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Digital Transformation

How To Do Social Marketing Wrong and Pay a $340,000 Fine

According to Christian Ziberg in the iDownloadBlog, Samsung was recently found guilty of violating fair trade rules by hiring a large number of writers and having employees trash-talk their competitors.   It looks like Samsung asked these people to post anonymous comments on various websites talking up Samsung and talking down other phones.    

Samsung admitted guilt, stopped this marketing activity and blamed it on an “insufficient understanding”. However, says ZIberg, the Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission recently hit Samsung with a fine of $340,000 for the infractions.

This is an important lesson for a lot of companies around the world.  Technology and the pervasive social networks are making it easier to run these kinds of campaigns.  Many sites allow anyone to enter comments without knowing who is the commenter.  Many other sites require you to register to post comments, but its so easy to supply fake information when registering, you can still be anonymous.

Likewise, social marketing tools are now making it easier for marketers to post to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc with the click of a button or two.  While these tools don’t post anonymously, you can easily set up accounts that hide your true identity and post away.

So, be aware that activities like those described here are against the rules and you could be held accountable for your actions. Make sure you have clear policies in place about social media, make sure employees are following the policies, and then monitor how you engage with the network.


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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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