Social media has been twisted for profit and gain. Furthermore some unscrupulous Marketers are using some nasty tactics to pull the wool over your eyes. Here are just a few ways they are leveraging social media platforms for their fun and their profit.
Social media has evolved into a thinly veiled pay-to-play marketing platform. Your content is only exposed to a tiny percentage of your followers unless you “boost” it. “Boost” is doublespeak for advertise. Content you pay to put in front of an audience is an ad…
Brand riding is when one brand hitches onto the reputation of a greater brand. A school that stacks up affiliations is brand riding. As an example, we at Enrollment Resources have been telling everyone who will listen that we were the only EDU marketing company invited to the Google Paid Search Round Table… ha! That’s an example of ER unabashedly riding the Google brand.
But some social media agencies troll the feeds of more reputable brands on Social Media platforms. Not so cool. A blatant lame example is the person who inserts their multi level marketing messaging into serious discussion threads.
If you want to be instantly more relevant on Twitter or Instagram, you can buy a couple thousand fake followers. This makes you instantly relevant in the eyes of Twitter. Not so cool. How many people use this tactic? I dont know.
If you have crappy online reviews, you can hire a specialist agency to crowd the negative reviews to the second page of Google, Yelp, etc. by frontloading positive posts. Only 5% of people on Google will bother with the second page, so it’s like banishing the bad reviews to a digital cave.
There’s a small army of people who will write fake testimonials for a fee. Some of you are doing this, and you know who you are. There’s a guy in London who made a living with this kind of work. As a social experiment, he created a fake restaurant with the goal of shifting its ranking from #18000 to #1. He and his buddies pumped all kinds of fake testimonials out to see if people would pile on, and they pulled it off (to rave reviews) in just six months….for a restaurant that didn’t exist….whoa!
Sugging is Selling Under the Guise of a false premise, and it’s a crappy thing to do to people. In the old days guys would pop in to an office offering a business efficiency review without explaining they make their money selling copiers and fax machines. If you agreed to that, you were SUGGED. It’s a very common social media tactic that we’ve all experienced. Sugging is opaque at best, and a bait and switch at worst. This is where your Facebook friend suddenly morphs into a multi-level marketer, right before your eyes. Ouch, unfollow.
I guess what I am getting at is that social media is rife with manipulation and deception. If you’re using these kinds of practices, be forewarned: the market is catching on, becoming jaded and will punish you as only digital natives can. If you are running this kind of crap out of your school, best stop now. If a marketing company is handling your social media accounts and strategy, grill them on their tactics, put restrictions in your contracts and be vigilant.
Buyer beware folks…
Co-founder Enrollment Resources