There is much discussion lately about the social media and its place in communicating in business, especially in advertising. The obvious attraction is that it's "Free." Many carpet cleaning firms have abandoned their traditional advertising programs and have gone exclusively with Facebook, LinkedIn®, Twitter, et al.
There is growing concern about privacy in the social media since "Free" means payment may be in the form of data. A record of your activities can be collected without consent. You may even be linked through a "friend" to law enforcement checking Facebook walls for "persons of interest." And it could become a method of planned surveillance in the future.
Giant data collectors like Google and Facebook have created an atmosphere where data itself can be rather harsh. Competitors can anonymously place uncomplimentary comments about you. These sites are like a carpet that can be vacuumed to collect data of all kinds. Many European marketers are concerned about being followed by the "privacy police."
Several people that have gone the social media route for advertising instead of traditional venues, have told me they suffered serious drops in revenue and number of inquiries. When considering using the social media in your business, my advice is don't be too hasty.
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