Brand Marketers Compete With Self-Promoters on Social Networks

Rob Walker has a great article in Fast Company about the differences in our social profiles versus our real personalities. He accurately suggests that our social profiles are not completely accurate images of our selves but are instead tools used to “promote our own agendas.” Personally, I have adjusted all of my social profiles to be used for self-promotion instead of simply using it to share fond memories with my friends and family.

Given that our information is not completely accurate and can be frequently misleading, will marketers be able to accurately target us given our false information? On sites like MySpace, the problem becomes even more complex given that many individuals’ profiles are alternative identities that they choose to express landing further from reality (or perhaps simply an alternative reality). Whatever the case, the theoretical maxim of social advertising is far from accomplished in contrast to the historical transformation of advertising that Mark Zuckerberg suggested was taking place when Beacon launched.

We know which way the industry is going but the expected changes may not be taking place as fast as we once expected. The marketer’s dream of being able to instantly access the consumers that want to purchase their product and the consumer’s dream of being marketed only things that they are interested in remains a distant concept. There is still much work to be done and no single company has come close to winning the race.