Darren Darren Slaughter is a member of the Construction Marketing Association and spent 15 years developing marketing and advertising strategies for home improvement contractors before building darrenslaughter.com into a full-service web design and social media agency in 2005. You can read more about Darren by clicking here.


Mark it down: within the next three years social media will replace customer reviews and testimonials as a major confidence factor used by consumers when they are ready to buy. I say this because as a marketer and website designer, my industries of choice have always figured out a way to destroy a good thing.

From manipulating meta tags to keyword stuffing to fake reviews, people in my industry have had a way with taking opportunities that were once perfectly viable and destroyed them by over-optimizing or just plain old-fashioned gaming.

Onto the next victim!

The next item up for manipulation in our showcase showdown is going to be testimonials and reviews. In fact, review sites are hanging on by a thread trying to maintain their relevancy by keeping the data they collect as pure as possible. But they themselves are killing the preverbal golden goose by manipulating their own platforms by offering advertising to “manipulate” reviews.

Anyone old enough to remember the good old days of newspaper will remember a distinct line drawn between advertising and editorial. Now those lines are as blurred as a Mel Gibson weekend-bender.

Button Testimonials That’s where social media comes in

I can see a day when social media takes up the reins as a leading confidence factor for consumers and here’s why; it takes years of effort to build a social platform that lends itself to trust and validation. I mean sure you can buy likes and followers, but consumers are pretty slick these days and can see through that.

Think about it, if you are a local plumber and most of your “likes” come from some far off land, you proooobably gamed the system a bit. Or this scenario: you had twenty likes for six months then one day you were up to two-thousand…yeah, that right there is gaming the system.

Don’t get me wrong, a good testimonial will still help, but consumers are going to weigh more heavily on the number of followers, likes and posts you have on your various social media outposts.

What do you think? Are testimonials here to stay or do you think they are losing credibility with buyers? 


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