Why social marketers need to avoid the dark side

07/8/2010 | Wired.com

Social marketers aren't always the good guys, writes Eliot Van Buskirk, and a growing black-hat marketing industry is seeking to build buzz and reap sales by using paid content and product placement to trick, rather than engage with, social-media users. That's bad news for consumers and legitimate social marketers, Van Buskirk writes. "[T]he social fabric of social networks -- precisely the element that makes them valuable to marketers -- will deteriorate if we can't trust the people and numbers we see there," he argues.

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