Psst: They like you, but sorry … they’re fakes.

Punch line: Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2014 up to 15% of social media engagements could be fraudulent.

* * * * *

Excerpted from TechCrunch, “Fans, Likes And Reviews Will Be Fake By 2014, Says Gartner”

facebook-like-mobile-carriers

Fake fans, fake “likes” and fake reviews are some of the worst aspects of social media.

Now, new research from Gartner lays bare the fact that it’s only going to get worse.

The analysts predict that by 2014, some 10%-15% of all social media reviews and other forms of engagement will be fake, paid for by the companies getting endorsed.

Gaming social media is not exactly a new concept, but given it’s a space that in theory relies on the goodwill of the masses, doing so is a pretty sleazy art.

What makes it more difficult to parse is that a lot of it is hard to pin down.

Meanwhile, another class of social media marketeers appears to be emerging: those who are helping with “reputation defense”: that is, rather than flooding sites with paid endorsements, rising to the task of making sure the negative critiques are complemented by interaction and response (oh, and positive reviews) in a slightly more organic way.

Edit by JDC

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