The world of social media received a huge black eye this week after the Dallas Morning News report revealed the shenanigans one of the local PR firm used in an attempt to discredit the Nasher’s Museum supports of their claims the condo town next door was ruining their sculpture garden by reflecting sunlight into the garden. The PR firm, working for one a taxpayer property management firm’s account, stepped over to the Dark Side of Social Media by creating Fake Accounts on Facebook.
Dark Force Marketing Becomes Mainstream
I have been mentioning to my clients that these large PR firms will sometime use questionable methods of producing elevated levels of online interaction. That is why many businesses who hire these firms will get overwhelming interaction in their online social space, but when attempting to do the same thing on their own, get nothing.
Fake Accounts Are the Norm
Not all social media providers use Dark Side methods, but it seems a few do. In the case with the Nasher Museum’s advisory’s method of creating Fake Accounts in the social spaces to post negative or adversarial interaction is definitely one way the fake accounts are used. However, the most popular use of the fake profiles is to generate artificial interaction on a brand’s Facebook page or Twitter account in hopes it generates a buzz while will bring in the few Real People left on those social platforms.
I realize this information is not good news for many people and not info many people will like to hear or want to believe, but the fact is the dark side method of marketing online probably is used more often than not.
So what is a consumer to believe and what is a business to do to keep from being associated with the dark side of social media.
Believe in What You Can See
My answer remains the same. Believe in what you can puts you arms around and trust only what you have seen with your own eyes. This means in the online social spaces, get to know who it is interacting with you in the social space and trust only those who pass your test of trustworthiness.
Put Someone in Charge
This also means for businesses, someone has to monitor a brand’s social space to determine what is real and what is not. Unfortunately, the dark forces of social media knows this and is what was demonstrated in this report the Dallas Morning News published.
It is a crying shame the dark side of social media holds such a high presence online. What provokes this type of behavior has to do with the huge amounts of money businesses are willing to pay to alter their image or change their competitor’s image. This behavior has been going on since the beginning of time so what the solution to stopping the use of Dark Side Social Media has clearly not been found.
Do Right From the Beginning
If businesses would do their due diligence before they build something..like asking the question of the architect if they build a mirror faced building where will the sun reflex and on who? , most of the problems needing dark side social media would not be needed. In many cases, if a business would put the funds they spend on providing Dark Side methods of social media into hiring someone…or several someone…to be presence online all day building trust towards the brand, then the Dark Force of social media would not be needed.
Unfortunately, this incident reported this week will give my hometown of Dallas the image it is the hot bed for dark force social media. The reality is 99% of the businesses offering social media services here in Dallas would not touch using the fake accounts…or at least I hope the percentage is that high.
At least that is the way I see it..so let me know how I can help.