Person A is passionate about Widgets and spends a few years making contacts and friends in the Widget industry.
Person B joins Facebook in College and makes a ton of casual friends over a few years.
Both become Social Media Experts and start selling their services (and their friends’ attention) to the highest bidder. Person A does so with social bookmarking, promoting Widget- or Widget-service-businesses to their contacts/friends in their network. Person B promotes every client Facebook page to their Facebook friends (some who, out of some perverted sense of loyalty may become fans).
Who is the bigger douchebag? Are either really using social media as intended?
My answer: BOTH are equally douchebaggish and BOTH are abusing social media.
You can’t assume your friends (business or otherwise) have opted-in to your marketing jackassery. Do you really want your friendship to be self-selecting and end as easy as an unsubscribe? Is your friends’ attention to your client’s BS marketing techniques all that matters to you? Is that why you’re using social media?
Douchebag marketing tactics are ultimately self-defeating and short-lived.
I’ve been guilty of them, but I think there’s hope. You can recover. I’ve done it by separating out WTF!? Marketing’s client endeavors to WTF!? Marketing’s Facebook page (a work in progress). But you won’t see stuff about clients in my Facebook stream (an error so grievous it occurred only once).
Why would you trust a “social media expert” who is willing to sell out their friends to the highest bidder?