First Use of Social Media Marketing in 1886 via Telegraph

In some of the latest social media news, Foursquare has partnered up with American Express to offer sweet deals to consumers. The evolution of social media marketing continues unabated and relentless, driven by creativity, emergent technology and consumer demand. But do you know how all this social media marketing started? Try the founder of Sears, Roebuck & Co.

In 1886, Richard Warren Sears (founder of Sears, Roebuck & Co.) was working as an agent-telegrapher at a railroad line in Minnesota. A shipment of 2500 gold pocket watches arrived at the station where he worked. As no one had asked for them and nobody wanted, he decided to buy them all. He then offered the watches to his railroad colleagues, using the telegraph to market… and sold them all at $14, earning $2per clock.

Here is what a sample message might have looked like:

-… . .- ..- – .. ..-. ..- .-.. / –. — .-.. -.. / .–. — -.-. -.- . – .– .- – -.-. …. . … / .—- ….- / . .- -.-. …. / .-. . .–. .-.. -.– / – — / — .-. / .-. .. -.-. …. .- .-. -.. / … . .- .-. …

Here is an audio file of it:

So.. perhaps the very first social media marketing message – 125 years ago? What do you think?

Oh, and here is a very funny Youtube of “Texting in the 1800s”

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