The Debate About Social Network Profiling

istock_000004158211xsmallDear Social Media Mama,

I’ve found myself joining more than one social network. Now I don’t know whether I should just copy and paste the same profile from one to the next or if I need something original for each one. Help!

Multiple Profiles Gal

Dear MPG,

I’ve gone back and forth about “should a profile be different for each social network” or is it acceptable to use basically the same wording for each one?

My overall feeling is that people find us in different places and read our bios in different places. While there is something to be said about maybe being more casual on MySpace and more formal on, say, LinkedIn, in general, people find us in one place, poke around sometimes to friend us in other places. While there could be some overlap, very few people go from network to network with an expectation to see completely different profiles on each network.

I gave a speech last year where someone in the audience said “I find it BORING when I see the same profile for a person on all of their different social networking pages.”

My first reaction was “What, are you stalking that person??” When you think about it, the main reasons to hop from and connect with a person – or company – on their various social networks is:

1. The Multi-Follower: If you are actively involved in several different social networks and truly want to follow them in all those places (most people do not do this);

2. The Info-Seeker: If you found them on YouTube via a video they’ve uploaded and you want to know more about them and interact with them. Then maybe you’d seek them out in the social network of your choice but more likely you’d go to their web site or blog.

3. The Fan/Stalker: If you are on their web site or blog and see all the networks where they belong where you can friend them and you’re such a fan (fanatic) that you friend them in all the places you can (not for the feint-hearted or busy professional).

Friending someone in all the places where they’re present is not so common for the everyday social networker. We go to different social networks with different expectations of engagement and connection. That said, most people who do multi-friend others aren’t being as critical about one’s profile as, say, a marketer who tends to examine and overanalyze all the fine details.

Most people couldn’t care less that I use the same wording in many of my profiles. In the whole scheme of social networking and connecting, it just doesn’t matter. If you are in social networks as a professional, there is something to be said about consistency of message and nothing wrong with having your own brand language everywhere you network. Copy away!

Do you agree that profiles can be the same/similar in each network or are you hard core about making them unique to each and every network?


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