As a virtual assistant, I spend a substantial amount of time on the internet every day looking around for time saving ways to automate social media tasks. This made me understand that what once began as a way to link up with new people while staying in touch with friends and family - has now changed into one of the most massive marketing engines that exists in our day.
With so much effort going into social media, there are literally hundreds of software programs and other online tools which allow you to automate the entire process. After a recent Twitter follow, I received a message that said "I really like you so much and decided to follow you" - interesting, I know for certain that that person has in all likelihood never even seen my profile - and as for liking me so much, I really doubt that person actually even knew that they were now following me... but it's all just part of playing along at the social media game.
I'm certainly not knocking it. I really love working as a virtual assistant and finding new ways of developing business through this new fad, and from my point of view, there really isn't any other job I'd rather do, but I also find it a bit disheartening that it has lost its intended meaning - so to speak. In this pursuit, we all seem like tiny robots trying to promote ourselves and our businesses through a channel which was initially created to be rather personal.
By using microblogging, we can also make sure everyone is updated on where we are. Most internet marketers will advise you to update your twitter account or other microblogging account about 10 times each day. So during your working day you can keep cranking out "Tweets", saying that you're in the office, at home, or even cooking dinner if you want to take it that far (Twitter works on your mobile as well). But in the grand scheme of things, have you ever actually read all of the tweets from the people you are following? It's basically just a numbers game - if you have 20,000 people you're following, and they all post 10 tweets a day - wouldn't reading your Twitter account alone turn into more than a full time job? Don't forget, if you need to get ahead quickly, an expert virtual assistant is just an email away!
Put simply, we post a link to all of these followers in the hope that a small - yet significant percentage, will click on our link - generating new traffic, hits, potential affiliate sales, and perhaps even comments on blog posts, but the unmistakeable fact is, we do all of this because it's truly effective, and because we can make quite a bit of money from our followers. So, is social media really all that social?