Home > Uncategorized > Truth-Decay in Social Media

Truth-Decay in Social Media

How important are online reviews for you? For me, these reviews are very important. As a consumer shopping online, I want to know what other people think of the book I am purchasing, the gadget I am considering investing on, and if the little kitchen and house appliances that I need will not break down in the next six months. As a foodie looking out for a tasty adventure, I want to know if restaurants and cafes will live up to this mission. I look (and consider) reviews because I want more information, and I do not want to regret any purchase in the future.

Online/social media reviews have definitely boosted online brand communities. Review sites like Yelp , Zaggat and even Amazon have definitely created “safe environments” for consumers like you and me to submit reviews about our recent purchases, our favorite (and not-so favorite) restaurants and the like. Online reviews have become a big thing!

Unfortunately, I came across a study on Mashable that states that by 2014, one out 10 online reviews would be fake – commissioned by marketers to boost brand identity and consumer experience. By 2014, the percentage of marketers turning to paid reviews, testimonials and “likes” will spike up to about 10-15%. This study was conducted by tech research company, Gartner.

What does this say about the social media space then? Are we losing that “safe environment” that was created by brand managers and co-consumers as well? Personally, this is quite alarming for me – but at the same time, not entirely shocking. Marketers could go off and do these things as a way to increase brand awareness and brand interest. However, as we have learned from class last week, respect and sincerity are very important in building consumer trust in the online marketing space. Consumers go through these social media reviews because they need more insight into purchases marketed online. If most of the reviews are commissioned by marketers in order to increase sales for the company, then where does that leave the consumer?

I believe that marketers should take a step back and strategize their online marketing plans with the consumer in mind first, the company goals second. It is in building and maintaining that consumer trust that will lead to the achievement of company goals anyway. Without the consumer, there will be no business.

So, how important are online/social media reviews for you? What do you think about this study? Time to talk online marketing.

To read the article: mashable.com/2012/09/20/fake-online-reviews/?fb_ref=slider

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