Social media is all the rage these days. All these reports about Facebook overtaking Google and how big G. is going to overcome it, dominate the tech news pages. Reports constantly flood into our e-mails and homepages about the latest social media website or invention that we simply must be a part of, or we will be nobody.

Social media really isn’t anything new. Here’s a video about my interpretation of Native Americans of thousands of years ago and their version of Facebook and Twitter.

I recently got my Mom onto Facebook so that she could communicate with all of her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. It’s taken her a while but she’s starting to get the hang of it. It’s a big change from the letterwriting and postcards of the past. So far, she’s really enjoying it and seeing a lot more information about her progeny than she ever has in the past. She still hasn’t quite figured out all the intricacies and has a hard time dealing with the changes (don’t we all), but there really is nothing like it in the universe.

I recently had a conversation last night with someone I have not seen in over 31 years. I hadn’t even thought about this person in 31 years, yet we had a wonderful conversation reminiscing our experiences together in the past. Her father was a great man and a great influence on my life and it was sad to learn that he passed away not long after I’d known him. She is currently dealing with a difficult trial in her life because a chiropractor had severed a nerve in her husband’s neck causing a stroke at 39 years old. Now he’s trying to reinvent his life and become a photographer online instead of the rough-and-tumble world of being a general contractor that he knew so well.

Everyone of us have these kind of stories with which to share and read with our friends, families and acquaintances, both current and in the past. All of these social media capabilities allow an interaction never before available. To be able to send movies, photos, quotes, songs and stories to people we care about with such ease and freedom, all while being totally free, is absolutely amazing.

Facebook is now cutting into Google’s advertising revenue which made it such a predominant factor in the Internet world. This is now making Google nervous but let’s step back for a minute and see what happens. Right now, Facebook takes the information that you put in regarding your social profile, your likes and dislikes and in essence, sells it to advertisers offering related products and services. This is the most brilliant form of advertising ever developed because it is highly targeted and highly efficient. The recent shakeup of the head of Google is probably related to the realization that they are losing momentum and need to do something quickly.

Sadly, many advertisers have tried to use this medium to sell their products and many times have done it in an improper fashion. I personally don’t mind advertisements on the right-hand side of the page with an appropriate photo attached that means something to the product or service they’re offering. I do not like someone flaunting a pretty girls figure or face just to get me to look at their latest Real Estate scam, Forex marketing program or MLM. There is a small little “x” in the upper right of every ad with which I will delete and mark as offensive or inappropriate every time I see one of those. I want to punish these people as quickly as possible for misleading me and using base desires to attract me to their products. I would urge you to do the same.

Like I said, I don’t mind the ones as much on the right, but I really don’t like are the ones within the text of the conversation promoted by friends. I must confess that in the early days I did not understand the same medium and was guilty of committing the same crime, so I’m a bit lenient on those who also are learning the ropes regarding ethics, tactics and methods best used on Facebook. Most the time I’ll just delete them but many times I will kindly tell “real friends” that I don’t like these messages.

I also get highly annoyed at the enormous number of game requests that take up my time and space on my front page. When I was getting my Masters Degree in Internet Marketing we had to participate in Farmville on Facebook and I confess, it was kind of fun. The problem was, it took way too much time and every one of my crops died, and so I canceled my account. I don’t like being addicted to anything and I felt myself becoming addicted to that, so I canceled it and I’ve also deleted every single game request that has come across my path since that time.

I’m astounded how much time some people have to spend on Facebook! I’m lucky to spend five minutes a day, but there are people I know that spend 5,6, 8 or even 10 hours per day on this blasted thing. I think there’s far more valuable things we can do with our time than waste it on Facebook. Facebook is a wonderful tool, mind you, but it won’t bring you happiness if that’s all you have to do. Yes, it is fun to reminisce and visit with old friends and acquaintances of the past, but I find far more value in physically serving one another than just having mere conversations.

So, suppose you have a business that you want to market online and have heard of the marvels of social media. You know that marketing is like exercise-if you don’t exercise you get lazy. If you don’t market, you don’t get any business. So, you run out there and try to find someone who knows something about Facebook. They sell you a package whereby they create a product or business page for you. It’s all neatly designed with graphics and personalized information and you are already go with it when all of a sudden you realize, this is going to take a lot of time. Some companies have resorted to hiring out someone to manage and watch over their Facebook account. This is not a wise idea. Remember, this is social media. This is not business broadcasting or advertising. This is people getting to know one another and understanding each other by becoming “friends”.

I’m not saying that Facebook cannot be a wonderful tool for your business, because it can. You just need to go into it with the right understanding that you are building relationships and not selling products. Do I need to repeat that? Relationships are what people are wanting through the social media programs of Facebook, twitter, and the like. They are not signing up for your business page to receive advertisements from you regarding your products. They are looking to develop a relationship with you as a company because of something you have to offer.

I know that everything I’ve just said will be disputed and argued about in numerous fashions, mostly because it will effect someones income. I know that many people are making a fortune selling programs on Facebook and promoting its potential advertising revenue for your business. Please be very careful with this. Facebook is the current hip, new, trendy thing to do, but I already see signs of misuse and abuse and that will affect the future of Facebook and people who use it.

If you want to advertise your business on Facebook, go ahead and create a page for it, go ahead and create coupons and things of interest for those people, but be sure and don’t hire out the social side of things. People recognize when it isn’t the individual behind the company that they thought they were talking to and they don’t like being tricked in a relationship.

In the video above regarding the ancient petroglyphs on the canyon walls, these people were leaving their mark for whatever their original intention was. They may have had rock art critics come by and evaluate their work. There may have been a competition for members of the opposite sex regarding the designs and patterns. They may have been methods of worship or idolatry that they would believe affect the hunt.

They also may have just been plain bored waiting for some herd of deer or antelope to come by so they can eat their dinner tonight.

And that my friends is where I believe the similarities between petroglyphs of the past and the Facebook of today are most similar.

If you would like to have your business run properly on Facebook, please give me a call at (775) 722-4949 and lets set up an appointment to talk.