social media cesspool
Warning! Sewage - sounds like the social media?
Just like any other online media enabling users to submit content for free, social media is now overwhelmingly full of spammy and unsolicited marketing messages. Is social media still the place for your business to build a community and attract new clients?

I remembered when I was with Facebook just months after it was established; it was a place that functions pretty much like Friendster. Find friends, connect, and write on each other walls. It was noise-free, but unfortunately, not many of my friends are on Facebook at that time.

Today, Facebook is different. Wherever you look, you will either encounter unwanted marketing messages from the contacts you add as friends. Now even your so-called “friends” are spamming you with anything they are selling. Not mentioning the sneaky updates coming from someone you didn’t know containing a virus.

Business-wise, some businesses are doing great with Facebook; their updates are interesting and great communication on their promotions. Unfortunately, some others are just sending salesy updates – a few doesn’t send the same sales message once but many times (yes, the same message!)

The Facebook story above is just one example. It is a typical story for any other social media, such as the microblogging site, Twitter.

On Twitter, I have been bombarded with the same tweets from an Internet marketer for months – I finally unfollowed him for one reason: Spamming. And he is not alone. There are dozens – if not hundreds – of followers are doing the same thing, albeit not as persistent.

And yes, reading my Twitter profile page is like reading Craiglist and classified ad sites: 140 characters of sales messages with a link on each one of them leading to their landing page, squeeze page or affiliated sites.

The bottom line is this: Whether you like it or not, social media is now a marketing channel; it’s not your good ol’ noise free social media you joined some years ago.

Social media = cesspools?

Some time ago, Google set to display social media updates on search result pages. This is a great development for business owners and marketers, but not such a great development for personal users. The development means there will be more businesses and marketers’ search-engine optimised updates will be added on regular basis to Facebook, Twitter, and the likes.

Social media, in my opinion, has slowly but surely evolved in to a state which I describe as cesspools – full of junk, spams and meaningless updates. I don’t know how about you, but this is definitely not a good trend for me.

So, is the end of social media approaching? The answer is: Definitely not! It’s probably the right time for natural selection, separating the good from the bad. End users become smarter and smarter and capable of reacting to the junks and spams and will somehow look for those offering value.

Just like with everything else in live, I believe that “nature” will somehow balance everything. Social media sites will ultimately find the balance (they have to find it, anyway – or else, they will go out of business.)

What small businesses should do with their social media campaign?

Small businesses going to social media for low cost but effective marketing campaigns need to do things differently, or else they will drown themselves in the cesspools.

Sending salesy messages, even spammy ones are both unethical and no longer effective. You need to smarten up; you need to offer value to every updates you do on your social media profiles.

You should never lead your friends and followers to sales pages with your salesy message (e.g. “Want to get rich? Click this – I know you want to! http://t.co/abc123.”) Instead, you need to lead them to what they are looking for – preferably to your own site or any other trusted site with the right message (e.g. “Peeps – don’t forget to check our offer and tell us what you think – http://t.co/abc123” – or something else better.)

What do you think of social media as cesspools? Is it ridiculous or do you have any other opinions regarding social media today? Please share your thoughts by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Social media cesspools
Photo credit: shortsands