When you put your website together one of the key things all companies are required to do is to 'optimise' them for SEO, we all know that right?

This is all so that they can be easily found when the unwitting consumer who can't remember your brand name from that TV advert you ran, or simply want to find a vendor who matches with what they are looking for. 

This is also one of the reasons that brands historically have spent huge sums on paid media to retain #1 search position for those keyword terms.

Back in the day we learnt from our closest people who are our friends, family, work colleagues about how good/bad a company was on living up to the 'advertised' promises it made.

Fast forward to today and most up to date retailers are keen to deploy some kind of 'Review' platform in order they can showcase their 'reputation' score. Which is great as long as you have searched for the company, or gone to the website where the 'reputation' badge of honour is displayed, and guess what, yes, we are all still very cynical because we also read about how many of the online reviews we are exposed to are in fact fake. 

In the not too distant past if a rumour started about a retail company it probably took an industry magazine or a national newspaper to let us all know that good or bad things were happening.

Lots of brands and companies already know how to 'game' the review platforms they work with. In fact if you ask for a review early enough in the post sale process chances are you'll bag yourself a positive review, this is because it's too early for anything to have gone wrong and the review algorithm will work in their favour!  

So when you promote your 4.5 star review score is it because they're genuine or is because you encourage a culture of 'gaming' the system?

"Sunday Riley, the founder of the eponymous skincare brand, has been reprimanded for telling staff to write fake product reviews to boost sales".

This is not 'employee advocacy' this is naivety at best and fraud at worst,  it tells your customers that your sticking your digital and operating model head in the sand and are not a 'listening' brand.

An employee advocacy strategy isn't about getting employees to promote the same corporate message that no one ever reads, it's all about creating an authentic trusting relationship between your employees, your company, and potential clients/customers.

With over 4.5 billion people on a variety of social networks around the globe the consumers view is most likely to be influenced not by what you want to tell me, but by those people who I used to go to before all this digital intrusion.

From them I get real time views, comments, and also access to their tribe who will all have a perspective on your reputation - all on social media.

If you still think social media is still a place to advertise and promote what it is you do, you've forgotten one of the most important skills in a social environment, which is to 'listen'.