You’ve heard that you need to get on Facebook and Twitter. That social networking is important and you can’t miss out. But I’ll tell you a secret. Most companies that make an effort to utilize social networking are wasting their time. How many advertising campaigns have you seen that seemingly have the singular goal of getting people to ‘like’ their Facebook page? This sort of strategy entirely misses the point of social networking in so many ways.

First, what are the users going to do once they like your Facebook page? Are you going to give them more advertisements? So the first ad is directing users to a place where they may or may not see the real ad? Why not just make the first ad the real ad? Secondly, sites like Facebook work because they enable people to share things that they find interesting and unique, and filter out all the crap. If your Facebook page is not cool and unique enough on it’s own to be getting natural, ‘grassroots’ attention, then it’s just more advertising crap that people are not going to share with eachother.

True social networking will be discovered by people and shared naturally. Not just on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you have put your advertising money, but all over the place. Did you know there are literally hundreds of social networking sites? Good content is shared on all of them, or by email or over IM chats, in a thousand thousand ways. Content that advertisers try to force into the social networking world may get a few perfunctory ‘like’s, but that is as far as they ever go.

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