Don’t ruin your online reputation…
When the story came out we all knew that this is happening with and on rating and reviewing platforms, right? Companies hire and pay people to write something positive about their products. This was like a common unwritten law… But what happens if the truth comes out?
Let’s take the example of Belkin which was revealed by The Daily Background last week. The story on how a Belkin manager incentives people to write reviews on products sounds unbelievable, but less from the point of view of Belkin in my eyes.
It’s more the online reputation of the reviewers that I see as problematic and shows critical online behaviour. Furthermore, those who did not take money from Belkin will definitely not be happy – they stand in the line with ‚faked reviews‘.
Now that the story is spread all over the world, everybody who is interested is checking the reviewers. These people have taken 65 US cents to type some phrases about a product that will not be changing their career.
Let us think what you can buy from 65 US cents? Chewing-gum? A lolly? A plastic pen? It’s not worth thinking about the value, isn’t it? You cannot get rich writing reviews, can you? But you can when you have a fine and proper online reputation on the web.
So, why do people rate products if they have no clue about the technology? If you read the reviews of the Belkin case, you know that this is the case… 65 cents for a black spot in your personal online reputation? Not worth it, right?
The most problematic point about this is if somebody really had to say something positive about the companies technology and the product but now is mentioned in the same breath with the people who faked a products image by getting paid for a review. Although they might stand out from the ‚cheating ones‘ by choosing the right words, creating valuable content and being authentic in their point of view, it still can affect their online reputation. Not mentioning any kind of fairness topic…
And what if you do not know that this happened with a product review? If we do not have a personal web manager in place, we might never find out about it. Or do you know what you have written two years ago on some kind of shopping, e-commerce or social networking platform?
When we used to write letters to the editor, there was something to say in our eyes – it was our point of view. And it got forgotten after some days. The web does not forget. The web does create your personal DNA, your personal brand. The effort in the past was bigger: Typing, printing, stamping, walking to the post-office… Just because commenting, rating and creating content is easier today, we still should be thinking about what we are doing for our online reputation. So, you better don’t ruin it… or you can afford a personal web manager who is monitoring your personal DNA on the web.