It’s been two months since I’ve last blogged. Many corporate executives, celebrities and politicians aren’t even blogging for themselves. They aren’t even tweeting for themselves (although I think Chelsea Handler is because she thanked me one time on Twitter and I felt the truth in it.)
While I may not be Justin Bieber (take a moment to acknowledge how sick you are of him…and continue)
I feel like there are times, in this case the last two months, where I am straight up too busy or burnt out to blog. I don’t want to give you half of me – I may be a delinquent, but at least I’m not a phony and I will never let someone blog or tweet on my behalf. Can I get an AMEN?!
Let’s get down to business: phonies. Holden Caulfield wasn’t down with them and while I’m no longer an overly dramatic teenager, I can say I’ve got beef.
Some of you may have seen the recent press release Gartner had issued that centered on some research the smarter British version of me (Ed Thompson) and I had done a few months back on the number of social media-based likes, comments, fans and reviews that are phony. I had some Twitter conversations over the last week with some of you so I’ll explain a little bit to you all who don’t have access to Gartner research but need a little more Sussompson (that’s a combo of Ed and I.)
Here’s what you need to know:
- Consumers’ increased reliance on social media ratings and reviews will see enterprise spending on paid social media ratings and reviews increase, making up 10% to 15% of all reviews by 2014.
- Increased media attention to fake social media ratings and reviews will result in at least two Fortune 500 brands facing litigation from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the next two years.
- Consumer perception of tightened government regulation and increased media exposure of fake social media ratings and reviews will increase consumer trust in new and existing social media ratings and reviews.
These aren’t random numbers but very conservative extrapolations of surveys and studies from Econsultancy and Cornell University. I’m not trying to freak anyone out because I check Yelp and TripAdvisor on the regular, but from the consumer perspective, the audience I’m trying to reach in this blog post – look at more than one source, would ya? Look through the reviews for the product/service/trip you’re looking at. What is consistent? What doesn’t fit in with the other reviews? Are there pictures? How detailed are we getting? Catch those phonies.
What if you’re reading a CEO’s blog? What information do you know about the CEO? Is there anything remotely personal or relate-able in what is written? Are there long running references, maybe mini jokes for the consistent reader? Don’t allow yourself to be delusional, and I say demand genuine engagement from your resources on social media.
If you’re reading this from the business perspective and what you should be doing about it – you’ve unfortunately or fortunately got to have access to the full research on Gartner.com.
What do you think? Do you think we’re being too conservative? Too crazy? Are you frustrated with obviously fake reviews? Have you ever been duped?
PS – As always, spelling errors and grammatical errors are always abundant. I know.
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