Friday, July 16, 2010

The Key Word in Social Media is Social

Social media is a double edged sword. Through social media, I’ve reconnected with high school friends and Navy buddies I thought I’d never see again. I’ve even kept in touch with family, and formed closer relationships even with those in driving distance. I’ve been able to get a glimpse into the minds of business leaders I respect and admire. I’ve been able to see what celebrities I like are doing, like the Ghost Hunters and the Deadliest Catch fishermen.

Social media provides a business advantage. I can promote my listings a lot easier through social media. I can broadcast a lot farther and a lot faster about open houses and new listings. It’s a great business tool.

But I can also be spammed relentlessly by others promoting their own businesses and interests, who have no filter between their mind and keyboard. I routinely get friend requests from people, only to have my status stream and messages filled up with “business opportunities”, webinars, demands for information, and other distractions. All this from people who totally ignore the social aspect of social media.

Just now, I cleaned out 8 messages from my Facebook inbox. All were from people who “friended” me only for business promotion purposes. One guy sent two messages about a video of a friend who is supposedly making $1000 a day.Great. Believable. Somebody else sent out 3 messages about how he’s looking for short sales. That’s just the Real Estate and “Internet Marketers”.

I’m all for using social media for business. But I think you need to form a relationship. The founder of the company I’m affiliated with says “people buy people before they buy (anything else)”. So if you’re expecting me to buy your product through Facebook, then who are you? What are you thinking about? What are you doing? What do you like to do? What books are you reading?

I don’t turn down friend requests unless they’re obvious spam, but I tend to ignore those people who do nothing but shamelessly market.

What about you? Do you run into shameless promoters on social media? Do you think it’s OK?

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