Mastering The Net

THE FUTURE OF MARKETING
Social Media as Word-of-Mouth to the Max

Social LogosIt has long been recognized that Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is the most effective form of advertising. AND it's free. The phenomenal growth of Social Media has created a bold new universe for the ever growing marketing industry: Engineering fake word-of-mouth.

Traditional forms of marketing account for many billions spent each year as companies carefully nurture their brands, maintain valued customers and attract new leads for their products and services. Very recently, with the huge success of Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook, marketing departments around the world can no longer ignore the necessity to exploit these fertile fields for their own puposes.

Welcome to the fastest growing employment opportunity that nobody is supposed to know about -- manipulating social media to optimize word-of-mouth advertising.


For more than 20 years I've worked as a graphic designer in Marketing Departments for companies such as Rockwell, Broadcom and Black & Decker. Since "marketing" is a term that is both praised and hated by all who hear it, these departments generally go by different names, like "Communications" and "Creative Services." The fact is, without MarCom, small businesses and multinational corporations could not exist. Getting the word out about what you do is essential for survival in a fiercely competitive world.

Having been an artist in the business for quite awhile, I'm intimately aware that advertising is created by tradition-bound executives, supervisors, managers, art directors and copywriters. These are folks who don't easily embrace change, and yet marketing is currently undergoing a tremendous revolution as messaging must now be targeted not only to the usual "middle class" customers, but also to the super wealthy and the newly poor segments of the society. This requires a delicate balancing act that is radically transforming conventional MarCom departments.

To understand the psychology of advertising as it has previously existed, I suggest that you check out the excellent free online marketing course at MIT OCW offered by the Sloan School of Management. You can access it here: Entrepreneurial Marketing, Spring 2002

Take a break from this article and study up on that course for a month or so, then come back. I'll wait...


...okay, welcome back. Have you finished the marketing course? Good. Now you need to forget all that. Everything has changed.

• On October 31, 2011, the 7 billionth human being was born on earth
• Half of the world's population (3.5 billion) is under 30
• 96% of these under-30 folks are avid users of social networking systems

There are currently nearly 1 billion users on
Facebook. In the year 2010...
• Facebook made $1.86 billion in ad revenue
• YouTube made $450 million
• LinkedIn made $243
• Twitter made $42 million, and surpassed $200 million in 2011

The awesome moneymaking power of social networking is increasing by leaps and bounds. Consequently, we have entered an uncharted realm of ethically ambiguous gray area marketing. Companies are devoting millions in research & development to create positive feedback for their offerings via social media and the blogosphere. This is creating an innovative category of employment that must use tech-adept virtual shills working for various companies to conduct non-stop data mining, constantly monitoring the net for feedback and creating fake posts on blogs and social network sites to boost their image and to promote their products/services.

You're not supposed to know about such things, but I'm sure you've already been exposed to it many times. Maybe you'll come across an unrealistically glowing review of a company on Yelp.com, and you think, "Oh, I guess her son must work for them." More often than not, these bogus testimonials are surreptitiously produced by company employees, and sometimes even by clever prospective-customer lead-generating chatbots.

If you get in on the groundfloor of this rapidly growing industry, you will secure a lucrative income by becoming a highly prized social media operative and consultant. Just go to Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com and search for "social media manager" in your area. Or, for numerous daily online opportunities, simply search "social media" here: ScriptLance

You're welcome. Good luck.




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