If you've been on the trending page in the past day, you're probably familiar with @mattmonarch's post. He was promoting a particular health-related product that he seems to strongly believe in, while many think he's selling snake oil.
He used bid bots to push his post all the way up to the top of the trending page. At one point, I think it had a payout of over $1,700.
We've seen bid bots used frequently to push posts all the way to the top of trending, and most of the time, and most of the time they're not downvoted at all.
This time was different, his post was downvoted like crazy.
What was the difference that caused such an uproar this time around?
This is the first time I've seen bid bots used (at least on a large scale) to promote a specific product. Before it was deleted, the post was complete with a link and a coupon code that could be used to get the product at a discount.
Why was it heavily downvoted?
- Because a lot of people considering it fake medicine, snake oil, or lies?
- Because Steemians aren't used to seeing advertisements for products?
- Because it was promoted very heavily?
- All of the above?
Did @MattMonarch really lose?
I'm not sure of the exact math, but let's assume he spent $3,000 to buy bids and ends up getting a payout worth $2,500. At the end of the day, that means he spent $500 advertising.
Can you really expect to run an advertising campaign that costs you no money at all? Well, maybe if you're really creative. However, in all likelihood, you'll have to pay for advertising. You might spend it on Facebook, Google, or YouTube ads, but you're going to have to pay some amount of money if you want to showcase your product or service.
@Mattmonarch received a lot of views, had quite a few people learn about his products/company/retreats, and may have received some purchase orders. He might have also acquired a life-long customer or two.
Only he will know whether or not his post was worth the $500 advertising cost, and I think it was a mistake to delete his entire post because people will no longer learn about his offerings.
Are advertising posts like this bad for Steem
If advertising like this becomes a more widespread practice, it will create more demand for STEEM and SBD, and it will make their markets more liquid.
On the other hand, is it good to have these posts at the top of trending without the average person knowing that it's a paid advertisement? I'd argue not.
I think this post brings up more questions than it answers but I also think that it's an important discussion to have.
What do you think? Should Steemians embrace advertising like this, should they downvote it, or should it be dealt with on a case-by-case basis?