Book reviews are a powerful force, but it is the legitimate feedback and not fake posts that are drawing readers.
When it comes to promoting a product, few opportunities level the playing field in the same way as social media marketing, provided that those Facebook and Twitter advertising strategies are implemented in a highly effective way.
Some of the most successful campaigns have resulted from no- or low-budget efforts over social media.
That said, without a massive advertising budget, then the power of the social media marketing strategy comes from its effective implementation. Simply posting something on a Twitter account, for example, is obviously not going to cause a product to suddenly start flying off the shelves. In fact, it won’t even mean that very many people will ever even hear of it. While there are a tremendous number of different techniques that can be used to ensure the success of a social media advertising campaign, one of the most popular is through reviews.
Reviews, spread over social media marketing, are helping to draw attention to quality that customers have actually experienced.
Reviews are playing a role in the marketing of virtually every kind of product, from clothing to technology and from kitchen tools to books. That said, all reviews are not created equal. Therefore, a high impact social media campaign must not only be designed to generate the largest possible number of reviews, but also high quality feedback.
Today’s tech savvy consumer is aware of the fact that fake reviews have become a common practice by unscrupulous companies. Therefore, they have learned to recognize when reviews look a little bit too good to be true. There are many signs that can indicate that a review is not a legitimate one and this is a rapid turn-off for shoppers.
In the world of social media advertising, respecting the consumer – the book reader – is key to success.
Popular young adult book reviewer who blogs under the handle “Envirotodd” explained that “Some social media marketers use reviews in a pretty sneaky way. There are whole companies dedicated to providing fake reviews. But you can tell that they’re ‘off’ because they just don’t have the right kind of detail. I’m a book reviewer and I find it hilarious –and yet equally frustrating – when I see fake reviews of English books on Amazon and other stores, written by people who clearly haven’t read the book or even speak English, sometimes. In those cases, I’m 99 percent sure that they did not read the book, so I click their names and, sure enough, they’ve reviewed hundreds or even thousands of products! No typical customer reviews hundreds of products!”
Amanda Giasson, a fantasy fiction author of the Perspective book series, was equally unimpressed with the fake review trend. She stated that “The real power in a review is in making a real connection with a potential customer – in my case, a reader – by way of a current one. For that, the reviews need to be absolutely real. My co-author and I have been very selective when it comes to the reviews we’ve requested from bloggers. We’d rather have real readers and social media influencers spend time with our novel, ‘Love at First Plight’ and share their actual thoughts than just ask everyone we know to post something regardless of whether or not they’ve read it or, worse, hire someone to do it.”
Giasson pointed out that “the method we use involves reviews that are legitimate, which continue a steady build over time. It keeps people interested and maintains our sales. That’ll be very useful once the second book in the series is published. You can’t accomplish that with a blast of fake reviews!”
Kat Stiles, a fiction author who recently published her first ebook novel, “Connected”, also understands the power of quality book reviews over social media. Her strategy was to join forces with book reviewers and other authors to exchange their books, read them, and provide honest feedback over Goodreads and popular online bookstores. “Social media marketing has been one of my key strategies in marketing Connected, and I’ve focused the most on garnering as many book reviews as possible. For the unknown author, reviews are like gold – they’re a great way to assure the prospective buyer your book is worth purchasing.”
In social media marketing, reviews are important in numbers, but it is also critical to realize that the digital consumer now expects more than artificial, manufactured product feedback. One quality product review is worth more in social media advertising than twenty five fake testimonials, both in terms of immediate and long term benefits.