Astrosurfing and Online Reputation Management

Stiff business competition has compelled lot of companies to engage in so-called astrosurf marketing or “astroturfing.” This rather controversial process involves creating artificial buzz to support a less popular policy, individual or product, or a breach of the basic rules implemented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For the record, astroturfing doesn’t happen exclusively in the business sector/.

Astroturfing is mostly rooted in politics. An “astroturf” initiates a movement in support of a particular point of view or opinion, usually with funding from big groups or corporate entities. Since the victims are often the uninformed public, astroturfing typically boils down to deceptive measures. This is one of the major issues on the Internet that has led to the creation and development of what online marketers call online reputation management.

Effective online reputation management by no means involves manipulating the facts. Aside from the ethical implications, the FTC also outlaws fake reviews and other signs of deceptive information as per the FTC Act. For example, ads that feature user’s experiences with a certain product or service require full disclosure on the company’s part.

As the saying goes, every person should strive be honest “even if others are not, cannot, and will not.” This doctrine sits at the core of any proper online reputation management strategy.

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Posted on January 17, 2014, in Business, Internet Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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