A lot of companies think that they can see platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools, and therefore it seems they treat everybody who is already present on these platforms as their new junior marketing clerk. However social media is not about marketing a product or service, it is about human interaction and to be even more precise, social media is not about you as an organization, it is about them, it is about everybody else but you.
The sad state of affairs that a lot of companies will start of their social media ‘adventure’ by crafting super promotional and attractive messages which should be forwarded to the world by their new marketing department: their fans on Facebook or their followers on Facebook. They expect that this will happen by providing a very small incentive, for example two bottles of wine or a voucher with which people can get a discount.
When they start the campaign they ask as much people as they can find to please send this messages to their network to win one of aforementioned big prizes. Resulting in a tremendous noise on social networks and little to no value for any receiver. The super promotional and attractive messages are no more than SPAM and the people who are asked to send out these messages are just people hired (for a potential and very small benefit) to start sending out SPAM on a distributed basis.
Companies should think of social media not as marketing tools, but as platforms on which they can be promoted by their customers. Therefore companies should focus on making their content sharable and making it easy to share experiences about their products and services. Since you will be promoted, as long as you are worth sharing with others.
Don’t see your customers as your new marketing department, see them as your promoters. You will be promoted, if you are worth it.