Is Social Media Deceptive?

I recently read a really interesting and worthwhile article by Alyse Knorr for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the importance of social media skills when job-seeking.

In the article, Knorr references a representative from a recruiting company who said that “social media skills are particularly important for jobs in tech business, sales, public relations and media.” “That’s because social media networks provide cost-effective ways for companies to put out their message and provide information to people in a personal, one-on-one way,” Knorr explains.

“‘It’s marketing without the perception that you’re trying to market to someone,'” said Bob Van Rossum, an executive at a marketing recruitment company.

Do you agree with Van Rossum’s conceptualization of social media? While I couldn’t agree more with Knorr that the rapid growth and popularity of social networking sites have made involvement with these sites imperative for those of us in the field of public relations, I have mixed emotions about this statement. Personally, I tend to conceptualize social networking as interactive marketing while this statement almost characterizes it as intentionally deceptive marketing. At the same time, though, on a profile on a social networking site maintained for a client, we would, in fact, provide a one-sided account of how “great” the company is and all it is doing. Does this validate Van Rossum’s description? Am i too optimistic in my personal take on the use of social networking sites in marketing and PR?

How do you see it?

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