Social Media: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Social media marketing super-charges the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.
Social media helps you build friendships with your supporters.
Social media helps you listen.

The Bad
Social media marketing is inexpensive, especially compared to more traditional marketing methods like direct mail or advertising, but it’s not free. Even if you don’t need a consultant or designer to help you get started,  amount of time and energy you need to invest to see results is significant Additionally, the tools change constantly, so the time you spend learning how to use Facebook today will have to be re-invested in three months when Mark Zuckerburg decides to change the interface.*

Playing it safe in social media is a waste of time. There are too many voices and they are shouting too loudly. The only way to make the investment worth the effort is to figure out which tools, techniques and messages resonate best with your people. Which means making guesses about what will work and seeing what happens. If you are doing it right, some of your ideas will fail. That has to be ok. As Clint Eastwood would say, “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

The Ugly
Have you ever read the comments people leave on newspaper stories? Most are vile enough to shake even my faith in the internet’s power to serve as a medium for valuable discourse. Sometimes people are mean for the sake of meanness,
sometimes they lash out because they have a very important message to communicate, but don’t know any other way to express it.

In both cases, when incivility goes unchecked, cesspools result. It’s your job to make sure your little corner of the internet isn’t one of them. An enforced code of conduct is a good place to start. Read this one from Ubuntu before you write your own. It’s the best example I’ve seen for how to create rules without assuming bad intentions on the part of your community members.

Your Turn
What did I miss? Share your own version of social media’s “good, bad, and ugly” in the comments.

Posted by Joel Calleiro

Source: Low Hanging Fruit Communications

Monday, April 11th, 2011

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