The Problem Of Promoting You, Your Cause, Your Business With Social Media - Social Media Explorer
The Problem Of Promoting You, Your Cause, Your Business With Social Media
The Problem Of Promoting You, Your Cause, Your Business With Social Media
by

If your company wants to know the philosophical basis of social media, many resources indicate it rests in the notion that consumers grew tired of advertising and marketing messages all day, every day. They turned to the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the access and technology barriers to entry conveniently dropped. There, they found like-minded others to share recommendations and information with.

Social media has its evolution in the notion that people don’t like being marketed to, or at least they don’t like being marketed to the way they have been for years.

Through foundational writing like The Cluetrain Manifesto, The Anatomy of Buzz, The Wisdom of Crowds, Naked Conversations and others, plus early industry blogging from folks like Shel Israel, Shel Holtz, Mike Masnick, Brian Solis, Todd Defren and more, we’ve learned that success in the social realm is predicated on sharing. You earn trust by giving of yourself, contributing to the community or conversation or both and only after trust is earned can you then ask for something in return. It’s no longer about one-way communication but a dialog, or as I have argued, a multi-logue where your customers talk with you, you with them, but them with each other in your line of sight. Advertising and similar promotional communications aren’t welcome without some other sort of interaction or engagement.

But gaining clarity in what that actually means for businesses, brands and even individuals is not simple.

Social Media Marketing Balance (click for larger version)
Social Media Marketing Balance (click for larger version)

First, the rules change depending upon the platform. It might be fine to be 100-percent promotion or sales driven on a blog that you author. It’s not well received if you treat your Twitter interaction that way. But then again, if you state your purpose, it can be well received on Twitter. The Twitter account @delloutlet has been successful to the tune of $2 million as, primarily, a sales driver. While @StephanieatDell mans (womans?) the account and does engage with people, the original purpose was to drive people to buy product. There are different levels of tolerance for sales and promotion for each platform (blogs, forums, microblogging, wikis) and then even variations on the norm within specific communities built on those platforms (Posting sales messages is accepted on some forums, not on others, etc.).

To add another layer of complexity to the sharing vs. promoting argument, there are different rules and expectations for individuals versus businesses, and even a variety of expectations from a business depending upon its industry and purpose. An independent consultant can be somewhat self-promotional and it is expected and understood since it’s his or her livelihood. There might be less tolerance for the CEO of a company to throw around the same types of drivers in conversations. I think there is a general level of understanding that someone representing a company in the financial services, healthcare, insurance or pharmaceutical industries or even some government agencies can’t always speak freely about products and services because of regulations and public safety concerns. The expectations of the audience then change.

So how do you know what’s accepted and what’s not. How do you walk the fine line between using social media for a purpose and participating in social media to have that permission?

Social media purists and philosophers will wax poetic about listening. And it is true: You must listen to the conversations and understand the societal norms for each community in which you participate. You must also listen to know who is talking about you and what they are (or are not) saying. From Google Alerts to the paid services like Radian6, Scout Labs, Techrigy and more, the tools are there for you to listen and learn what is and is not acceptable when communicating with consumers there.

But listening isn’t always enough, from a speed or information perspective. So how can you learn more, faster? How can we participate here and now without considerable risk to our reputations? Here are some thoughts:

  • Ask
    You can monitor conversations about Twitter all day without a single person saying, “It’s not appropriate to be 100-percent promotional on Twitter. Only X percent is acceptable.” So ask. Ask other company representatives what they’ve learned. Ask the social media folks you follow what’s on- or off-limits. Or, even better, ask your followers what is acceptable to them. The same holds true for Facebook, forums, blogs and other platforms. Ask those who interact with you there. They’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t.
  • Tell
    Clearly state the reason you’re engaging in a particular platform or tool in a place that’s easy for the community to find. Your Twitter background or bio, the signature on your forum or message board entries, the sidebar of your blog or website are all easy places to say, “This is what we use this medium for. If you’d like to reach us for other reasons, here are the best ways to do so.” If you wind up with a low number of followers or respondents to what you do, you’ll know the audience isn’t down with what you’re using it for. Adjust and move forward.
  • Answer
    Make sure you tip a cap to the spirit of social media marketing and give consumers an avenue to reach out to a real, live person with your company. Sure, it can be a phone number or an email, but consider a Twitter account for direct interaction with people, a Facebook page where someone actively responds or a blog/forum/message board where someone from the company interacts regularly. So long as people have SOME way of having a conversation with you, they’ll probably be pretty happy with your company’s availability.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Furthermore, what are acceptable levels of promotion for brands? Small businesses? Individuals as businesses? Individuals promoting personal passions or hobbies? Is there a threshold or tipping point or does it always vary based on sender and/or receiver and we’ll never know?

Lots of questions … share your answers with us in the comments.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • the more you give, the more you will get. As people see you as a resource, you start to earn their trust and establish yourself as a good social media citizen.

  • I can see you fell victim to the blog upkeep. Speaking of data center consolidation as you did in your last post, so you work for Sun Microsystems?

  • I can see you fell victim to the blog upkeep. Speaking of data center consolidation as you did in your last post, so you work for Sun Microsystems?

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  • I never use social media, I used to using google, I think i will try social media later,but before use it ,I have to learn more abt it,thank you

  • Social media totally depends on “GIVE”. If there is no give then is no society or anything social. But business is different. Its all about take or sometime give some to make more.

    • Certainly a good attitude to have. Appreciate the comment.

  • Great article.visited your site for first time today,but I must say your write is of top notch and i will surely frequent your site. This is a fabulous post. I do many of these things already, but look forward to implementing the others.Thanks for the nice one.Keep up post continue…………….:)

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  • rainy124

    Hi! Its one of the best post,which contain very useful information which helps me a lot and thanks for the innovative thinking and also for the nice thinking,keep up post and thanks a lot.

  • rainy124

    Hi! Its one of the best post,which contain very useful information which helps me a lot and thanks for the innovative thinking and also for the nice thinking,keep up post and thanks a lot.

  • A social media should be approached elegantly. Just blasting out online advertising simply because you can is a surefire way to drive your audience away from anything you have to offer.

  • A social media should be approached elegantly. Just blasting out online advertising simply because you can is a surefire way to drive your audience away from anything you have to offer.

  • Excellent point, Vicky. That one is often overlooked, hopefully because we're learning every day and take it for granted. Excellent reminder, though.

  • Thank you for saying so. I agree with you. Give to get … great rule to follow.

  • I don't think it's impossible at all and wouldn't be surprised if that's how it pans out. But there will always be a need for a tactile experience. Whether or not that will be in the form of magazines, newspapers, etc., or via Kindles or other electronic devices, there will likely be something other than social media.

    Still, I don't see your impossible as impossible at all. We're closer to it now than you think.

  • Very true, Dr. Wright. Hopefully, we're working toward a time when the acceptable standards of sharing and participation prevail, but there will always be someone doing it wrong.

  • Vickyh

    First of all, great article and I am in total agreement with you.

    I think that 'listening' in social media is not only about who's talking about your brand, your competitors, but it is also to learn. I learn quite a lot from the things that others do in Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, and even if it's a negative experience I am discovering what I would and would not do in these different tools.

  • Vickyh

    First of all, great article and I am in total agreement with you.

    I think that 'listening' in social media is not only about who's talking about your brand, your competitors, but it is also to learn. I learn quite a lot from the things that others do in Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, and even if it's a negative experience I am discovering what I would and would not do in these different tools.

    • Excellent point, Vicky. That one is often overlooked, hopefully because we're learning every day and take it for granted. Excellent reminder, though.

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  • I am in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. Great info

  • I am in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. Great info

  • I am in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. Great info

    • Thank you for saying so. I agree with you. Give to get … great rule to follow.

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  • Businesses that know how to adapt and change are the ones who thrive in the online jungle. Find out how online marketing has changed with the advent of social media.

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  • Businesses that know how to adapt and change are the ones who thrive in the online jungle. Find out how online marketing has changed with the advent of social media.

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  • lizEwards

    While Bob Garfield said in his new book (the Chaos Scenario) “the death of everything”, which refers to the “old” media, social media is booming. What I'm thinking about is that will it be one day that social media is the only media left in the world? People don't have TV/radio/newspaper… any more. All the things are accessed online. That sounds impossible, but who knows?

  • lizEwards

    While Bob Garfield said in his new book (the Chaos Scenario) “the death of everything”, which refers to the “old” media, social media is booming. What I'm thinking about is that will it be one day that social media is the only media left in the world? People don't have TV/radio/newspaper… any more. All the things are accessed online. That sounds impossible, but who knows?

  • lizEwards

    While Bob Garfield said in his new book (the Chaos Scenario) “the death of everything”, which refers to the “old” media, social media is booming. What I'm thinking about is that will it be one day that social media is the only media left in the world? People don't have TV/radio/newspaper… any more. All the things are accessed online. That sounds impossible, but who knows?

    • I don't think it's impossible at all and wouldn't be surprised if that's how it pans out. But there will always be a need for a tactile experience. Whether or not that will be in the form of magazines, newspapers, etc., or via Kindles or other electronic devices, there will likely be something other than social media.

      Still, I don't see your impossible as impossible at all. We're closer to it now than you think.

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  • A lot of people use social media to shout not listen. It can turn a lot of sites into a place where people are all shouting and sharing doesn't matter.

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • A lot of people use social media to shout not listen. It can turn a lot of sites into a place where people are all shouting and sharing doesn't matter.

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • A lot of people use social media to shout not listen. It can turn a lot of sites into a place where people are all shouting and sharing doesn't matter.

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

    • Very true, Dr. Wright. Hopefully, we're working toward a time when the acceptable standards of sharing and participation prevail, but there will always be someone doing it wrong.

  • Thanks Suzanne. I don't disagree with you, but I'm sure others might have varying levels of agreement which is the hang-up. There just aren't hard and fast rules or limits that can apply to everyone at all times. I guess that's part of the magic of figuring this all out, huh?

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Thanks Suzanne. I don't disagree with you, but I'm sure others might have varying levels of agreement which is the hang-up. There just aren't hard and fast rules or limits that can apply to everyone at all times. I guess that's part of the magic of figuring this all out, huh?

    Thanks for the comment.

  • If following a business via email or Twitter lets me know about sales that I want to know about, then I'm happy to opt-in and that's what I expect from them.

    For real people using social media, I think it's better to keep the promotion to a minimum and use signatures and bios to direct interested people to your website or blog.

  • If following a business via email or Twitter lets me know about sales that I want to know about, then I'm happy to opt-in and that's what I expect from them.

    For real people using social media, I think it's better to keep the promotion to a minimum and use signatures and bios to direct interested people to your website or blog.

  • If following a business via email or Twitter lets me know about sales that I want to know about, then I'm happy to opt-in and that's what I expect from them.

    For real people using social media, I think it's better to keep the promotion to a minimum and use signatures and bios to direct interested people to your website or blog.

    • Thanks Suzanne. I don't disagree with you, but I'm sure others might have varying levels of agreement which is the hang-up. There just aren't hard and fast rules or limits that can apply to everyone at all times. I guess that's part of the magic of figuring this all out, huh?

      Thanks for the comment.

  • You’re kind, and the fact that you’re a true professional is why I’m one of many fans.

    With hopes of encouraging a “full blog post,” and neither of us wanting to get into a semantic debate, let me offer this up regarding your definition of “social” media.

    If you agree that, “there’s a share value to all mediums,” that (to me) suggest that all mediums (media) are social, because media needs to be seen or heard to even be considered media. The Internet (social platforms specifically) enables “water cooler chitter chatter” to become our global watering hole. These conversations become “dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable “ which are as diverse as they are many. Some commercially focused, some socially focused, some a combination of both.

    WOM was our first medium. Our challenge(s) as marketing professionals is to find ways to leverage these global dynamics while finding a socially acceptable balance. As, you have stated and I firmly agree that there are no reliable guidelines. The ”market” has and will continue to finds ways to determine individual boundaries (preferences). Our job will always be to respect them and leverage them.

    If you’re ever near Sarasota, I’ll buy.

  • You’re kind, and the fact that you’re a true professional is why I’m one of many fans.

    With hopes of encouraging a “full blog post,” and neither of us wanting to get into a semantic debate, let me offer this up regarding your definition of “social” media.

    If you agree that, “there’s a share value to all mediums,” that (to me) suggest that all mediums (media) are social, because media needs to be seen or heard to even be considered media. The Internet (social platforms specifically) enables “water cooler chitter chatter” to become our global watering hole. These conversations become “dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable “ which are as diverse as they are many. Some commercially focused, some socially focused, some a combination of both.

    WOM was our first medium. Our challenge(s) as marketing professionals is to find ways to leverage these global dynamics while finding a socially acceptable balance. As, you have stated and I firmly agree that there are no reliable guidelines. The ”market” has and will continue to finds ways to determine individual boundaries (preferences). Our job will always be to respect them and leverage them.

    If you’re ever near Sarasota, I’ll buy.

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  • Thanks Donald … or adonald.

    Your experience isn't abnormal. I've had plenty of people say, “I've unfriended you on Facebook because you're just on there too much for me to see anything else.” Since I'm a social junkie, that happens. And I'm okay with it. I take no offense that people might want to unfriend me on a social network so long as they don't unfriend me in real life.

    What you're experiencing is the reality of what my post was about — finding that balance. Keeping your work related posts from becoming a nuisance to your personal friends. It's not easy. And I don't have any answers for you. You'll have to find that out for yourself.

    The good thing is that your friends will tell you, much like the one you mentioned did. Listen to them. And you'll be fine.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks Donald … or adonald.

    Your experience isn't abnormal. I've had plenty of people say, “I've unfriended you on Facebook because you're just on there too much for me to see anything else.” Since I'm a social junkie, that happens. And I'm okay with it. I take no offense that people might want to unfriend me on a social network so long as they don't unfriend me in real life.

    What you're experiencing is the reality of what my post was about — finding that balance. Keeping your work related posts from becoming a nuisance to your personal friends. It's not easy. And I don't have any answers for you. You'll have to find that out for yourself.

    The good thing is that your friends will tell you, much like the one you mentioned did. Listen to them. And you'll be fine.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Great input, Daniel. Thanks for that. I agree that compromise is the key to successful interaction in the social space. There should be a level of give and take for everyone, with a heavy leaning toward give, I would imagine.

    And now I'm off to investigate HootSuite.com a bit more. I'm intrigued by your indication it forces you to Tweet to upgrade. Sounds kinda out of line. But thanks for pointing it out. I'll check into it.

  • Great input, Daniel. Thanks for that. I agree that compromise is the key to successful interaction in the social space. There should be a level of give and take for everyone, with a heavy leaning toward give, I would imagine.

    And now I'm off to investigate HootSuite.com a bit more. I'm intrigued by your indication it forces you to Tweet to upgrade. Sounds kinda out of line. But thanks for pointing it out. I'll check into it.

  • Well, David, this might wind up needing a full blog post to respond to — I love it when you comment. Pushing back makes me think harder. Thank you!

    Social media as a term is not the problem. Nor is it redundant, in my opinion. I don't think all media is social. In fact, my definition of social media is any media than enables consumers to add to, supplement or share. Sure, there's a share value to all mediums, but the Internet turns a commercial into a dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable conversation, rather than just water cooler chitter chatter.

    And I don't think I'm advocating rules, but instead saying there are different levels of balance for each individual and company involved. There are no reliable guidelines. Every entity's interaction here will be different depending upon a world of factors.

    As indicated, this might produce a full blog post. Thanks for making me think, both here and with your blog posts. You rock.

  • Well, David, this might wind up needing a full blog post to respond to — I love it when you comment. Pushing back makes me think harder. Thank you!

    Social media as a term is not the problem. Nor is it redundant, in my opinion. I don't think all media is social. In fact, my definition of social media is any media than enables consumers to add to, supplement or share. Sure, there's a share value to all mediums, but the Internet turns a commercial into a dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable conversation, rather than just water cooler chitter chatter.

    And I don't think I'm advocating rules, but instead saying there are different levels of balance for each individual and company involved. There are no reliable guidelines. Every entity's interaction here will be different depending upon a world of factors.

    As indicated, this might produce a full blog post. Thanks for making me think, both here and with your blog posts. You rock.

  • Thanks Mark. Regardless of the approach, the balance is hard to maintain. The moment you promote, you shift the audience's sentiment, even if in miniscule ways. I don't know that there is a right answer, but right answers. Every person's and every company's balance will be different. As long as the public they're trying to reach accepts it, for the most part, it will work.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Thanks Mark. Regardless of the approach, the balance is hard to maintain. The moment you promote, you shift the audience's sentiment, even if in miniscule ways. I don't know that there is a right answer, but right answers. Every person's and every company's balance will be different. As long as the public they're trying to reach accepts it, for the most part, it will work.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • marksysomos

    Jason,

    I'm in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. As people see you as a resource, you start to earn their trust and establish yourself as a good social media citizen. To me, this is a powerful and different kind of marketing/advertising.

    Mark

  • marksysomos

    Jason,

    I'm in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. As people see you as a resource, you start to earn their trust and establish yourself as a good social media citizen. To me, this is a powerful and different kind of marketing/advertising.

    Mark

  • marksysomos

    Jason,

    I'm in complete agreement with the approach you outlined. My take is the more you give, the more you will get. As people see you as a resource, you start to earn their trust and establish yourself as a good social media citizen. To me, this is a powerful and different kind of marketing/advertising.

    Mark

    • Thanks Mark. Regardless of the approach, the balance is hard to maintain. The moment you promote, you shift the audience's sentiment, even if in miniscule ways. I don't know that there is a right answer, but right answers. Every person's and every company's balance will be different. As long as the public they're trying to reach accepts it, for the most part, it will work.

      Thanks for the comment.

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  • is the term “social media” the problem? not only is it redundant, it is also currently inclusive of both “social” and “commercial” interest. truly “social” conversational participants will be put off by any “commercial” interruption. which is why, as you have stated, that we've all started gathering here in the first place. this has always held true, but also to degrees of personal and individual tolerance(s), which (to me) makes trying to establish rules… useless. social networks in all forms will continue to be about personal control (preferences) which will allows us as individuals to determine the degree of “commercial” interaction we'll accept within our “social” space. it is important to remember that these “new” technologies are exactly that and while many are still waiting for the “dust” to settle. email is the largest “social” network and once google's wave technology becomes integrated, well all get back to redefining “friend”. i certainly do not have all of the answers, in fact i may not have any at all, but that the greatest reason why the technologies will evolve past are wildest dreams… is that everyone can choose to participate, or not. i love SME TV – keep it up.

  • is the term “social media” the problem? not only is it redundant, it is also currently inclusive of both “social” and “commercial” interest. truly “social” conversational participants will be put off by any “commercial” interruption. which is why, as you have stated, that we've all started gathering here in the first place. this has always held true, but also to degrees of personal and individual tolerance(s), which (to me) makes trying to establish rules… useless. social networks in all forms will continue to be about personal control (preferences) which will allows us as individuals to determine the degree of “commercial” interaction we'll accept within our “social” space. it is important to remember that these “new” technologies are exactly that and while many are still waiting for the “dust” to settle. email is the largest “social” network and once google's wave technology becomes integrated, well all get back to redefining “friend”. i certainly do not have all of the answers, in fact i may not have any at all, but that the greatest reason why the technologies will evolve past are wildest dreams… is that everyone can choose to participate, or not. i love SME TV – keep it up.

  • is the term “social media” the problem? not only is it redundant, it is also currently inclusive of both “social” and “commercial” interest. truly “social” conversational participants will be put off by any “commercial” interruption. which is why, as you have stated, that we've all started gathering here in the first place. this has always held true, but also to degrees of personal and individual tolerance(s), which (to me) makes trying to establish rules… useless. social networks in all forms will continue to be about personal control (preferences) which will allows us as individuals to determine the degree of “commercial” interaction we'll accept within our “social” space. it is important to remember that these “new” technologies are exactly that and while many are still waiting for the “dust” to settle. email is the largest “social” network and once google's wave technology becomes integrated, well all get back to redefining “friend”. i certainly do not have all of the answers, in fact i may not have any at all, but that the greatest reason why the technologies will evolve past are wildest dreams… is that everyone can choose to participate, or not. i love SME TV – keep it up.

    • Well, David, this might wind up needing a full blog post to respond to — I love it when you comment. Pushing back makes me think harder. Thank you!

      Social media as a term is not the problem. Nor is it redundant, in my opinion. I don't think all media is social. In fact, my definition of social media is any media than enables consumers to add to, supplement or share. Sure, there's a share value to all mediums, but the Internet turns a commercial into a dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable conversation, rather than just water cooler chitter chatter.

      And I don't think I'm advocating rules, but instead saying there are different levels of balance for each individual and company involved. There are no reliable guidelines. Every entity's interaction here will be different depending upon a world of factors.

      As indicated, this might produce a full blog post. Thanks for making me think, both here and with your blog posts. You rock.

      • You’re kind, and the fact that you’re a true professional is why I’m one of many fans.

        With hopes of encouraging a “full blog post,” and neither of us wanting to get into a semantic debate, let me offer this up regarding your definition of “social” media.

        If you agree that, “there’s a share value to all mediums,” that (to me) suggest that all mediums (media) are social, because media needs to be seen or heard to even be considered media. The Internet (social platforms specifically) enables “water cooler chitter chatter” to become our global watering hole. These conversations become “dynamic, documented, indexable and searchable “ which are as diverse as they are many. Some commercially focused, some socially focused, some a combination of both.

        WOM was our first medium. Our challenge(s) as marketing professionals is to find ways to leverage these global dynamics while finding a socially acceptable balance. As, you have stated and I firmly agree that there are no reliable guidelines. The ”market” has and will continue to finds ways to determine individual boundaries (preferences). Our job will always be to respect them and leverage them.

        If you’re ever near Sarasota, I’ll buy.

  • In my opinion the balance between promoting and sharing is a quite difficult case. Especially in germany the users are really mad when you're too radical in one of the two directions. Finding a good compromise is the key. There must be a clear benefit for the user, if you promote and share stuff on twitter and co. As a matter of fact users are quite open to spread good products or services. But the user should decide for himself if he wants to spread the word. Forcing him does not have a positive effect.

    For example: hootsuite.com forces users to tweet, that they try the new 2.0 version of the online twitter client. If they don't, they can not upgrade. That made me mad and I created a new twitter account just for upgrading. I want to tweet it myself, if I like something.

  • In my opinion the balance between promoting and sharing is a quite difficult case. Especially in germany the users are really mad when you're too radical in one of the two directions. Finding a good compromise is the key. There must be a clear benefit for the user, if you promote and share stuff on twitter and co. As a matter of fact users are quite open to spread good products or services. But the user should decide for himself if he wants to spread the word. Forcing him does not have a positive effect.

    For example: hootsuite.com forces users to tweet, that they try the new 2.0 version of the online twitter client. If they don't, they can not upgrade. That made me mad and I created a new twitter account just for upgrading. I want to tweet it myself, if I like something.

  • In my opinion the balance between promoting and sharing is a quite difficult case. Especially in germany the users are really mad when you're too radical in one of the two directions. Finding a good compromise is the key. There must be a clear benefit for the user, if you promote and share stuff on twitter and co. As a matter of fact users are quite open to spread good products or services. But the user should decide for himself if he wants to spread the word. Forcing him does not have a positive effect.

    For example: hootsuite.com forces users to tweet, that they try the new 2.0 version of the online twitter client. If they don't, they can not upgrade. That made me mad and I created a new twitter account just for upgrading. I want to tweet it myself, if I like something.

    • Great input, Daniel. Thanks for that. I agree that compromise is the key to successful interaction in the social space. There should be a level of give and take for everyone, with a heavy leaning toward give, I would imagine.

      And now I'm off to investigate HootSuite.com a bit more. I'm intrigued by your indication it forces you to Tweet to upgrade. Sounds kinda out of line. But thanks for pointing it out. I'll check into it.

  • adonald

    I am a Realtor in Charleston, SC. Initially I signed up on Facebook to keep in touch with my international friends and family. After attending a few seminars on social media marketing, I decided to integrate Facebook in my Web 2.0 strategy. So now, every time I blog on my website (http://www.BuyHomesInCharleston.com) I post the entry to Facebook.
    This has produced excellent results in terms of driving traffic to my website. I only post 2-3 times a week.
    However, a friend who plays tennis with me blasted me for jamming his in-box with “promotional” stuff. I thought he was being spammed by someone who had hijacked my Facebook identity (it has happened to me before), but it turns out that he was turned off by me posting “work stuff” on Facebook, which he considers “personal” only.
    He's been the only one out of 280+ friends who has complained. But I don't want to ignore his call, since more people may feel this way but will not speak up, and I don't want to alienate anyone!
    So I have decided to consciously “mix & match” personal messages with my blog posts to try to balance…
    Anyone with the same dilemma?

  • adonald

    I am a Realtor in Charleston, SC. Initially I signed up on Facebook to keep in touch with my international friends and family. After attending a few seminars on social media marketing, I decided to integrate Facebook in my Web 2.0 strategy. So now, every time I blog on my website (http://www.BuyHomesInCharleston.com) I post the entry to Facebook.
    This has produced excellent results in terms of driving traffic to my website. I only post 2-3 times a week.
    However, a friend who plays tennis with me blasted me for jamming his in-box with “promotional” stuff. I thought he was being spammed by someone who had hijacked my Facebook identity (it has happened to me before), but it turns out that he was turned off by me posting “work stuff” on Facebook, which he considers “personal” only.
    He's been the only one out of 280+ friends who has complained. But I don't want to ignore his call, since more people may feel this way but will not speak up, and I don't want to alienate anyone!
    So I have decided to consciously “mix & match” personal messages with my blog posts to try to balance…
    Anyone with the same dilemma?

  • adonald

    I am a Realtor in Charleston, SC. Initially I signed up on Facebook to keep in touch with my international friends and family. After attending a few seminars on social media marketing, I decided to integrate Facebook in my Web 2.0 strategy. So now, every time I blog on my website (http://www.BuyHomesInCharleston.com) I post the entry to Facebook.
    This has produced excellent results in terms of driving traffic to my website. I only post 2-3 times a week.
    However, a friend who plays tennis with me blasted me for jamming his in-box with “promotional” stuff. I thought he was being spammed by someone who had hijacked my Facebook identity (it has happened to me before), but it turns out that he was turned off by me posting “work stuff” on Facebook, which he considers “personal” only.
    He's been the only one out of 280+ friends who has complained. But I don't want to ignore his call, since more people may feel this way but will not speak up, and I don't want to alienate anyone!
    So I have decided to consciously “mix & match” personal messages with my blog posts to try to balance…
    Anyone with the same dilemma?

    • Thanks Donald … or adonald.

      Your experience isn't abnormal. I've had plenty of people say, “I've unfriended you on Facebook because you're just on there too much for me to see anything else.” Since I'm a social junkie, that happens. And I'm okay with it. I take no offense that people might want to unfriend me on a social network so long as they don't unfriend me in real life.

      What you're experiencing is the reality of what my post was about — finding that balance. Keeping your work related posts from becoming a nuisance to your personal friends. It's not easy. And I don't have any answers for you. You'll have to find that out for yourself.

      The good thing is that your friends will tell you, much like the one you mentioned did. Listen to them. And you'll be fine.

      Thanks for sharing!