Social Network Marketing: Can You Have Too Many Profiles?


I was inspired to write this post because the more I talk to folks in the real estate space, the more I hear that they are getting burned out.

Photo by ~Semi Sweet~

There are probably many thousands of social networks out there now, and I’m sure (anyone can create a social network in 5 minutes using the site) is responsible for quite a handful of them. I actually think it is great that people have a choice of networks to join, but is it imperative to have an account on all of them?

Many social media “experts,” “coaches,” “gurus,” and “consultants” will tell you that you must “have a presence on every possible network out there! Focus on those in your niche and make sure you’ve got a profile so you can be found.” They argue that if you don’t have a profile, you don’t exist, and that is bad for marketing. Perhaps though, not existing by not having a presence, is better than not existing because you are simply not present.

When is a Profile Doing You Harm?

I had a conversation the other day about using social networks, and what intrigued me was that the people I talked to, thought that spreading yourself out across every network possible could be harmful to your reputation.

First, given the limited number of hours in a day, it is impossible to remain active across dozens, if not hundreds of networks. I know that I have to limit myself to three: (of course), Twitter, and Facebook. Those are the three places where I not only have a presence, but also actively interact with others, participate in the community, and work to build my name and reputation. While I have a presence on several others as well, and occasionally will participate, I’d say the total isn’t any more than 10 or 12, and each serves a specific purpose. (e.g. LinkedIn for building business connections.)

So, unless you do nothing other than spend time on social networks, you’ll only be able to maintain an active presence on a select few. That leaves the hundreds of other real estate social networks for you to create an account on . . . but should you? I know a few people who, anytime I visit a new network, have a profile. This leads me to think one of two things.

  1. All they do is hang out on social networks. That’s a really bad sign. It means that you aren’t out there making deals, working, etc.
  2. They went and hired someone to do it for them. That is also a bad sign. It means that you think you can just pay to create a presence without being there. It tells me that this person wants to take the easy way out and not figure out how to engage. These people will never make quality connections because their virtual assistant is posing as them anyway.

How Are You Represented on a Social Network When You Don’t Participate?

Jumping back to the conversation I mentioned earlier, someone threw out the idea of the importance of showing your commitment to something. He said that by neglecting your profile, you’re proving that you are just another passer-by, looking for the quick benefit of a basic presence on a real estate social network.

It actually makes a lot of sense!

We have hundreds of members like that on BiggerPockets, as I’m sure does every network. Many of these people don’t even respond to inquiries because their attention is so spread out. These people join in the hope of building their name and reputation, but they are just not around to actually do that.

Building Your Name and Reputation takes Time and Effort

I’ll defer back to BP, because I can more easily draw examples from our site. What you see if you spend any amount of time on a social network is that each community has its own opinion leaders, culture, and style. The people who immediately come to mind as the opinion leaders are those who spend the time and effort on building their reputation and on giving to the community. These are not the passers by, but the people who commit to staking a claim in the community.

What do you notice about them?
You notice that you notice them!

Because they are involved, active, and give effort.

What do you notice about the guy who created a profile and moved on to create one on another site?

Even if you’re intrigued by something you find on his profile, his lack of focus shows that he may not understand that real estate, like any business, is about building real connections & relationships. You can’t do that by signing up and taking off!

If given the choice of connecting with someone who commits vs. someone who is just like a flyer posted on a college billboard, I’ll do business with the first guy 100% of the time.

So . . . What Should YOU Do?

Research! Get out there and find those social networks that best match your interests and needs. Find those communities that foster connectivity, and focus on quality content, interaction, and serve your particular individualized needs.

Then, create a presence and participate.

The self-appointed, all-knowing gurus out there need to stop spreading the wrong message here. Anyone can create a profile, but only by committing to a select few, will you truly realize the full potential that real estate social networks have to offer.

I do hope that makes your real estate social network list!
We focus on creating a quality, spam & pitch free environment, that allows real estate professionals, investors, and enthusiasts alike, to engage one another without fear. There aren’t stupid questions, and no one is better than anyone else. By focusing on these core philosophies, we’ve created what may not be the largest, but what I think is hand’s down, the highest quality social network in the space. If you haven’t already, stop by and see why the word is spreading!

“Just because you’re present doesn’t mean that you’re present” – Me

Here are a few other interesting reads that I thought would spin your wheels:


About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. Josh,
    My observations may come purely from a reputation management point of view.

    So, I don’t see any harm of having “too many profiles” across the social media websites. Sure it would be impossible to keep up with every one of them. But from the reputation management point of view it definitely helps.

    I agree that it take a long time to build your online reputation. On the other hand it takes very little effort for some one to destroy your reputation. Having inactive accounts out there is not the best approach, but at least you have control over them if needed.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Vlad! While the article is certainly opinionated, I am interested in hearing the opinions of the community.

    Are you saying that it helps to have many profiles for reputation management purposes or less? I can’t figure it out.

    What would you recommend people do?

    Do you think having dozens of profiles is the right approach, or less, more focused ones?

  3. Josh,

    Yes I think it is easier to manage your reputation if you have extra accounts out there. I would try to link them up pointing to the one’s you are most active on and if needed give them an extra “push” so they come on first pages of search results for your own name.

  4. Joseph Ferrara on

    While I think it is good practice to have your static profile (& links) on as many directories/sites as possible, it is a great expenditure of time and energy to try to participate at every social media “party.” Pick the parties you like and interact there. And accept them for what they primarily are– social spaces– not places to hawk your wares. I would wager they are better marketing venues for commodities than services, in any case.

    As a publisher, I look at social media a bit differently — I see the sm sites as channels for distributing my content– so my content is on wikipedia, stumbleupon, blogs, blog comments, flickr, youtube, etc. to live a life in Google perpetuity, open 24/7/365 (except during leap years.

    My favorite SM place is and the old school f2f networking. Heck, I can exchange more information in a fifteen minute f2f or telephone conversation than an hrs worth of SM.

    The difference, as I see it, is the SM media net allows for a greater reach but f2f provides greater depth. And depth of influence usually trumps breadth. Just my opinion.

    Here is a post I did recently on the subject. In the post is a link to a great post by Danny Sullivan showing that SM sites are more varied than most people suppose.

  5. @Vlad – I respectfully disagree. No need to rehash, as I’ve posted my argument in the article above.

    @Greg – That makes two of us

    @Joe – Do people do f2f networking nowadays? This is 2009, man!

    I agree that depth is way more important than breath . . . that was why I wrote the article. If you’re just using SM to spread your wares, share your links, etc, I guess it doesn’t matter what you do. I’m more concerned about people who are interested in focus on business networking, not straight marketing.

  6. Social networking sites do take alot of time. I do think they’re good because obviously they give you the opportunity to market yourself, put positive info out there and hopefully build relationships with realtors, loan officers, buyers, sellers and all kinds of interesting people. As a busy realtor, I can only do a limited amount.

  7. Vijay Rayapati on

    Point taken, having too many social network profiles eats up lot of time but organizing them at one place and under single url makes it a lot better. Social Organizer services like ( I work with them) help you organize your social activity and branding at one place for ease of use and management.

  8. Pingback: Humanize Your Listings with Social Media « Caliber Pulse

  9. Absolutely you can have too many profiles. They are exhausting to keep up with, for one. But two, you cannot possible maintain that many – it’s a full time job just keeping up with one or two!

  10. Again Josh, thanks for all that you do! I have been messing around with social networking and posting on forums asking and answering questions for some time now. While I have made a few connections and gotten some website traffic from my activities on sites like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I have also made my share of mistakes and wasted time, spreading myself to thin spending too much time trying to be everywhere at once. My father would say, “Jack of All Trades/ Master at None.”
    You are right in saying that is is just to time consuming to be involved in all of these social networking sites and it is better to some research and find sites that you will actually enjoy working with. If you can’t contribute in a useful way, you may be just taking up dead space in some networks and if you don’t have the time to respond to post you make on forums, blogs, articles, etc, I believe you can actually damage your online reputation. I am also guilty of spending hours online when I should be out there doing real deals. With that said, I have also goten my fair share of business and have made life long connections from interacting with folks I have met on your site here at BiggerPockets. I am certain the first time I ended up here was because I did a Google search on a subject I was interested in and was directed to one of the forums here! If that is not proof that social networking works-I don’t know what is……

  11. As a publisher, I look at social media a bit differently — I see the sm sites as channels for distributing my content– so my content is on wikipedia, stumbleupon, blogs, blog comments, flickr, youtube, etc. to live a life in Google perpetuity, open 24/7/365 (except during leap years.

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