|Posted on March 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM|
I continually read e-mails from different outlets extolling the benefits of social networking. "You *have* to do it," they say. "It's the only way to reach a modern audience."
Seriously though, does anyone actually get any business from Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? (And by "business" I'm not talking the Tiger Woods kind....Hi-yo!) While there's no question that these sites have the "social" part down, it's just hard to imagine that anyone will actually be inspired to rush out and buy a 6-figure home theater from me because I changed my status to "Just yelled at someone who cut me off!" or Tweeted "Blah, blah something clever I carefully worked on for hours to sound glib, blah, blah."
I know they say that any exposure is good exposure (I'm totally resisting another Tiger jab here...) and maybe having a group of "followers" or "friends" or "connections" or "acolytes" or whatever is a great way to get a message out there, but is anyone who truly matters receiving that message? It seems like all anyone on these sites cares about is merely racking up as many connections as possible in a 21st Century version of "mine's bigger than yours!" I get connection requests from people I've *never* heard of. Why? Does it help them because I'm some-bit of known in the A/V world? Does it help me because I add another notch to my Link? (That was rhetorical, but so far the answer to both would be an emphatic "No. No it doesn't.")
In truth, Facebook should probably be renamed "I'm trying to find that really cute girl I went to high school with, but I'll accept your friend request because it will make me seem less douchey." LinkedIn should be "Please, someone, anyone read my trumped up resume and offer me a frickin' job." And Twitter "Look how important I think I am that you'll care what I'm doing every second!" (Alternately, for Twitter I would accept "Places to read John Mayer's latest apology.")
I can actually see the potential for Twitter. In theory -- in a vacuum DEEP in space, I mean SO deep that Pluto is still considered a planet -- Twitter could be a great way to keep customers apprised of a sale or special offer. Of course, you could also do that through a Website or traditional e-mail blast, but maybe that's just old school thinking...
UPDATED MARCH 12
OK, I have to recant a little here. Yesterday I felt the power of social networking first hand. Member, PR Buddha, tweeted about my post on 3D TVs, and instantly I got a ton of response. All told, traffic was up like 800% over the previous highest daily visitors, plus I got visitors from *literally* around the world, England, Germany and (WTF?) 40 from Canada. PR Buddha, I bow to your PR Greatness! So, if YOU talk about yourself on social network sites, results are iffy. But if someone else talks about you, that can be (literally in this case) PR Gold!