Social media sites understand they are going to be used as a marketing tool. They are designed to accommodate marketing. Some users may bemoan the notion that a social media site has to be subjected to blatant marketing tactics and I do admit they can be annoying, yet it is this format that the world’s twenty-somethings are gravitating to.
This is a marketplace of ideas, random thoughts and fun links in an environment that is in so many ways ‘connected’ in a style that is often defined as web 2.0 – the next generation of media sites.
If you spend any amount of time on a site like MySpace, FaceBook, Digg or other similar social media sites you begin to see how creative businesses have found a way to carve out a piece of the marketing pie. There are millions of ideas, products and services to promote and you can find them all on social media networks.
In some ways what has just been described may be thought of as more like a community garage sale or flea market, but site members can be choosey about why they allow to communicate with them.
What this means is that in most cases site members can block individuals from commenting on their website. Some sites even allow you to ban certain individuals from visiting your site while others allow you to develop your presence as a private ‘by-invitation-only’ page.
If someone visits your site and is very blatant about marketing their site without any real indication they are interested in the page owner it may make sense to remove them from a list of friends. If they return with more blatant advertising they can be banned from visiting the page in the future.
There are some individuals who have no problem allowing others to post blatant marketing material on their pages while others view the practice as a relative of spamming.
In essence you can configure most social media sites to react to others the way you want them to. In many cases you can remove friends at will and you can invite friends at will.
You should not be surprised when members who are blatantly marketing their products ask you to add them to your list of contacts. Remember, you do not have to accept their request.
If you are a business owner looking to use social media to connect with an organic audience just remember you are being watched so make sure you contribute to the pages you visit and allow others to see you as a friend – not the cyber equivalent of a telemarketer.