Part of what I do for a living is consult with Small, Big, and Individual clients on “On Line Reputation” and Management, my job is to have eyes and ears everywhere in the Social Media world and various platforms and to investigate-vet for the credibility, integrity, authenticity of profiles-people-companies.
I recently shared an article by Percy Lipinski who talks about his time of working for CNN as a ICNN reporter and being there when a ICNN Reporter bought $$$ hundreds of thousands of fake views and what that did to the moral of other ICNN Reporters and how CNN dealt with it etc… I also had the honor of interviewing him on the subject matter as well which was quite fascinating.
As I get numerous emails from my Social Media Tribe, my staff, the people I have investigating and vetting for me, I thought I would share some tips. I will NOT be calling out or naming individuals yet, instead giving you tips on what to look for and what to avoid. At the end of the day whom you associate with, within Social Media not only affects You and Your brand…. It also affects your friends, associates and those around You. Your Ripple Effect -think of it this way, if You are friends with and are commenting on a person’s wall who is sharing false information, doing black hat tactics to drive their social media scores up, or scamming people, Your tribe, Your friends then because they TRUST You, will then also like, recommend and or do what that person is doing too!
Example: I recently had a client who saw someone they knew and trusted, then liked and commented on a post from someone who claimed that if you disconnected your Klout Account and then contacted Klout and complained your Klout score was too low that they would bump your Klout score by 10 points. The person’s post was claiming that they could TEACH You how to get your Klout score up by 10 points within up to 72 hours. (Now I am paraphrasing here). Unfortunately, for my client, who then emailed me and said I am sooo sorry, I did ____, and then of course proceeded to tell me they had contacted Klout and found out it was NOT true, and now they were having to start all over. I asked why they just didn’t inbox me first, and their reply was, I saw, so and so like and comment on the post, so I thought it was true.
Now let’s get to some tips, these tips apply across all of Social Media Platforms:
- Don’t automatically friend somebody because they have hundreds of Mutual friends, go check out their page, see what they are posting.
- Click on their PROFILE picture and see if there are comments like, why are using a fake picture, or that is not you, I have seen that picture elsewhere etc.
- Check their photo albums are there more than only ONE picture of themselves, are the images consistant.
- Before following anybody’s advice on disconnecting your platforms, buying followers, following people blindly ask yourself, what will that do for You or Your business?
- If You want others to Trust You, You are going to have to Model that behavior.
Example: Empire Avenue Missions: If you want others to do Your missions with integrity, give Clear instructions, give incentives for them to do your missions with integrity. Don’t say in your mission description, “I report and block thieves”. Instead say, I buy additional stocks in people that complete my missions, I send out Thank You tweets etc…
*Before spending lots of money on Social Media tools ask yourself, how will this help me and or your company? Anyone telling you they are spending $$$ of dollars on Social Media tools a month or telling you to buy this or that may only have their best interest in mind. First, find out the size of their company, what their reputation is, what does their fans and tribe base look like, what is their ROI- Return on investment.
*Another thing to look for is sometimes people post mis-information or something just to irritate You, just to get LIKES and COMMENTS, to drive their Social Media scores up, so just ignore it, don’t comment, don’t like it, just leave it alone.
And… I am going to end with the below as this as this is an never ending topic…
If You see a friend, co-worker, someone you care about, associating with someone You know to be a scammer or doing black hat tactics, then Please do for them as you would want them to do for You. I do not recommend that you inbox people and call people out, that is not the way to warn or protect those you care about. Just email them and say hey I would love to catch up, let’s have a phone call and then you can discuss what is on your mind. At the end of the day that person will take what you are saying as Feedback and that You were only looking out for them or… they will take it as criticism and feel You are making them wrong or stupid. For the most part people don’t like having egg in their face. However… Think of this…
Example: What if… You had a next door neighbor who abused your child, would you just never say anything because you didn’t want others knowing your child got abused and you were embarrassed or would you want to do something to make sure no other person got hurt. Yes, this is an extreme example, however, having a business, brand, reputation ruined is no small matter when it comes to your financial success and supporting you and your family either. I have seen a lot of businesses lose a lot of $$$ over many things in my life.
- Share quality content that informs, empowers, and inspires others.
- Be authentic, share yourself, show your personality, your passions, and let people know what you do for a living without over promoting yourself.
- Include others on your pages, promote others quality writing and information.
- Give incentives and ample Thank You’s.
- Ask quality, thought provoking questions that engage others.
- Create an empowering, trustworthy, passionate Tribe of fans and supporters.
Enjoy your Social Media, it is an incredible world where You can meet some amazing people and form some incredible business ventures and collaborations.
To Your Success ~ Carly Alyssa Thorne
Great info here! Thanks so much.
Glad you enjoyed the article Eric, and glad it was helpful
Very good article Carly! It is a shame that so many people out there do use fraudulent ways to boost their profiles only to make themselves look better. Like Miriam posted before me, when people use those wrong techniques it will always come back to haunt them. I am looking forward to your new posts.
We are all wrestling with issues that were unheard of even a few years ago. I strongly agree that you must avoid black hat tactics for both ethical and practical reasons. Buying fans or followers is both deceptive and ineffective. Plus, it actually hurts your influence scores as virtually all of the sites measure influence based upon ENGAGEMENT not the number of fans. It has a strong negative impact on your Facebook Edgerank as fake fans don’t engage.
The actions of your fans are tougher to take responsibility for. There will always be get rich quick, get fans quick, get influence quick schemes – snake oil salesmen have been around forever and seem to love social media. I certainly do everything I can to promote sensible social media strategies and to avoid endorsing unethical practices. That said, people also have to take responsibility for their own actions. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone promises to make you influential or rich WITHOUT telling you it will take hard work, run the other way. If someone tells you they have the “answer’, the one and only “secret formula”, or a magic book with all the wisdom of the internet in it, run the other way.
To be clear: There’s nothing wrong with buying books, taking webinars, joining groups, or paying for online tools that make you more effective while delivering reasonable ROI. That’s how you gain knowledge and build your business. Just don’t look to any “guru’ to give you success overnight. Success (and influence) is something you earn.
It’s one thing if someone is rich and just wants to spend a ton of money to make themselves visible. (There were plenty of money who spent tens of thousands of dollars playing Mafia Wars. Not something I would do, yet it made them happy and they could afford it.) My concern is that some of the people I see doing this are just taking a blind leap,investing money they can’t afford to lose, with a vague idea that it will lead to success. Certainly it can — I’m a marketer and I advise people to invest in marketing, including social media, to achieve their goals. First, though, you need to know what you are working to achieve and have a clear plan for making it happen. Otherwise, you might as well throw that money out the window.
It is hard to know all the people you follow on social media. Unless you are really careful with who you follow.
Thanks for all of the Great Comments Lynn O’Connell great food for thought for everyone
Great article, Carly!
Carly Alyssa Thorne this was brilliant info. And I want to add that I spend nothing on social media (other than outsourcing for clients however, that is a different story all together).. I spend nothing on MY social media work and I am doing quite well with it 🙂 People really do need to realize that they are doing online and who they are interacting with. If they are making any huge blunders, that will be quite harmful for them in the end. If they are not aware they are making huge mistakes online, it is good that this info is out there for them!
I totally agree that buying followers is a foolish way to spend money. I don’t see any problem, though, with spending money on account management tools, ads, or subscriptions. The key is to keep the expenditure in line with your budget. Advertising and marketing tools are designed to deliver results. That means you make more money than you spend. Maybe not overnight, but within a reasonable period of time based upon a sensible business plan, not a dream. Dream big, yes. Spend big — no. Not until your idea has proven it will provide a return on your investment.
Thanks Miriam I am glad you like the Article and thanks for adding your thoughts on Social Media tool spending. Have a great new week
I’m a marketer and I advise people to invest in marketing, including social media, to achieve their goals. First, though, you need to know what you are working to achieve and have a clear plan for making it happen. Otherwise, you might as well throw that money out the window.
Investing in the Stock Market.