Selling You On Social Networking

I signed up for a Twitter account in November 07.  It took me  a year to figure out what to do with it —which is post links to things I find interesting and to make the occasional wiseass remark.

That may sound like a waste of time, but compared to the “I just woke up/I’m now eating breakfast/I took a shower” crap that some people put on Twitter, my feed reads like the Wall Street Journal.

But you know what? It’s not the people who have nothing to say that don’t belong on Twitter, it’s the people who have something to sell.

Marketers have latched onto social networking the way those leeches in African Queen latched on to Humphrey Bogart. The difference is that Humphrey Bogart could get rid of his leeches.  For an example, let’s turn to America’s least trusted business: car dealers. They’re are all over Twitter and Facebook like a cheap suit, which is ironic isn’t it? They use it as a place to “connect with their customers” and “build their brand” and other marketing catch-phrase talk.

So here’s my question: do you really want to follow a car dealer’s Twitter feed or become a fan of them on Facebook? So they can pitch you on buying a car? All the time?

At its best Twitter provides useful information.  A news story, an interesting web site, a curious thought. Facebook? It’s a bridge that spans the space and time of friendship.

If you want to sell cars, go buy an ad.

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