Published on April 20th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Can you really buy social media recommendations?
In the last decade, social media has undoubtedly become one of the top tools for promoting business messages and brand values, there’s no doubt about that. And while there are some general practices that are normally followed, each business or individual has their own preferences when it comes to brand promotion and news distribution.
The key to social media success? Your accounts have to be genuine! Like Natalie mentioned in a previous blog, using automation software like HootSuite takes away the believability aspect of your social media account – because you can schedule updates using these programmes, your followers know you’re not really there so they start to doubt your commitment.
And it’s a similar story when it comes to fans and recommendations. Although it’s only a 140 character message, tweeting a recommendation takes time and effort – a customer recommendation shows that your customers have taken time out to tell others how great your services are.
So social media success is all about integrity and honesty right? Well Air New Zealand don’t seem to think so. They’ve announced they’re trialling a new ‘FanDistribution’ program which rewards customers for every social media recommendation they make that turns into a booking for their new 777-300 Premium Economy Spaceseat. In simple terms they’re going to give customers £50 for every Twitter, Facebook or blog recommendation that turns into an economy booking. Hmmm…
Is it just me or this defy everything we’ve ever believed about social media? Initiatives like this mean social recommendations risk becoming aligned with TripAdvisor recommendations (I mean, really, who believes them anymore?!). Offering incentives to recommend services or products seems like a bit of a trick – if what you’re offering is so good, why do you need to pay someone to recommend it?
My advice? Focus on offering the best services and products for your customers and the recommendations (free ones I hasten to add!) will come in time!