Brand Managers Ruin Online Reviews

what does content marketing cost

Do you want to make an easy $95 per hour, from the comfort of your own home?  Keep reading to find out how!

Brand managers, SEO’s, reputation managers; it doesn’t matter what you call them, it’s all marketing – and as Seth Godin once wrote- all marketers are liars.  Which is why people generally hate them.  The worst thing they’re doing is destroying people’s trust in online reviews on sites such as Yelp, at $95 per hour.

I came across this ad in Craigslist:

brand managers are crooks ad

We are Brand Managers,

We are looking to bring on top quality team members from Orange County that love to leave reviews online, like to try new products and services and are true professionals.

What we do:
We work directly with local brands and businesses that want to increase their online brand and reputation. Everything is done professionally and legally. We contract companies that give us access to their products and services for free. In return we test the products and services and if we like them, leave positive reviews. A simple example might be a local pizza restaurant looking to have better exposure on Yelp. They send us free pizza to try. If we like it we leave a review. If we don’t we give feedback how to improve their product. Once improved we try it again for free and leave positive reviews.

Who we are looking for:
We need people with existing Yelp accounts. Can’t have accounts created recently, must have some age on them. We also need people with strong writing skills. Each review is no more than a paragraph. Lastly, you need to be willing to try out products and services. If for example you are not able to go to a hair salon, let us know. But if you can, we will send you there (as an example) to try out the service for free and report back.

What we offer:
The rate of payment is $95/hour and you work from home. You are paid twice a month on the 15th and end of month. Additionally you will be send products and services to try out for free.

The brand managers are paying $95 per hour.

No, I imagine that in the technical sense, what they’re doing could be perfectly legal.  But, would you trust any reviews on Yelp if you knew a business could have bought every 4 or 5 star review from a brand manager?

Where Else to Find Brand Managers?

What about Amazon reviews?  How about the reviews on websites like Glassdoor or Google?

The wonderful thing about online reviews is that they let you know what someone’s real world experience with a product or service was: the good, the bad, and the positively heinous.

“Brand managers” like the one looking for freelance reviewers in the aforementioned Craigslist ad are wrecking one of the best things about the internet – transparency.

Review brokers are destroying the credibility of all reviews left online. How can we separate fact from fiction?

No website can prevent fake reviews from going up, but we can all reasonably expect that some effort would be expended to prevent this kind of abuse.  So, what is being done?

If I found this Ad, I imagine that Yelp could have just as easily done so.  Yet, this business seems to be going about the process of buying and selling Yelp reviews just fine.

How Many Fake Review Sellers?

According to this article in WebPro News dated February, 2016:

“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced settlements with Machinima, Inc. and three other companies in separate investigations regarding the companies’ role in posting fraudulent content on the Internet. This includes fake Yelp reviews.”

That was one short year ago, and apparently the New York AG’s actions haven’t discouraged other brand managers from entering the business of fake reviews.

Is the Online Review Dead?

Once online reviews have lost all credibility, consumers will be back to square one when it comes to determining who to trust online.

From the company that buys good reviews to misrepresent a crappy product, to the corporation that uses fake reviews to attract new staff to a horrendous work environment – they’re liars and crooks.

Brand managers are killing the credibility and trust people have in a system that only works when it is ruthlessly pruned of misrepresentation.  If we can’t trust the Amazons, Yelps, and other review based sites to keep the process honest, how can we trust doing business with them at all?

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