Search Engine and Social Media Strategies: How Many Accounts Do You Have?

How many social media accounts do you have? I lost track months ago – and that’s not including the seventeen niche voting sites that I convinced myself and other members of Hive that I was going to build. Last year. Fact is, I already have too many accounts to keep track of, let alone actually use. Nevertheless, my account list will still grow as my online friends explore new sites.

Earlier today, one of my colleagues AIMed me with a social voting link that he wanted me to vote up. I’m not a member of the site in question and I loathed the thought of signing up for yet another social voting site. However, part of my online functionality is to be “social”. That means having the basic accounts on the most popular sites, plus accounts on a few niche sites including a few that I co-own. But I find that the more sites I join, the less I use any of my existing social accounts. There seems to be a law of diminishing returns, and I’m afraid my social effectiveness might decline. I’m loathe to join more, but some of my fellow bloggers get offended when I won’t join the site they’ve just emailed me about.

Unfortunately, the fact is that being “social” is becoming an absolute necessity for online success for web workers, including pro bloggers. (Business Week has an extensive article on how social media will change your business, whether or not you’re using blogs. A lot of this article is an assessment of how certain large corporations or even formerly offline consultants/ marketers are faring using various types of social media.)

Still, there’s only so much time in the day to get all the other work done. Where do you draw the line? Personally, I believe it’s better to hire an SMM (Social Media Marketer) who can focus on the promotions side, and possibly use  your accounts as well. Except that this is of course frowned upon by some communities. Also, if you’re bootstrapping your online presence, you may not have the funds to hire someone. So you’re back to having to make lots of social friends and learning how to balance your work, your promoting, and the promotion of your online friends.

P.S. I joined the site that my colleague wanted me to vote at. I also “followed” about 30-40 members after spending about an hour. Several of the members I followed also added me in short order.

I joined the “new” site because Digg has now set the bar way too high and seemingly discounted the value of “friends”. I still prefer sites like Stumbleupon over anything else, though apparently Twitter can get you a lot of traffic if you use it properly. Something else I’ll have to explore.

What do social media sites do you prefer, both in terms of liking the functionality as well as effectiveness?