Everyone has heard all of the stories about the fake Likes and fake Tweets; pretty much anything that has to do with social media marketing can be faked. Marketers are under the impression that these fake responses on their social media marketing campaigns will help them significantly, but that just is not the case. They could even potentially hurt the brand or business more than help. Despite that, though, they continue to pop up. There have been efforts toward stopping them, but there are still going to be ways around them. While I’m sure these paid social media results will end someday, upon marketers’ realizations that they really are not necessary, but for now and apparently for the near future, they are here to stay.
Gartner, one of today’s leading information technology research companies, released some information regarding their predictions for fake social media results in the near future, and why they are so present in the marketing world.
From their post on their website press page;
“With over half of the Internet’s population on social networks, organizations are scrambling for new ways to build bigger follower bases, generate more hits on videos, garner more positive reviews than their competitors and solicit ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages,” said Jenny Sussin, senior research analyst at Gartner. “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.”
People trust what they hear or see on social media sites more than anywhere else on the web. That sounds plausible, yes, but how long will that stay true of marketers keep putting phony Likes or fake page posts all over their accounts on these networks. Gartner stated that they expect 10-15% of all reviews on social media sites to be fake reviews by the year 2014. That does not seem like improvement to me. If things do eventually end up getting that bad, and consumers start to find out about it, it will eventually end up making these fake social media marketing techniques less and less successful. It’s like a cycle of wrongful use of social media marketing.
Gartner believes that although consumer trust in social media is currently low, consumer perception of tightened government regulation and increased media exposure of fake social media ratings and reviews will ultimately increase consumer trust in new and existing social media ratings and reviews.
This is exactly what I mean. If marketers quit putting fake information and creating phony reputations on social media sites, and people find out about it, they are more likely to trust what they do see from businesses on the networks. On the other hand, if they find out that the companies are using fake methods, why would they trust them at all? I have never seen the point of the dishonest reputation building that takes place on social networks, as it eventually comes back to bite businesses in their asses anyway. An honest social media campaign will be more successful than a phony one every time.