Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To Friend or Not to Friend ... That Is a Tricky Question

With social media being the giant it is, especially for those of you who are trying to market yourself or a product or both, it gets to the point of obscurity as to who you message with, tweet with, video with, etc. In other words, who ARE some of those people? Do we really need THAT MANY friends? Does it all boil down to a numbers game?

Marketers, promoters, agents, publishers, business gurus will all tell you to reach out wide and far, create that platform and sell, sell, sell. But when number sense start pummeling common sense into the ground, you have to start wondering how much good this can do versus how much bad.

First, you have those loyal, supportive followers. Bless you all! They will be there for you, give a cheery greeting when you need it, suggestions when you ask for them, or just a thumbs-up to let you know you aren't forgotten, that you count. And the most truthful ones will "let you have it" when it's deserving!

Then, here's where I think the ground gets a bit shaky. It's like a "here comes an earthquake, hang on and don't fall into the abyss!" type of situation. It involves those unpleasant followers, the ones who lash out, give everyone around them a bad name, give THEMSELVES a bad name, as they post, comment, etc., and I'm not sure why. Maybe they are angry with the world, maybe life hasn't given them a fair shake, maybe somebody took away their favorite toy! Whatever the reason, they tend to post not so nice words. You have to wonder what that makes us. I mean, we are their friends, right? Not really. I refer back to the numbers game. Wanting to spread your word far and wide, getting as much exposure as you can, will make you click "yes" when a total stranger asks to be your friend. I've done it, hundreds of times. Guilty as charged.

So, where am I going with all this? To tell you the truth, I'm not so sure. Throwing the baby out with the bath water analogy doesn't seem constructive. If we have a product to sell, we still need to social network. And filtering through friend requests would be a very, very time-consuming task. I guess this is just the nature of the beast. Personally, I will take the good along with the bad, but I have to continue to grow that extra thick skin. If somebody comes bashing on my turf, I guess a shrug of the shoulders is the best response. But guaranteed, if that somebody comes back a second time, it will be to click on that friend button to erase all memory.

Where do you stand on this issue? Has social media grown into a "no man's land" or need the sign "enter at your own risk" at the welcome gates? Is it really worth it to use as a marketing tool? I say yes, I will take the risk. But what do you think?

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