Is Twitter for Sharing or for Prospecting?

Twitter-BirdsI was out watching the UFC fight with my significant other a few Saturdays ago when the loser of the title fight stated he was going to continue his rant on Twitter. That struck me so funny that I tweeted about it. Right then and there at 11 pm central time on a Saturday: “Even UFC is getting in the game when the loser continues trash-talking on Twitter.”

Just by me typing the word “UFC” on my tweet, oodles of people DMed (Direct Messaged) me about free MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) training classes, tickets to future UFC fights and upcoming pay-per-view events. I know the power of social media and use it myself for my own personal, and sometimes professional, purposes. But, I wonder if it’s too powerful?

Started as a way to connect to friends, this has become a marketer’s dream realized, which I believe was the master plan all along. Programs running constantly to monitor the Twittersphere…”UFC” = potential prospect. Is this too intrusive? I was sharing a funny quip about social media on a social media tool and now I am the target of everyone and anyone in this space. Is that fair?

I am a huge fan of the grand social experiment we are conducting and am an active participant but I feel we need to set boundaries for ourselves when using these tools. The line between sharing and becoming a marketing target is getting fuzzier. Sometimes you want to be DMed if you need help or have a legitimate question but sometimes you don’t. In my UFC example, I was sharing but didn’t want to be marketed to. I’m not a huge fan of UFC; I was just out enjoying the evening with my significant other.

I think social media needs to be crossed with intelligent agents to help decipher when someone wants to be contacted and when they don’t. I know this technology is already here and just needs to mature as a concept. I think that will be the ultimate power for individuals using the technology. Are we going to have a “DO NOT TWEET” option just like “DO NOT CALL”? Maybe.

In the meantime, I guess I need to either filter myself or be prepared for marketing message blitzes. How does Ashton do it? 🙂

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