Last night Channel 4 aired its eagerly awaited (mostly by us industry folk) episode on the scamming that goes on within social media marketing. The tabloid like documentary highlighted how brands can unnaturally grow their online engagement figures whilst also exposing some of the darkside practices that rogue agencies and celebrities undertake to promote products.
Celeb endorsements and paid for brand recognition are nothing new and most consumers are savvy to the fact. Not sure what the shock tactic of exposing this part was. However, the element that exposed the unscrupulous, or as we call it ‘The Darkside’, tactics of so called ‘gurus’ and ‘Like Farms’ was of interest.
Such tactics are well reported in the digital marketing industry and dismissed as rubbish and worthless by any agency or consultancy worth their weight (ahem, like is, ahem). In fact, we’ve blogged about this issue before on a post called ‘Organic Social Media‘ which details these scrupulous tactics and why they’re pointless and of no value.
The deep routed point of social media is that your message is shared via your fans. So how is your message going to be shared if all of your 15,000 fans is one man in a small room in Delhi? What is the worth of that? Nothing.
Programme’s like this are good in that they will hopefully make brands realise that it’s not all about followers of Like numbers. The basic number to measure is a brands engagement and message reach, followed by website traffic and other useful metrics that will tell you a lot more than 15,000 fake followers.
So by all means make sure you have a good following, but get your messaging and engagement right and the numbers will grow.