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Beware of forum posting services

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday August 3, 2010 )

I’ve touched on this before, but it’s a practice still rife, so I thought it worth mentioning it again as it can save your company cash and harassment.

Some years back, marketing companies offering forum posting services started to spring up all over the place. The usual spiel is that their “expert” staff will post an informative comment in forums related to your business, along with a link back to your company. Sometimes it will just be a glowing review of your company. The idea is twofold – to push business from that community to you, and to build up a bit of link love to supposedly improve your search engine rankings.

Some of these services are quite cheap – the reason being is they often outsource the work to students looking to make a bit of cash. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but often English is not their primary language and their knowledge of the products and services involved is minimal or non-existent.

I’m a moderator of a popular niche forum and I see this sort of thing all the time – poorly worded posts that mention a company and when I check the poster’s IP, it becomes clear the poster is from overseas – yet they claim to have purchased a product from the company. The problem is, the company doesn’t offer that product in that country.

Given my workload, I just zap the offender and move on – but if I had a bit more time on my hands I could challenge the poster publicly and reveal what’s actually happening to the community and it would discredit the company involved. Given that community is full of people the company wants to sell to, it’s a very counterproductive practice.

Whether it’s forum posting, blog posting or any other service that offers to post content on your behalf, be sure to keep tight control on who is posting what and where… and remember; you get what you pay for.

Remember to that paying another company to post fake reviews isn’t just unethical either, it can get you into legal hot water.


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