A few months ago,an interactive marketing agency with offices in LA and NYC asked us if we could do some “word of mouth” (WOM) marketing for one of their clients.
They wanted to hire our team to “post about the product to message boards and social networks.” Fake promotion. Also known as Astroturfing. The practice I'm referring to here is fake product reviews, comments by people hiding their identity while being paid to comment, or fake “customer” dialogues. It's dirty. So much so that this behavior is now illegal in the EU.
We declined to do the campaign, partly because the product sucked, but mostly because we think lying is a bad idea. Pretending to be someone you are not is not cool.
As you may know, a lot of brands and PR firms engage in this practice. For example, Home Depot recently seems to have done some remodeling on their product reviews. Big brands make big mistakes. Even Coke stumbled.
Are you a marketer thinking about doing some Astroturfing? Go surfing. You'll feel better. Besides, wouldn't your time be better spent building relationships with real customers? You could even talk to them. Maybe consider working with brands that matter to you? Then, when time comes, you don't have to fake it. You can tell the truth. That's organic marketing.
There are countless examples of this nonsense hurting brands. You got some you want to share?
Screw the recession. We're hiring. Here's the job posting:
Fabric Interactive is looking for a passionate internet marketer with two-three years of experience with social media, interactive, search, and/or advertising. This a unique opportunity to play a leading role in developing strategies and programs to drive measurable marketing results for our clients.
You must be a social media fanatic with high energy and deep curiosity about the interactive field. You’ll need to have great analytical skills and be a superb team player. We're looking for someone who understands that this is not a regular pit-stop gig before you go on to big agencies. We want an entrepreneurial mind and independent thinker with a desire to take this opportunity and run with it.
• Develop marketing services business unit
• Increase marketing services revenue and improve profitability
• Develop product launch marketing programs
• Position company as a leader in social media marketing services in Los Angeles
• Analyze existing marketing services for Fabric clients
• Develop and propose new marketing programs
• Develop online marketing strategy for clients
• Work with clients to identify the most appropriate blogs and social media
• Establish relationship with key bloggers in industry verticals
• Monitor social networks for specific clients and verticals
• Leverage social networks to build affinity with product or brand
• Leverage video sharing sites to advance a client’s message
• Conduct online research to identify Web sites and online influencers for outreach
• Conduct one-to-one outreach to site editors, writers, and other influencers
• Develop and manage online strategic partnerships for client projects
• Concept and manage paid placement opportunities, including sponsorships and search engine and banner advertising (organic and paid search engine marketing)
• Proactively introduce new ideas to improve Fabric’s offerings
• Improve effectiveness of marketing services cross all clients
• Maximize service growth from existing marketing services client base
• Propose and execute Fabric marketing program to attract new business
• Build social media marketing team
• Minimum of two years of experience in a similar role at an interactive, public relations, or advertising agency; or equivalent transferable experience
• Strong understanding and past/active use of search engines, discussion boards, blogs, video sharing sites, etc.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills (strong copy/editorial writer a plus)
• Able to build strong relationships with clients
• The ability to define solutions that will generate measurable results for clients
• Ability to develop solutions that integrate performance metrics and analysis
• High standards for quality and professional integrity
Come on. Let's do this!
There are over 82 million mothers in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and 35 million of them have children under 18 and access the Internet regularly, based on a 2009 research report by eMarketer. Of this number a good percentage of moms are well connected power users in the social media space. The Internet is an integral part of the lives of 34 million mothers in the US. They not only go online to plan a trip or pay bills, they also use the Web to communicate with friends, share advice, blog and socialize. Moms are the ultimate Internet networkers, as they seek out other moms’ advice for what they’re looking for, with a large percentage of them using the Internet at least twice a day.
Since women do the majority of product research and household purchasing, savvy mommy blogs include product reviews and recommendations on items ranging from infant clothing to packaged food to new cars, brands have been taking noticed on the this trend and are now reaching out to these influencers to maximize their reach and presence online.
Moms visit parenting and family websites and blogs where regularly view news, weather and political content online, among them among the most current and savvy of all online users. They search for shopping deals for their kids, want to learn about cooking recipes, want to be involved in charitable causes, want to be up-to-date with the latest trends, among many other relevant conversational topics that would deal with home and the family. And when they find something great for their family, they talk about it, not only with their family and friends, but often with a much broader online audience. They are among the most technically savvy online power users who use social media channels such as blogs, social networks and Twitter as platforms to extend their influence in the space.
This group has been classified as Mommie bloggers, and they occupy a special place in the space that separates them from other groups online; as they have become the hottest and most influential target demographic that every brand wants to focus on these days. Like moms there are many other groups that are surging in online influence too, and how brands can take notice of them is by paying attention to the latest social trends and by listening to what they are saying and learning about their behaviors when it comes to selecting and buying products that best fits them.
Here is graph showing a growing trend of how much mommy bloggers numbers have increased over the years and what these numbers are estimated to be by 2013.
Written by Reese Ramos – Digital Marking Director