Keeping Track of the Fakers

Pinnacle Wall

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” ― Groucho Marx

Did anyone catch the fantastic program last night on Channel 4? Dispatches investigated the use of social media to create ‘fake’ buzz for brands. The program was called ‘Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans’. You can view more info here.

I was intrigued as to the response from agencies when questioned about their methods. They basically blamed the other agency they we’re outsourcing the work to. Is this a cop out or do we really not understand what our “social media” partners are doing during the course of a month. How are they acquiring all those Facebook ‘Likes’? how have they managed to get some ‘C’ list celebrity to tweet about their products?

Taking it back to the business owner, you employ a ‘Search’ or ‘Social’ media agency to market your service/product you expect that to be done in an ethical way. You don’t expect to have to read up on the latest Panda update so you understand what they should and should not be doing (although this is no bad thing).

I think the bottom line here is “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”. Be wary of companies saying they can get you X amount of followers in a few days, take your ‘Likes’ over 50k in a weekend. Done naturally, this isn’t an easy thing to do.

All this reminds of the ‘black hat’ days of SEO. Companies claiming to get you to the top of Google for $200. They’d then use tools like ‘Scrapebox’ and ‘Link Farms’ to rapidly increase the amount of links to your site and create content. Its just not worth it.

When your looking to appoint an agency, ask to speak to a couple of their long standing clients. And avoid anyone claiming huge increases in ‘Likes’ or ‘Followers’.

Have you had any experience with ‘Fake Likes’ or ‘Celebrity Tweets’?

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By Steven Burles

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