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Social Media's Magnetic Marketing Replacing Mass Marketing

The future of Web site content is on tract to become hyper-personalized, as Internet searches and commercial transactions become linked to people's preferences,versus Google's keywords and hyperlinks. As a result, 'Magnetic Marketing' will replace mass marketing where consumers and brands will form stronger and stronger bonds. Flip.to and the UK Independent are two examples of this emerging trend.

Sheryl SandbergSheryl SandbergIn a PaidContent.org report, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg feels that while mass marketing will not disappear altogether - in the next three-to-five years, a Web site that isn't tailored to a specific user's interest will become an anachronism.

As much as Facebook's Open Graph was criticized regarding privacy issues - when it was first launched in early 2010- moving forward, it appears publishers are not only embracing the semantic tool, they are learning how to drill down even further.

Sandberg told Arianna Huffington at recent industry event, that "people don’t want something targeted to the whole world — they want something that reflects what they want to see and know."

Magnetic Marketing differs from traditional mass marketing by bringing the seller and buyer together in a way that is natural, either at time of purchase or as the result of readers signaling their preferences when they visit a particular Web site. Differing from push marketing, it is not pushing a brand's messaging out to the masses like TV and billboards.

Differing from Web 2.0's pull marketing it goes beyond user-generated content. While friends and followers can vet specific content to help one make a buying decision, it is not until the buyer interacts with the brand on his or her own terms, that magnetic marketing can create the strongest of bonds between the two parties.

Flip.to, a social media service for hotels and airlines demonstrates this paradigm by interacting with guests after they have confirmed a reservation for a hotel stay or airline ticket. At that point in time, the consumer is prompted to share his for her travel experience with their followers on Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn.



Flip.to’s use cases support how powerful magnetic marketing can be. Over the course of the last 6 months, The James Chicago has increased brand awareness with the assistance of their guests acting as an extension of the hotel’s marketing team. To date, 40 percent of its booking guests have engaged with Flip.to, spreading the word to their friends and followers about their upcoming stay at The James via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And each post they’ve made has on average brought 8 new folks over to The James’ site. (for more on Flip.to's Magnetic Marketing in action, see "Flip.to & Magnetic Marketing: Social Media That Engages 21st Century Travlers")

On the content side, the UK Independent just announced that it now offers granular subscriptions via Facebook's Open Graph and Instant Personalization systems. Instead of just LIKING the entire online news site and getting all its articles pushed to one's Facebook newsfeed, users can now limit their LIKES to particular authors and their specialized topics.


Additionally, Facebook users will also be able to receive updates pertaining to their favorite UK football team. On their sports pages, they have dedicated a page of LIKES, titled, "Like your team on Facebook for updates from The Independent."


So with Flip.to, at time of purchase and the UK Independent's granular approach to Facebook's Open Graph, one can see that these examples are signaling a shift from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 where automation will slowly start taking the driver's seat. As consumers and their brand preferences are seeded into the massive data-mines that are slowly emerging, it won't be long before everything one touches online will be personalized to their preferences.

For more on magnetic marketing and Web 3.0, please check out some of my previous posts.

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