The Inner Turmoil of a SM User VS. Marketer

Man standing on rural road holding road map, head obscured by mapWorking in the social media space, I can safely say that overall I understand the marketing perks of Twitter, Facebook, etc. Sure I participate in these sites as part of my job and as marketing research, but at the end of the day I’m also a user.

Originally I fought tooth and nail against signing up for Twitter because at the time I didn’t see a need for it. I kept wondering, “Who is going to care what I have to say?”  Obviously I have changed my tune, and decided to just dive into the world of Twitter once I found my niche.  Still, I primarily use it solely for work.

Lately, however, my social media conundrum is with Foursquare. As a marketer, I know I should be using it; as a consumer, I just don’t care. I’ve heard a number of people wax poetic on the glory that is Foursquare – I mean my husband came home from SXSW with a Foursquare temporary tattoo, so you can only imagine our conversations.

Despite my numerous objections, Foursquare has been installed on my phone by my significant other; where it has sat untouched for the last two months. I just can’t muster up the excitement or curiosity to become a Foursquare user. Again as a marketer, I should technically get with the program, but I just don’t see the need for it in my daily life.

I mean why do I want people to know where I am at all hours of the day? The last thing I think about when I go to the grocery store is to pull out my phone, look for Pathmark, and check in.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not arguing against the marketing potential of this geo location beast.  Believe me I realize there is a whole cult of Foursquare users out there, and I’m sure you are ready to tell me about all the great benefits below. That’s not my point.

I get what Foursquare does, why some people would enjoy it, and how marketers are starting to utilize it. Yet at the end of the day, I just don’t want to become a Foursquare consumer.  Here, I am merely using Foursquare as example. For you personally, your consumer vs. marketer challenge might be Facebook or Twitter.

For those of us that market through social media networks and platforms, is it a requirement that we also participate regularly as a user in all instances? Or, is it simply enough just to understand the overall potential, rather than become an active participator?

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