Is Social Media Invasive?

I came across this MediaPost article the other day that cited some interesting statistics:

…nearly two-thirds (64%) of people say they “hate” when a company targets them through their social networking profile, and 58% agree that social media marketing is invasive, according to a new study.


At the same time, findings from Insight Strategy Group showed a majority of those surveyed (55%) believe social networking sites are the best way to give a company feedback and that posting about a product or service on a social site can have a strong impact on a brand.


In short, people like being able to provide feedback to marketers via social media — but they don’t necessarily want to be followed by them.


These statistics may seem like bad news for companies, but it makes sense to me–we want to be able to find companies with the tools we already use (like Facebook, for example), but we don’t want to feel like they’re able to peer into our lives.

However, I want to point out some of the language in the blog post and the survey: they’re asking about how people feel when companies “target” them. Who likes to feel like they’re being targeted?

There is a way to take this information into account when using social media as a marketing tool: don’t get too pushy. It’s so easy to block or unfollow a brand that’s too annoying, which is exactly what you don’t want. Use social media as more of a relationship-building tool. No one starts a relationship by targeting someone, at least not outside of The Pickup Artist.


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