oh well…

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

That’s good that you signed up for a few Cheryl. It doesn’t hurt to reserve your username so that someone else won’t.

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 6:27 am

I love how a guest post (that I wasn’t sure would be of interest before I hit Publish!) generated discussion and now this whole new post on the topic of social networking sites and whether to join them “all.” Diana argued against setting up as many profiles as you can, assuming that some won’t be filled and will look empty and negative. But it seems you are saying join as your own name, not as your business. That probably would have a different look. A Facebook page, the example she gave, is really for a business or organization, not a single individual.

My top three referral sources (from social media sites) seem to be LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.
Leora Wenger recently posted..New to Social Media? Understand the ChallengesMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

Leora,
I love how a post can generate discussion too. I read Diana’s response and was going to reply to her but I had already started a post on social media. So, I decided to open the discussion here. I’m sure that there will be people who hold Diana’s position and I’m looking forward to heaingr both sides.

Unless we have the funds to invest in a service like KnowEm, it’s not feasible to register for all of them. I’m advocating registering your username(s) on the social networking sites that you hear about. If another blogger mentions a site, I’m very likely to join – unless of course it’s a niche site that is of absolutely no interest to me (dating, gaming, gambling etc.). This will at least prevent someone else from squatting on my username.

Carl
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 5:52 am

In the past I’ve tested multilingual social marketing strategy with about 75 social network divided. Probably this is the biggest social media campaign that I have ever run. Results were impressive, but I used to have a whole international team that was working with me. Well, nowadays it might be much easier. As what I am sharing is related to the time before Facebook and Twitter, but I guess that this still might give great results.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Carl,
Most of us can’t imagine managing 75 social networks for a multilingual campaign. A company like that would probably definitely benefit from engaging KnowEm to help them.

It’s always interesting to hear experiences from others. Thanks for joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do NOT Delete Your Google FeedBurner RSS Feed Migrate ItMy Profile

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