For Julie Spira, the Internet is all about connecting.

As the new executive vice president and director of social media at the Marina del Rey office of marketing firm Brandloft, Spira will teach clients to tap into online resources such as blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn to promote products.

“It’s become so important,” she said of online social marketing. “If you don’t have a great social media presence, you’re really missing the mark.”

Businesses have been getting online advertising wrong, she said. Some annoyingly spam their audiences, others fail to stay abreast of new trends and some rely on promotions that are just too slick.

“Authenticity is really in,” noted Spira, who grew up in Glen Rock, a small New Jersey town. “You either embrace it or try to run from it, and you can’t run very far.”

And when it comes time to show clients a successful case study of her work, she won’t have to look too far. Spira used online social media to promote her book, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.”

“I thought if Obama could become president of the U.S., when no one really knew who he was, because of his marketing prowess, then why couldn’t I have a best-selling book?” said Spira, who created a Web site and Twitter feed to promote her memoir from Morgan James Publishing. “My online dating and social media expertise have come hand in hand.”

Indeed, her marketing plan for the book is what drew the attention of executives at Brandloft and got her the new job.

“Brandloft contacted me in May,” Spira said. “They were so impressed with what I had done, and they knew about my background in marketing.”

In addition to the book, Spira counsels would-be Web romantics through her online show, “Ask the Cyber Dating Expert.” The Webcast can be heard on or on her Web site, On the program, she provides tips such as using a catchy screen name and investing in professional photos when putting together a profile for sites like

“When a guy or woman doesn’t put their photo up, there’s something wrong with them,” she warned.

Spira, 52, is single and lives in West Los Angeles. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano and going to concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where she is a season subscriber.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.