Brands that boost their Facebook fan base by offering freebies and discounts to people who sign up could face a backlash in the not-too-distant future, warns Augie Ray. Social search engines are likely to find ways to weed out “fake” fans, just as conventional search engines learned to screen out “black hat” marketers who sought to manipulate their algorithms. “Brands hoping to help their social search engine relevance by amassing fans should take heed — the easy way may work for a while, but the authentic and hard way always wins in the end,” Ray writes.
Check Ray’s blog and the post “Rewarding New Facebook Fans: Good Business Or ‘Black Hat’ SEO Tactic?”
What do you think – how important are freebies on Facebook et. al. to turn customers into brand ambassadors?