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Social Media Cliques
Hands up who’s sick of being approached by sales people on Linked-In. It has in-effect become an online database for recruitment consultants. How many people have you not connected with because they were probably going to try and sell you something and who has had to block or report someone for spamming you?
On Twitter I know numerous people that un-follow anyone who auto DM’s (Direct Messages) asking to look at this site or these products. I do it too. I use twitter to keep up-to-date with what’s going on within the digital industry; I follow people who inspire me, whose tweets are interesting and informative. I don’t want to read posts about products I don’t want to purchase or special offers not relevant to me.
Personally I use Facebook as a Social Networking site the key word here is Social, I don’t want to be sold to while I am just having a catch up with a friend or laughing over Saturday nights pictures. I can’t count the amount of times I have ignored requests to join the “I love Mc Donald’s” or “Cokes better than Pepsi” groups.
Because of this I just want to set up my own social network where I won’t be bothered by spam and I can discuss topics me and my followers, connections or friends are interested in. I don’t think I am alone.
Brands will be shut out if consumers keep getting targeted in an aggressive way. There are already a number of ways to block out any unwanted spam, but are people looking for a more permanent solution?
Social Media Cliques. Small exclusive groups formed to converse online without the fear of being sold to and targeted by the “amazing lose a stone in a week diet pills” scams. With the help of sites like Ning we simply start our own Social Network. We can get a group of high end fashionistas or BMW fanatics or dare I say it, Digital Geeks together in one place to discuss common interests, rate and slate latest trends, get advice on companies worth purchasing from and those not. Places to get sound advice without an ulterior motive, where you don’t have to use a spam filter or disconnect with sales folk.
I have no doubt that these secret communities are out there and some maybe so exclusive they are invitation only, how many exist already that you’re missing out on?
Best advice for those companies looking to engage with customers before it’s too late and they disappear into social networks you won’t have access to. Hire a good Social Media Strategist one who understands your target market, who is not going to offend their intelligence with spam but who will engage with them on an interesting and entertaining level. An alternative is to set up your own social network and create captivating content that showcases the brand in a really positive way so people want to be part of it.