Inducements for Bloggers


Bhanu at the Indian Social Media blog posts about the practice:

Prizes, Money and expensive gifts do spoil people’s mind and their skills. But one has to understand and make their own decision, whether to support these acts or discourage these acts. Believe me, being in a controlled messaging world, I feel social media is a place where one can express his or her views openly without any hassles.

I recently came across few blogger communities who are equally supporting these acts. Please guys.. why can’t we keep these communities clean and not handover ourselves to these selfish motives.

Certainly, there are other marketers who understand the value of Blogs and other Social Media Platforms, who see that they don’t loose out the essence of this platform. I would term Social Media as People’s Media.

So let people decide what is wrong and what is right and not try to influence them with Gifts & Prizes. Of course, there can be gratifications, but there should not be any motive behind it.

What do you think? 

I think the following are OK:

  1. Marketers contacting bloggers to try out a product/service without any obligation for a ‘positive review’ – Heck, just getting exposure on a big blog and participating in conversations about the product and features is a big deal, IMHO.
  2. Bloggers making it public that the product was given to try out and they are reviewing it as a goodwill gesture. This has to fit in with the overall voice of the blog. 
  3. If the product is being given as a gift – then the blogger has to make that clear too – as that would impact the overall perception of the post. 

Overall the blogger has to ensure that his/her integrity is not called to question – if that happens the whiplash from the reader and blogger community can be vicious and have tonnes of negative fallout for both the brand as well as the blogger. 

Losing an audience means no more such inducements in the future. As the old adage goes – it’s tough to build up reputation but quite easy to lose it.

And check this example out:

Coca-Cola Co. decided to let its users dominate discussion about the soft drink on Facebook.

The popular Coke fan page on the social networking site wasn’t created by the company, but rather by Los Angeles actor Dusty Sorg and writer Michael Jedrzejewski. It had more than a million fans when Facebook called Coca-Cola to alert them that the page violated the social network’s terms of service because it wasn’t operated by the trademark owner. Take over the site, Facebook told Coke, or we’ll take it down.

Instead, the beverage maker flew the pair to its Atlanta headquarters in January, took them to a hockey game, gave them a VIP tour of the Coke museum and let them play Eric Clapton’s guitar, then proposed that they officially run the page for the company. The two agreed. It now has more than 3 million users.

“Our social media marketing approach is that we want to be everywhere our consumers are,” said Michael Donnelly, Coke’s director of global interactive marketing. “There’s significant risk in being perceived the wrong way.”

Update: A blogger shared recently that a firm he applied to asked him to review their product on his blog. When he asked if it was part of the application process, they said it wasn’t. He didn’t get round to doing it – as he was unsure what kind of blog post they were expecting out of him.

The organization also hasn’t got back to him on his application process.

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About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on April 21, 2009, in blogging, DesiPundit, media, social media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

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  3. @Aksanil

    Your statement says: “Hiring a blogger . .”. Its False.

    A blogger can never be hired. Every blogger has his own readers who read, follow, subscribe his blog just because, they have a faith on the blogger.

    Now, A company, conducting a contest to attract bloggers to write about their portal, and win prizes, will get some bloggers writing about them, n winning prizes. But those bloggers if have a large followers, will lose trust.

    Will they give the prizes to a blogger who finds the portal not worth?? Will not the blogger get influenced by the prizes given and write good about it??

    Instead of doing what they did, if the company had approached blogger in a informal way, just to introduce themselves and request to go through the portal, i am sure every blogger would go through the portal, and if he likes, he would write about it in his blog.

    I being an author of an award winning blog, will not write about the portal. especially if they offer gifts. Every blogger has certain responsibility. Which he has to take care.

    With great blog comes great responsibility!!!

    Believe me a reader lost can never be gained!!!

    • Believe me a reader lost can never be gained!!!
      sir in same way lost of one customer will only fetch more customers lost…
      and sir in todays scenario if u wont monitor the feedbacks ur services or portal or products are getting than u are just creating trouble for urself.

      I really admire ur thoughts (“I being an author…..”) 🙂
      thats really true that people will not trust the bloggers who sacrifice his/her responsibility by accepting bribes….

  4. @Aksanil

    Your statement says: “Hiring a blogger . .”. Its False. A blogger can never be hired.
    Every blogger (I am talking about established, ones, with good amount of readership, after all thats what they r targeting), has his own readers who read, follow, subscribe his blog just because, they have a faith on the blogger.

    Now, A company, conducting a contest to attract bloggers to write about their portal, and win prizes, will get some bloggers writing about them, n winning prizes too, But those bloggers if have a large followers, will lose trust.

    Will they give the prizes to a blogger who finds the portal not worth?? Will not the blogger get influenced by the prizes given and write good about it??

    Instead of what they did, if the company had approached blogger in a informal way, just to introduce themselves and request to go through the portal, i am sure every blogger would go through the portal, and if he likes, he would write about it in his blog.

    I being an author of a award winning blog, will not write about the portal. even if they give gifts. Every blogger has certain responsibility. Which he has to take care.

    With a great Blog, comes great responsibility!!

    Believe me a reader lost can never be again gained!!!

  5. i had a discussion on this topic with the author.

    And what i personally feel that if the blogger have a influence on reader than he/she should be faithful to them… and if he thinks that readers are on his blog to just abreast their knowledge than he/she should take the offer what marketers is offering coz if he will not take than some one else will do.
    Hiring a blogger for their own benefit in social media is a new marketing strategy in todays marketing scenario.

  6. well there is nothing wired in how marketers are using the social media for there products or services …
    as I learned from my marketing profession which i say the practical rule of marketing “Always reach to your end user with positive feedback and no matter what its cost if you want to survive in today’s cut throat competition”

    • Hi Aksanil

      Of course, I am not faulting the marketers – they will do the job they are paid to do

      My question is – what should bloggers and participators in social media do?

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