I’ve just read an article on Moneyweb titled ‘MySpace, ByeSpace?’ (http://www.moneyweb.co.za/shares/international_news/329842.htm).
It refers to loyal users of social-networking sites renouncing the sites and deleting their pages – ‘not in spite of their popularity, but because of it’. They are being subjected to spam and advertising, usually masquerading as new ‘friends’.
It’s the age-old case of a great idea built to make people’s lives easier. Then the corporates see how successful it becomes and buy it, adding it to their list of acquisitions. They then believe that this purchase entitles them to bombard their newly-acquired ‘target market’ with endless marketing and branding information. They have to make that acquisition profitable, otherwise why pay good money for it?
All they are doing is buying up ‘new media’ and applying old media mindsets. With no respect to the recipient. And this used to work before as there were very limited channels through which to voice your dissatisfaction. But now each individual has a voice. And they are voicing their dissatisfaction by leaving. One by one. And soon those single numbers will add up to double digits and then triple digits and…..
Marketers need to understand that you can’t buy loyalty. You can’t force it. You can’t wheedle, blackmail or beg. It needs to be earned. And this only happens when you offer something of value that people want. Or aspire to. Or feel connected to. And where they are respected as individuals.

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