sock puppet marketing

Part of the Internet acronyms and lingo glossary:

Sock puppet marketing is the use of a fake identity to artificially stimulate demand for a product, brand or service.

A fake identity created online for some deceptive purpose is known colloquially as a sock puppet. Sock puppet marketing is one example of astroturfing, the practice of artificially stimulating online buzz about something, while trying to make it appear to be a grassroots trend. In the case of marketing, buzz is created about a company, a product or a service to increase sales. Alternatively, sock puppets might denigrate a competitor or its product.

Sock puppet marketing and sock puppetry in general are unethical. Other compelling reasons to abstain include potential law suits and the damage to your brand that could occur as a result of discovery.

In this video, Google’s Matt Cutts explains the purposes and hazards of sock puppet marketing:

See also: reputation management, social media influence, content marketing, gaming the system, Internet shill

This was last updated in October 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • Facebook

    - Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. (

  • social media

    - Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction and collaboration. This definition of social media explains what it is, how it works... (

  • acceptable use policy (AUP)

    - An acceptable use policy (AUP) is a policy that a user must agree to follow in order to be provided with access to a network or to the Internet. (


  • Internet acronyms and lingo

    - Terms related to Internet acronyms and lingo, including slang definitions and jargon about texting, Twitter and other social networking sites.

  • Internet applications

    - This glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About sock puppet marketingPowered by

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.