Social Networks’ Digital Divide…Too Much Amplification?

When we reach out to our social networks, are we using them to reach out to our friends on these networks OR are we using these networks to market and share our information?

Looking through a purest lens, social networks should be used to build relationships, have original conversations, build connections just as we would with those “friends” in person.

As I look through lens as a marketer/digital media professional, we find ourselves not only reaching out to these communities…but pushing our information to these groups of people. This digital divide creates physical moat between us and our virtual friends. It allows us to sometimes forget these people on the other end of these devices are the ones who receive our updates, tweets, and emails. They are human.

I was sitting in a meeting the other day listening to a friend describing social networks, specifically Twitter. He described this social outlet as medium to amplify our message. The marketing, digital media persona inside me agreed with this observation; but the purest, socially driven human was a bit disturbed by this characteristic.

So many of us are not afraid to use social aggregators like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and many others to schedule Tweets, posts, and updates. We turn into our own traffic department, setting up message distributions for the week. It is a bit addicting, we track results using our analytics, chart success, create metrics, and before we know it…we have social media marketing panic attacks.

I am not advocating for the extreme use of either lens…but I am more thinking through the audience’s experiences. Is the conversation starting to die out? So why did Facebook loose 5 Million U.S. users last month? I am not sure? Makes you wonder…too much amplification?

So, how is your usage of social networks changing? Is it purely business, monetary gain, creating traffic, etc? Are you using it to connect, build relationships, find connections, or even reinforce in-person relationships. Or, are you using it as a combination of all the above? Regardless…has your view point of social networks changed?