Buying Reviews: Why it’s such a big deal

We’ve all seen the reviews, you know the ones, always 5 stars shouting about how the product was ‘life changing’ and boasts about how brilliant it is whilst not actually saying much about what is does. Like this one.

http://www.amazon.com/NatureWise-Coffee-Extract-Natural-Supplement/dp/B009VUZJTM
Source: Amazon Product page

Just by reading it we can tell that this is a fake review.

It can also go the other way, where competitors reach out and pay for negative reviews to by posted such as this one.

Source: http://affordablereputationmanagement.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/what-to-do-about-google-fake-reviews.html
Source: http://affordablereputationmanagement.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/what-to-do-about-google-fake-reviews.html

In relation to e-commerce the general concept behind a review is quite simply, it’s “an opportunity to rate and comment on products they have purchased” which other consumers can than read and take into consideration when making their own purchases.

It’s natural for marketers to want to make their product or service look the best, this has brought about the ethically questionable practice of buying reviews and with a PR firm Weber Shandwick finding that 83% of consumers say that online reviews do impact their perception of a company or a product, you can see why. There are a number of sites online where companies do actually advertise for review writers I know Craig’s List is a big one but there are also a number of lesser know sites such as short task, click worker.

You may be thinking that a couple of reviews don’t make much difference, I mean most of us could probably pick out a fake review anyway but “… a University of California study found that a Yelp rating increase of just half a star (on a scale of one to five) increased the likelihood of a restaurant selling out its 7:00 p.m. booking from 30 percent to 49 percent“ (National Ethics Association, 2012), not all people actually look at reviews some do just look at star ratings.

Ethics is not only for the big issues but for everyday life, we use ethical consideration when we thinking about how we will act, what decisions we will make. I wonder if marketers and those involved in this practice do truly consider the impact that fake reviews could make, not only on the choices of consumers but also on the company itself should consumers become aware.

If the general public find out about company’s buying reviews either to promote their own product or to take down a competitors product, it does have the potential to bring down your business. Consumers may boycott you and spread negative feedback around which can destroy the businesses reputation so is it really worth it?

Have a think and let me know from the perspective of a marketer (ignoring ethics) do you see any value in fake reviews and then taking ethics into account do you think it would be worth the risk?
Personally have you ever encountered a fake review and accidentally based your decision on it?

Thanks for reading 🙂

If you want to know what to look out for in identifying fake reviews feel free to check out the link below
http://www.techlicious.com/tip/how-to-tell-if-a-review-is-fake/
If you’re thinking about buying reviews here’s some more information to consider
http://www.inc.com/michael-fertik/buying-fake-online-review-6-things-to-know.html 

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PPC what’s the deal?

I’ve noticed this week a lot of people talking about how good SEO’s (search engine optimisation) are and I totally agree but then I got thinking… why? What is so bad about PPC (pay per click) advertising that we’re all pretty much saying to leave it, so here it is the good and the bad of PPC.

Pay Per Click if you didn’t know are the annoying yellowish boxes that appear at the top of your search and also down the side bar.

sourced from  https://www.hb-web-design.com/online_advertising/
sourced from
https://www.hb-web-design.com/online_advertising/

Pay Per Click actually has some benefits so like the name says you only pay when someone clicks, so it’s not like traditional advertising how you pay X amount and you don’t know exactly what you get for it with PPC you know you’re getting views when you have to pay.

Of course PPC could become very expensive so you are also able to set a budget of course this means that once you reach your limit your ad will no longer appear in the PPC area until the pay period resets. (If you want to know how much should be spent on PPC click here)
Unlike SEO you can be very specific with your PPC ad, it wouldn’t be very handy to have someone clicking on your ad in America if it is a cleaning service based only in Australia because it would cost you money and nothing would come of it. So with PPC you can set a specific time for your ad to be shown and also set a location. By doing this you can reach your target market pretty much all the time.
Using PPC as opposed to just relying on an organic search can show results more quickly, to appear near the top in an organic search (63% of people don’t look beyond the top results) it can take copious amounts of time and effort but with PPC you can be up the top right away and see an improvement in views potentially really quickly.

Now for the not so good

Organic searches beat PPC a large proportion of the time. A lot of people skip paid ads and go straight to the organic searches those who do click are more often than not women and as age increases so does the likelihood of clicking on paid ads (for more info click).
PPC is NOT easy you need to have a sound strategy, know your target market and have a little bit of creativity. In order to set up a PPC ad you really do need to have someone with the skills showing you how and explaining it to you so you don’t make a big mistake.
AND OF COURSE it charges you for each click, even if nothing comes from the click it could even just have been a mistake by the user but the company will have to pay for each and every click.

In terms of value Im still with SEO over PPC but I now see there is actually some value to it, what do you think?
What situations do you think a PPC would be better over an SEO?

Thanks for reading
Websites with more info:
http://www.newmediacampaigns.com/page/seo-vs-ppc—which-provides-you-the-better-value
http://searchengineland.com/5-incredibly-practical-reasons-ppc-2015-211611
https://www.google.com.au/adwords/benefits/
http://www.burningflameinteractive.com/aj-burning-flame-blog/pros-and-cons-of-pay-per-click-ppc-marketing

I Can Hardly Keep Track of my Dog!

10408606_1042349242447429_7409377110357265680_nThis is my dog, she’s a beautiful chubby 10 year old cavi named Sadie, she may be chubby but damn she’s sneaky.

For example yesterday afternoon I thought she was asleep on the couch next to me as she had been for the past two hours but I went go to pat her and she’s gone. I found her 20 minutes later, next to the couch behind the curtain eating something she’d pulled out of the bin (I’m thinking about putting a bell on her or something)… if I can’t keep track of my dog how am I going to managed to keep track of between 3000-5000 ‘things’?

In 20 years it is predicted that we could be in contact with up to 5000 ‘things’ via smart devices, for me with my not exactly smart phone that seems really excessive but who knows in 20 years that could be the norm.

If I could tag my keys with something so I can find them from my phone when I lose them that would be brilliant (If I could find my phone via my keys that would be even better considering I seem to lose one or the other on a daily basis but never both), but this evolving network of everything is going to make it so much easier to keep track of many more things, which could turn us into a more efficient society, airlines for example can utilise the data available now to be more efficient imagine what more they could do in a few more years.

The health industry could be revolutionised with an increased ability for hospitals and doctors to monitor and manage patients inside their practices and during a patient’s day to day life, which is fantastic and could save lives.

My dog Sadie
My dog Sadie

Being able to connect with 5000 ‘things’ seems like a lot and I don’t know how much of it will actually be useful, I don’t want to know who’s sitting in a chair or watching tv… but being able to find my keys (or mobile) and my dog without searching all over the house only to find her less than a meter from where I was sitting would be nice.

Now throwing it open:
I want to know, do you think this level of connectivity is a good thing? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
What use could this growing information be to marketers?
OR
Is there something you really wish you had tagged so you could find it easier?

All these mobile apps and I have none

This is my phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia x10 mini pro

source: http://whatsapp.imovil.org/sony-ericsson-xperia-x10-mini-pro-u20
source: http://whatsapp.imovil.org/sony-ericsson-xperia-x10-mini-pro-u20

You may recall seeing it in the hands of Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider Man… that’s right Spider Man uses my phone (well a spiderman)andrew-garfield-amazing-spider-man-2-unmasked… well probably did because you see this came out in 2010.

I’ve managed to keep my phone for 5 years where in that time my best friends have gone from a nondescript sony ericsson to an iPhone 4 and then onto the iPhone 5… I can’t remember if they have the 6 now, I don’t beyond it beyond its an iPhone, even though my phone can’t exactly be called a smart by today’s standards (forever stuck at Android OS 2.3), it is still a smart phone and therefore impacted by mobile marketing.

With 78% of us using our phone while we shop, myself included (got to check those prices) mobile marketing has become so very important.

In order for mobile marketing to be successful it has to

  1. Indvidualise its activities, take into account your preferences
  2. Involve you
  3. Initiate the creation of user-generated content
  4. Integrate its activities into your life to avoid being an annoyance
    source

If you loomogul_logo_Brand1k at Domino’s mobile apps they have done a good job at meeting these, it saves your preferences to make ordering easier, it invites you to create pizzas with its pizza mogul and whilst you are invited to order by emails, text messages, etc it’s never a total nuisance.
So many companies now have mobile ordering apps to save time and entice you to order by making your ordering process as smooth as possible, it’s great… for those of you who can utilise them, I’ll just sit here with my little phone and wait for the automated text messages from the local bar or dominos inviting me to spend money.

What do you think of all the emerging mobile ordering apps? Are they any good?

Making Sense of Twitter Analytics- How to be Seen on Twitter (Basics)

Let me say this outright, when it comes to analytics I have no idea what I’m doing so we shall see where this goes.

So Avinash Kaushik states that [digital] analytics is “the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline)”.
So basically organisations can use it to see who’s clicking on what and what they are doing and in anaylsing these, they can put in place changes or implement plans get more viewers to the organisations end goal (macro conversion) whether that be a sale or a sign up or something else but how can we apply analytics for average everyday people using social media to get their opinions out there?

Well I’ll see if I can help…
Basically about a a week or a week and a half ago I got an email from twitter about using twitter analytics, I decided to have a little looksie and this is what I got,

Screenshot from NatDavis12 Twitter Analytics
Screenshot from NatDavis12 Twitter Analytics

I was surprised with the information it gave me about my account but to be completely honest… I had no idea what to do with it, but after a bit of looking around, I got the gist about what it was telling me and what I could take away from it to try and be seen more in the twitter universe.

NatDavis12 Twitter Analytics Graph
NatDavis12 Twitter Analytics Graph

When I analysed this graph I found out that the peaks in impressions (people who saw my tweets, represented by the blue) happened when I used established hashtags for example on July 24th the (biggest peak) I was watching a musical with friends and before it started I used the theatre company hashtag in my tweets.
I’ve also been able to identify that majority of my favorites or retweets came from my tweets about dance, not really surprising considering majority of my followers are also dancers, which bring me to my next piece of advice be relevant or exciting, if your passion isn’t shared by your followers then grab their interest (decent click-bait)
Generally speaking tweeting more often, will get you more views however don’t spam your followers spread them out by a few hours, majority of people log in at different time so by spreading out your tweets you reach a greater audience, for example I’ve found about 2/3 of my followers live in different time zones by tweeting at different times I reach more of them.

So that’s just a couple of really basic tips I’ve been able to come up with using my twitter analytics data. Anyway that’s just twitter for a average user like myself for a more in depth look at analytics on twitter click here.

Is there any kind of information that you think is more important than others with analytics? or more specifically do you think knowing where a person found your link (where they clicked from) is important to a great extent than just knowing where you should advertise?

Please leave a comment below 🙂

For the Love of Twitter

I’ll say it, I LOVE twitter!

Those 140 characters are perfect for getting straight to the point, but even though twitter doesn’t seem to be as popular as other forms of social media there is no doubt in my mind that it is still a brilliant resource.

When it comes to TV shows, we want to watch everything now and due all the streaming sites popping up, chances are we can but the increase in live tweeting especially by stars of shows during episodes are drawing people back to allocated TV times. People want to be engaged and in giving them the opportunity to live tweet with some of their favourite stars of shows is a brilliant incentive to pull them back to television viewing. A study has found that in the “18-34 year olds, a 4.2% increase in tweets corresponded to a 1% rise in TV ratings for a mid-season episode”  http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2013/03/20/can-twitter-save-live-tv/.
So using live tweeting by cast or writers to entice people to watch ‘new’ episodes for the first time on TV does bring in more viewers, for example I love to hate Dance Moms, literally the only reason I make the effort to watch any more is to join in the live tweets during new episodes… and it’s still a little bit entertaining, but the attraction of live tweets does entice me and many others to watch together rather than find it online.

Even moving away from shows and looking at a physical product twitter has some merit, seriously… ever heard of Exploding Kittens?photo-original
I have and I first heard about it on twitter, it did eventually pop up on my Facebook but that was only after a few of my friends had found and liked their page (how’s that for some sociological theory of homophily), the creators used basically every form of social media to market this thing, but their use of twitter in not only communicating updates but also answering question, giving advice about game play and just general funsies was just and continues to be phenomenal.

Exploding kittens

Untitled

I think twitter is pretty brilliant, it makes it fairly easy for anyone to be social. Professional actors, established companies or people trying to build a brand can use twitter and be active (it only takes a few seconds to write a tweet), be interesting (140 characters if done right can certainly grab your attention), be humble (allow feedback, twitter gives everyone a say), be unprofessional (there’s no room for professional in 140 characters) and be honest (the internet is full of information, if you’re dishonest people will find out).

So yeah, I think twitter is a great marketing tool for anyone but what do you think?
Do you think that the limited allowance of character is a disadvantage for those trying to promote or do you think it’s a good system?
Is there a better way for tv shows to improve rating instead of doing live tweets?

And just wanting to throw this open a bit do you think the theory of homophily which is basically the theory that ‘people chose to associate with individual similar to themselves’, (the way Facebook decides what to advertise to you) is a good way for organisation to attract more followers/likes/viewers/consumers?

So yeah let me know
Thanks for reading

Heads up if you’ve never heard of Exploding Kittens feel free to browse
http://www.explodingkittens.com/
http://wtkr.com/2015/07/31/exploding-kittens-how-an-8-8-million-kickstarter-became-a-real-business/