1. Some extra analysis on the Stik blog: http://blog.stik.com

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  2. There is much good insight in this post.

    The other aspect is the threat of competition using the ‘ease’ of online reputation destruction via Google and TripAdvisor to get the better of your brand. As you did point out, the integration with Facebook / other social mechanisms of bringing in the trust factor of reviews from familiar people does help in this regard.

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  3. Brands are all about trust and the funny thing is that Trip Advisor is also a brand. As long as the brand can remain trusted, it will continue to be powerful. However, this far from guaranteed; many review sites have been keen to find interesting ways to monetize that might not benefit the trust of their brands in the long-term.

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  4. It is a very interesting topic to discuss as we are still in the early innings of seeing how this plays out. One issue we confront today is fake reviews both positive and negative on sites so they are not completely trustworthy today but longer term this will be figured out. Advertising will always be important but word of mouth should become faster so the best companies should be able to make inroads quicker. The hotel article in the example is particularly interesting and begs the question of whether you are better of paying the royalty fee to Super 8 as a regional hotel or spend the extra money making a better customer experience.

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    1. Good topic & my main point, fake negative reviews which no control over

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  5. out of the pool of 50 million reviews, 10 million are considered fake :) Social media has reduced the communication gap between brands and consumers which creates a new challenge for digital marketing.

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    1. This has historically been a huge problem, which is why Facebook-powered logins are so critical.

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      1. I agree with this Nathan – though I think the login in and of itself is not a solved problem. Given the prevalance of hacks, I would like a tiny scraper-sensor on laptops that detects my DNA when I log-in, to ensure ultimate trust, :) It seems I am posting this anonymously though

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      2. Booking.com, part of priceline solved this by allowing only customers that booked to comment and review. This makes it highly credible. I don’t use TripAdvisor any more.

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      3. Why is Facebook considered some vast wealth of knowledge and truth when it comes to log ins?

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    2. one in five is a challenge that we must face

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  6. Anonymity and self-reviews have diluted the credibility of certain review sites. It was nice to learn about sites like Stik.com, which brings “trust” back to reviews, gathering opinions from those with Facebook profiles. Love it!

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    1. my thoughts also and nice also to learn of Stik

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  7. Great article!

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  8. It may be obvious, but the “end-game” for the explosion of review content online hinges on the relationship between the reader and the writer. Facebook authenticates reviews (for the most part eliminating trolls), but the personal connection is the holy grail – if a review is written by a friend or trusted entity (perhaps a celebrity travel critic you “follow”), the usefulness can be profound, and is unlikely to be matched by any other rating mechanism in the medium term.

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  9. Patricio Köhler Saturday, September 17, 2011

    When a review is written by someone you know you are only a few clicks from asking more details to him. Brands have no control of it and trusted people can start to review all what they want. It’s upon them to maintain their credibility.

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    1. Right on

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  10. User reviews perform the same job as brands that are working to create trust with the consumer. This aspect of branding is at risk, but not necessarily branding itself. Instead, the trust aspect of brands can now be handled by the users themselves, freeing up your brand to perform other jobs.

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