Last week I visited Social Media Club – Chennai meeting, I heard few voices against the unethical Social Media Marketing activity taking place over the web, few were against the business happening over Social Media because they feel Social Media is for networking. All, I could say to them is “any place of meeting is for networking, in reality you meet, talk, exchange cards and business takes place. In social media, you read blog/ recommendations, follow / add, converse with them, know them and later the business happens. It’s almost same but, couldn’t answer ‘Why Unethical Social Media Marketing activity takes place’. As SEO specialists claim ‘We perform ethical SEO activities’, I think soon the social media marketers will have to claim the same.
SMM is an alternative way of starting a dialogue & multilogue over the web. Though it offers a huge forum discussion what’ s going in & out , over a period of time it has established immoral application in context to falsification of identity & getting divulge the latent clues which is not achievable otherwise. Now users have started exploiting the platform diplomatically in wake of mere communication.
I was just running a quick observation on web on various social media marketing activities and also inquired few experts in this space to list down the possible unethical social media marketing activities:
1. Marketers taking advantage of seeing a posting which is openly published and counter sells their product in form of comment ( posting links to their website and explaining about their cheap services / products in comparable to the host selling site)
2. Not sure, but there is possibility Social Media agencies calculate ROI in terms of number of visitors, number of blog comments, quality of comments etc. For the same reason agencies hire people to comment from different IP addresses and mislead the real audience + the client.
3. Many companies /movies/hotels today hire people or offer some free goodies to obtain positive reviews. This again misleads customers making decision.
4. LinkedIn groups face this problem where the genuineness of a group is lost because people keep posting link to their website, services, irrelevant blog posts etc without noticing the context of the group. People have started avoiding the discussion and news section in the groups because all they see is spam or a person promoting his / her site.
5. A representative of a company who poses as regular consumer to plug a product or service
6. Sending a friendship link resulting in a product description page.
7. People pushing their products or subtly advertising themselves in messages, in groups, questions or answers, regular tweets, etc.
8. Posting fake news, research report and facts just to obtain popularity.
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