By now, many people are familiar with Facebook and the proposition the social networking site repeatedly poses: "X wants to be friends with you on Facebook . . . confirm or ignore?"
For most companies, there is no ignoring the fact that having a presence on social networking sites can be very productive. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others, including "virtual world" websites such as Second Life, offer companies unprecedented access to customers to help build brand awareness, build excitement about new products and forge closer, more lasting bonds with consumers through promotions and interactive communications. In turn, social network users may comment on a company's posted information and declare themselves "fans" of the company or product, quickly reaching other consumers with good publicity. Despite these obvious benefits, like many relationships, your company's friendship with social networking sites and their users can be "complicated."