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Using Social Media Responsibly

Dec 1, 2007
Social media websites remain an interesting mechanism for mining marketing potential if for no other reasons than social media is so, well, social.

I came across an ezine recently that encouraged visitors to visit a celebrity social media site for an interview that was particularly compelling. Prior to posting the ezine the owner also posted several appropriate comments in both the blog and guest book. They were also listed as one of the celebrity's friends. This may be considered groundwork for social media marketing potential.

One click on their photo and the visitor who came to find out more about the celebrity can find out more informal information about the business and the owner that originally sent them to the social media site.

This savvy business owner comes away from this gentle nudge to a celebrity social media site inextricably linked to the celebrity because of a few simple posts. Some visitors will likely view the site owner in a different light (for better or worse).

The combination of uses for social media sites is astounding. If there were no marketing potential in social media why do you find so many record labels, book companies, recording artists, authors and comedians with their own unique social media site? Many of these sites will also include video streaming to further interest the site visitors.

It is a unique twist to discover a link based on little more than inference (i.e. this celebrity is my friend) and the marketing potential such inference suggests.

Social media sites can become a bit like online play areas, but they can also be presented in an attractive way that is informal enough to be inviting without being so formal as to be detract from the playful nature that is suggested by the term 'social media'.

If you can develop a popular social media site you will be pleased to see how many links visitors access and how often your blogs are replied to. There also remains a very real potential for friend requests (additional links back to your social media page - then to your primary website).

It may be advisable to at least do a cursory check on any and all that submit a friend request. You don't have to know everyone who is on your friends list, but there are some good reasons to do a bit of investigating. Some who ask to be your friend may be a business that is in direct competition with you or it could be individuals who have an agenda that may only become evident through guest book posts.

If you ever become uncomfortable with someone you have welcomed as a friend you need to know that most social media sites allow you to remove a person from your friends list and even ban them from posting on your social media page. This may be important to know if you ever see material that is offensive or derogatory.

Social media can be an important marketing tool. Make sure to monitor your social media site and proceed responsibly.
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