Social Medias Impact on Consumer Behavior
With today’s technology the use of social media has taken the world by storm, with millions of people able to rate, review and share opinions on products at the palm of their hands. The high usage of social media sites is creating a new medium for companies to communicate with consumers on a personal level they were not able to years ago. With the usage of smartphones sky rocketing consumers are now able give their “two cents” about products or services the second they experience them. This is an essential element for companies and consumers because social media allows them to view reactions about new products, whether they are negative or ...view middle of the document...
Businesses are negatively effecting the reputation of sites like Yelp towards a motto of “Paid People. Fake Reviews.”.
Companies know the high importance consumer reviews play in the decision making process, that is why many companies are paying for five star reviews to falsely boost the ratings of their business on review sites. In February of 2011 a case was discovered that centered around this issue. The owner of a home improvement company in Texas was found posting advertisements online seeking a writer who could post 25 positive reviews on eight different popular consumer review sites (Weise). Efforts to boost sales through consumer reviews like this are becoming an issue for websites and consumers trust in these websites. A study has shown for some products or services up to 30% of the reviews posted on review sites can be fake (Weise).
Social media review sites are making efforts to monitor the content on their websites and dispose of any falsified posts as quickly as possible. Companies such as Yelp must do this in order to maintain their valued reputation in consumers eyes for their reviews to remain profitable and trustworthy. Yelp is making efforts to warn their consumers of the falsified posts by paid businesses in a humorous way. Yelp is flagging company’s pages who have been caught paying someone to post a positive review with a notification stating “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews”, which will remain on their page for 90 days (Fiegerman). Efforts like this are being made by many companies to keep review posts honest and reliable, since they know how much opinions mean to consumers and their purchasing behaviors.
Widely known tech companies are sponsoring research to analyze popular websites review boards. Microsoft put $138,000 towards this type of research to study close to 6 million reviews on the popular online retailer Amazon.com (Weise). The researchers have discovered some trends among the fake posts found on the website. Some of the key signs of fake reviews found were duplicate reviews across a different number of similar products (Weise). The research also analyzed that members on these sites that post falsified reviews do not remain members on the sites for a long period of time (Weise).
The prestigious University Cornell has also conducted a study on consumer’s ability to decipher what reviews are actually legit. They have concluded that consumers believe they are good at telling when someone is lying, but actually aren’t very good when put to the test (Weisbaum). Some steps consumers can take to avoid scams from fake reviewers are to look for reviews that seem to be over the top, and make the product or service seem perfect advising you should purchase it right now (Weisbaum). You should look for detail within the review, if the review just lists details about the product and not about the actual performance, reliability or overall value of the product it is often a falsified review...