Dishonesty Hurts! The Importance of Social Sincerity.

Dishonesty Hurts! The Importance of Social Sincerity.

October 26th, 2012

When it comes to all social media interactions for brands, there’s one principle (other than “content is king” and “images rule” and “be engaging!”, anyway) that should always rule: Honesty. Here’s a guide to how-- and why-- honesty drives success on the social web.

There was an excellent article on Social Media Today on how honesty is the best policy when it comes to writing online reviews. The article has a few illuminating facts about online reviews vs. word of mouth:

  • While word of mouth remains the most popular form of review (82%), over two-thirds (66%) of consumers look to the Internet for research and reviews.
  • 85% of consumers used the Internet at least once in the past year to find a local business.
  • Over three-quarters (76%) of consumers say they either occasionally or regularly use online reviews to determine which business/brand to use.
  • Over half (58%) of consumers trust a business that has a positive review.

Alas there are some unscrupulous people in the world who try to circumvent the rules and create fictitious positive reviews with the intent of impressing the masses. A New York Times article reported recently on an investigation by Yelp that uncovered businesses paying clients to post fake positive reviews with provided text. A number of businesses were penalized, and all have warnings posted to their review pages for the next three months.

Experts expect that, as awareness of fake reviews rise, social shaming of businesses who pay for fake reviews will become a common practice, hurting the credibility and reputation of those companies. Do you agree? Would you ignore a business that paid for fake reviews-- or do you feel it would be appropriate for your company to pay clients to post positive reviews? Let us know in the comments section!