No doubt you will have read about companies that have made the mistake of purchasing fake followers, or created fake customer reviews. While it may be tempting to engage in this activity yourself, or to pay a company to do it for you, it can actually be a costly exercise. Customers don’t like brands that are found to be obviously trying to deceive them. Companies that have been found engaging in this type of false marketing have suffered as a result.
Here’s a little example that will really illustrate what we mean.
If you made a new friend, you would get to know them, spend time talking to them, and learning about their interests and activities. They would do the same for you. This mutual sharing of information would help the bond of friendship between you grow, and from this would develop trust and a stronger connection. Over time it would become a true friendship with loyalty, and a genuine knowledge of each other.
Now imagine if after some time of connecting and appreciating your friend, you discover it was all a fake, based on lies and that none of it was true. How would you feel and what would you do? Most people would lose their feelings of trust, and they would feel deceived. They would also be less likely to continue with the friendship.
This is exactly the same reaction customers have when they discover a brand has deceived them.
Building your business in a superficial way with fake followers and fake reviews is not just cheating your customers. It is also diminishing the value of your brand. It is not possible to build up your reputation as a knowledgeable, leading, and reputable name in the industry if your online customer activity is false.
If you are found out, it will damage any relationships you do have with genuine followers or customers. And of course, negative publicity and scandal travels even faster online than good news does!
We understand the pressures businesses are under to beat the competition and carve a large niche online, but don’t be tempted to take shortcuts by using fake methods which simulate growth and popularity, they can easily backfire.
Our advice is to be strong and steady, patiently building your genuine following by presenting a truthful and reputable brand. Avoid companies claiming to help you ‘get’ Facebook likes, followers on Twitter or any other such artificial nonsense. You will be wasting your money. If you have already had problems of this sort, find yourself an excellent Reputation Management team who can help you repair the damage and work toward rebuilding your brand’s reputation.