How paying for online reviews backfires – @HarvardBiz #ContentMarketing

We all know, deep down, that there’s something just a little bit suspect about paying for endorsements.

This month’s Harvard Business Review (September-October 2017) has a short summary of research that shows how paying for reviews can actually backfire – reducing the number of reviews as valuable reviewers shy away from being seen as paid shills.

Are there lessons here for influence marketers? Possibly. Perhaps, too pushy or too blunt an approach could backfire. The research into rewarding reviewers found a 30% decrease in reviews when the reward programme was launched. Worse, reviewers with most online connections were least likely to participate while “loners” were slightly more likely to be involved. The conclusion is that fear of social disapproval is high. The best connected have most to lose in terms of online social capital.

The research paper is “Motivation of User-Generated Content: Social Connectedness Moderates the Effects of Monetary Rewards”by Yacheng Sun, Xiaojing Dong and Shelby McIntyre.

Harvard Business Review is here, but I couldn’t find an online version of the article.

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