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Are fake comments troubling you? You’re not alone

Jubin Mehta
29th Apr 2013
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Let’s begin with a cliché: Social Media has created a lot of hype recently. Everyone knows this and is well aware of the importance of a social media presence. But is creating a page and a profile good enough? Gautam Gandhi and Nikhil Pahwa’s session- Social Uncoference at the India Internet Day (organized by TiE Delhi-NCR) took an interesting turn when the audience wouldn’t budge from the topic of fake comments.The session which ideally one would have thought would talk about social media campaigns, calculating the ROI and such details concentrated mainly on fake comments.

What are these fake comments?

Once you make a Twitter Profile or a Facebook page, you’re bound to see these fake profiles posting random reviews about your product.

There are two kinds: The good ones and the bad ones. Both can be fake.

If they’re negative and follow a pattern, you know someone else has malicious intent and if they’re always good, you’re sure to be blamed of posting fake comments yourself.

The Details

On the face of it, the problem doesn’t seem so pervasive but everyone present in the hall was worrying about it. Some went to the extent of closing down their social media pages. “If we can’t do anything good, there’s no reason for us to keep it there and invite trouble,” said one.

Entrepreneurs tend to make social media profiles because they hear it from everyone and then don’t have a clue as to what to do with it. Initial superficial help from some ‘experts’ will tell you to post relevant content, post team images and such engaging stuff but it doesn’t usually work out.

You realize that it isn’t as simple as it looks and you’d have to outsource it. This is when the agencies come up and they’re known to be of disputable repute. Entrepreneurs are always under the doubt whether someone else would be able to give out the right message (and many a times, the charges seem exorbitant as well). And once the agency comes in, questions about ROI come into picture because there’s no real measurement metrics.

The Solution

The first thing one needs to understand is that it’s not easy to create a following. You’ll generally attract followers if you’re giving something people really want to know. In cases when your company relates to music, food, entertainment or news, it's a bit easier to attract a following but what about geeky product or something that doesn’t evoke much interest among the masses?

There’s no simple answer but before you start building a brand for a company, it’s always better to gain first hand experience by building your own identity. It’s easier and less risk prone because your company is not on the line. If you get the hang of it, social media becomes a part of life and it can be translated to the company.

Building a personal brand is again no mean task. The initial ride is uphill but the road gets straighter once you’re on it. Things that help:

1)      Make sense. Don’t be inspired by randomness or else that’s the kind of followership you’ll get (if at all).

2)      Get yourself associated with influential brands/people. A retweet/share from an influencer is always a step ahead on the road of social media glory. (Not by spamming them though)

3)      Always try to bring the offline relationships online

4)      Acknowledge. If you’ll like someone, the feeling will be reciprocated. Drop your ego.

5)      Don’t be self centric. Tell about things you do but also be receptive and appreciative of things happening around you.

6)      A bit of humour always helps.

These are some points to get one started but we'd like to know how your experiences have been with social media. Do share tactics that have worked, and ones which haven't.

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