A Gartner report released, says that by 2014, 10-15 percent of social media reviews to be fake, paid for my companies.
With the popularity of social media marketing, consumers are looking for quantifiable ways to determine the best
social media company or platform to employ. There is a strong emphasis on building Facebook ‘Likes’, YouTube views, and positive reviews of their competitors. Social media companies understand this difficulty, and as a result are trying to articulate to consumers how they are “the best of the best” in their field.
Jenny Sussin, senior research analyst at Gartner explains that “many marketers have turned to paying for positive reviews with cash, coupons and promotions including additional hits on YouTube videos in order to pique site visitors’ interests in the hope of increasing sales, customer loyalty and customer advocacy through social media ‘word of mouth’ campaigns.”
Organizations who pay for phony reviews face public scrutiny and fines. Paying for positive reviews without disclosing the compensated reviewer is the same as “deceptive advertising” and will be prosecuted as such; mandated by the FTC in 2009.
There are a few takeaways here:
- If a social media company wants to do well, they need to have an innovative business offering that solves a problem, or addresses a need in the market
- Companies (and thus people) “should focus on how to be social, not on how to do social” (Jay Baer).
- Employ a strong public relations strategy based on honesty and transparency. As a social media company, one should understand that the Internet is not known for its privacy (so good luck trying to hide poor dealings from the world!), and the realm of social is about being, well, social!
Hard work and tenacity pays off. If you are fulfilling the three points, then the rest will fall into place. Let your company and the hard work of its employees speak for itself with a strong product, public relations strategy, and the right team to pull it off!
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Find the Gartner press release here.
by Brienne Torley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.