You're either a shill or a mark.

The above user sings the praises of a brand without prompting, with only a humble goal in mind: to be liked by said brand.

Wait, what?

Just a few years ago, brands were begging to be liked. Now all they need to do is wait for the user to beg for a follow or a RT before acting. Well-versed in online behavior, brands can now troll through social media pages, look for mentions, and reward this behavior with a "follow" or just by mentioning the user. (Adding

The brand wants to sell you something. And you are not only being duped into trying it, you're then telling 500 of your closest friends about it, too. You're a shill who gives out free advertising. Your tweet is the equivalent of wearing a Coca-Cola T-shirt in the 80's.

Smart brands are not only please their fan base but have also realized the quality control potential. By including a carefully constructed link or post, brands take their marks, and turn them into shills. Getting them to share whatever link or information said brand provides without hesitation.

User gets a follow. Brand gets free advertising. Everybody wins. Provided the brand doesn't screw it up with one bad ad or tweet.

Because nothing kills a social media party quicker than shill or mark who is out for blood.

about the author

kidsleepy 17 year copywriter, now CD, who has worked in many cities including Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, Montreal and currently Los Angeles. I snark because I care. I ain't complainin' I'm just tellin' it like it is.

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