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Is all publicity good publicity? Is there such a thing as a suicidal publicity effort? No and yes. Consider Charlie Sheen. It is painful to watch someone make so many bad choices. It seems best to turn away and give him his privacy. But this publicity blitz he has undertaken does not allow us to turn away – it is a marketing case study for over exposure, among other things.

Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Quora, LinkedIn, Blogspot, Tumblr – whether you are trying to create a personal brand or a corporate identity there is this urge to get a foot in the door in all these platforms. What if you miss out on the biggest thing in social media by not picking the right one? This is a fear that goads many a sensible person to rush around and create a profile everywhere. It is a legitimate concern and it is tempting to hedge our bets by appearing on TMZ, ABC and NBC while pointedly ignoring CBS.

However, if the core message is not strong, not all the appearances in the world are going to serve your purpose. A solid message delivered with refinement and thoughtfulness will seal an image way better than any half-hearted campaign that is spread thin across media. Whether you work alone or have a small social media staff, you have to think in terms of using your resources wisely. It is hard to do justice to multiple platforms without the right kind of time and effort in research and execution.

Look before you leap and think before you speak are truisms that are particularly apt in the context of social media and its long virtual memory. Treat your brand with care and keep your image polished – it is not that easy to remove tarnish!