Flogs and Astroturfing – What Do They Mean?

New terms coined by critics of companies believed to misuse social media.  Flogs and astroturfing are used to describe companies and their covert marketing campaigns using social media web sites.  Criticism of marketing is ageless.  The two terms highlighted in this post are new.

How do you navigate social media like it was decades old?   All kinds of consultants are cropping up to tell you how and they have many examples of misuse to cite.  It is unwise to shy away from new media because of the perils of misunderstanding and unscrupulous mavens.

Here’s some advice from Rohit Bhargava, author of the new marketing book “Personality Not Included.”  Bhargava lists his five lessons learned:

1. Be as transparent as you can.

2. Don’t be afraid to "admit" you are marketing.

3. Understand who your detractors are, and assume they will always hate you.  

4. Make sure you have supporters that will fight for you.

5. Listen, participate and respond.

Be careful of how you interpret Bhargava lessons.  Caution is advised and avoidance is discouraged. 

Marta Kagan describes herself as a marketing genius and she is also Managing Director, US for Espresso in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  A year ago, Kagan produced a slide presentation called “What the F**k is Social Media” and the expert marketer has produced a new version with the title suffix “:One Year Later.”  It’s entertaining and illuminating despite long in duration.

Kagan describes social media as “…like teen sex.”  “Everyone wants to do it.  Nobody knows how.”  She is adept in her use of shock phrases.  Kagan’s slide show explains social media is different.  She does a good job detailing why social media should be embraced and what it really is.  Watch it and learn despite its shock value.

Next week Broadcast Newsroom Computing reviews this weeks purchase by MSNBC which embraces local news.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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