As money pours into the paid ratings and reviews industry, Gartner estimates that between 10 to 15 percent of all social media reviews will be fake by 2014.
Do you believe it? The study also projected that these paid reviews will get “at least two Fortune 500 brands” in hot water with the FTC. The problem has generated lots of criticism from Amazon readers, including this cynical infographic: How To Read Amazon Review Graphs.
Senior research analyst Jenny Sussin explained in the release: “With over half of the Internet’s population on social networks, organizations are scrambling for new ways to build bigger follower bases, generate more hits on videos, garner more positive reviews than their competitors and solicit ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages … Many marketers have turned to paying for positive reviews with cash, coupons and promotions including additional hits on YouTube videos in order to pique site visitors’ interests in the hope of increasing sales, customer loyalty and customer advocacy through social media ‘word of mouth’ campaigns.” (Via TechCrunch)