An Australian digital agency is advertising for someone to take on a “supplied persona” and surreptitiously promote clients on blogs and chatrooms.
In an ad for a “social search consultant” currently on Gumtree, Geoffrey Emerson – boss of recently launched agency The Prosperity Principal says:
“The job requires you to have very good search skills to find conversations online. You will then take on a supplied persona and join in on the conversation.
“You will have to be clever and adaptive, if you don’t know about a subject then you will have to learn how to “sell” yourself as authentic.
“This is NOT spam, you are adding value to the conversation. You are respectful and knowledgeable and most importantly having fun.
“If this sounds like you and you have strong English writing skills, then please I want to hear from you.”
Emerson – previously head of digital at Sydney PR agency Zing conceded to Mumbrella: “It’s a link bait job. There’s no two ways about it, it’s black hat. But it’s not spam.”
He said that an example of the service he is providing through his agency’s “trusted avatar” product would be where someone working for the agency joins in a conversation taking place online about finance. He asid: “We’d say ‘here’s a great site that’s offering a great deal – why not take a look?'”
Asked if the poster’s affiliation with the client would be disclosed, he said: “No. The comments would be deleted if you did that.”
He added: “Clients get five to seven inbound links a week. And it absolutely works.
“I realised when I created this product that I might not be popular for this and I’m popping my head up a bit. “If some of the social media fraternity don’t like this and have a go, what does it matter? We’re not spamming.”