How Referral Marketing Appears to Be Quid Pro Quo
Social media through its interactive structure allows for referral marketing by leaving glowing comments about businesses to individuals. Unfortunately, there are some businesses through individuals who are taking advantage of this opportunity as reported by The Consumerist in their report on how to spot fake online reviews and it appears this is happening a lot.
This article was expanded upon in a blog over at EZlocal.com. Bottom line as easy as it is to post multiple reviews, it is just as easy to spot the fake ones.
What this all boils down to is the demonstration or lack thereof of clearly articulated positive core values or business ethics. Unfortunately all the external controls cannot control internal behaviors when it comes to ethics. Unethical behavior is a direct result of internal beliefs and this case that belief is “it is Okay to submit potentially fraudulent reviews.”
What continues to surprise me is that individuals within these companies fail to understand the Internet allows smart people (think educated potential customers) to check up on what businesses are doing. Through search engines such as Google to specific sites, someone can research your company and even you as a professional business individual.
So if you are looking for reviews through referral marketing, then make sure such requests are in alignment with your core values statement and business ethics within your strategic action plan. In this way, you will be the Red Jacket, be seen first for your values and secure your goal to increase sales.