Is your brand a victim of fake reviews?
Is your brand a victim of fake reviews?
Posted By
June 25, 2019

Fake reviews, bad seeds, contaminated water and expired milk, all have one thing in common, they’re bad for your health – or your brand metaphorically speaking!

Brands world-wide are victims of fake online reviews and false news, this is an ongoing daily attack on online reputation management. Some brands consider this very normal thing, daily dose of drama and a product review, those that persuade you not to eat at a certain restaurant because it’s “known for rude staff” or not to go to a particular counsellor because “she ruined my life forever.”

Identifying negative content as a business owner is a part of the solution, the same goes for fake online reviews. Spotting them is important by examining if there is a spike in the total number of negative reviews during a very short time frame which it indicates a targeted campaign against you. False reviews don’t flow naturally and are full of negative content. Something is always off about them. You’ll notice an over usage of “I” and “me” alongside a lot of verbs, people do this to sound credible while lying and sound absolutely nothing like a positive review. A fake review also doesn’t focus on a single matter or issue, instead it’s widely generic negative content such as “food was bad” without mentioning what menu item they ordered. Also, try checking the customer’s purchase history because an unverified purchase is very likely a fake review. Lastly, watch out for generic names and/or profiles with no photos and no past reviews.

Having said that, what are the measures and procedures to be taken against such incidents? Here are few tips and tricks to remedy the disease while looking after your online reputation management.

Craft a quick consolidated response.

Respond quickly to make the facts known. It’s important to get the brand’s true position on an issue clarified and immediately rectified; avoid lengthy flawless statements, keep it simple, neat and clean. The more high profile the brand, the quicker the response should be. Smaller brands can indulge in time to consider the lifecycle of the situation.

Report it and file a complaint to the platform.

Don’t light your torches and form a mob, simply, take a breath and draft a clear professional complaint to the platform explaining the matter at hand and requesting to resolve it. Most platforms now have their own framework to resolve such matters, be it Google or Zomato. Always be thinking about your reputation management.

Ask for proof in your response.

While proof is possible with a physical product; once you’re sure the review is 100% fake and unauthentic, you might insist on seeing a proof, or hearing about the reviewer’s actual experience of it. Per example, if it’s about a vacuum machine, we’d want to see a demonstration of the problem.

It’s no different when it comes to Internet marketing success and your reputation management — except you should go one step further and insist upon verifiable success.

Flood social media platforms with positive stories of your brand.

Become one with the crisis and make the best of it. It’s easy to sulk and drown in negativity and sorrow, however, it’s pointless. Instead, consider the problem a gateway to tell the story of the brand, an opportunity to maximize the social outreach and make it rain “truth” on the brand’s social media channels, whether by smart/quirky static posts, by videos, testimonials, cool animations, and what have you! Creativity is not a prerogative to a single person; people enjoy things that touch them and resonates with them.

Consider the law.

In some countries, such as the United States there are laws that prevent unnatural reviews. The law is the Consumer Review Fairness Act
. This law looks after things such as suspicious reviews. It provides clarity for fraudulent reviews and sets up consequences for situations on online platforms. The law makes sure there are honest reviews and legitimate reviews. There can be situations that escalate causing fake reviews and knowing the laws to back your business can be of importance.

Check online content and review sites.

Use any search engine to look on review sites. Or, make it easy on yourself and talk with us today at Localyser to search online content and to look after this issue for you and help your reputation management.

Bottom line. Hack the media in the same way the negative people are doing with their fake negative reviews, the goal is to flood the media with positive stories and positive experience which will affect your SEO and the algorithms!

Lastly, don’t criminalize a false review, instead, embrace it. Think of inauthentic reviews as a mark of your success, take celebrities for example, they’re always attacked and rumoured about; success has its pros and cons. As long as action is being taken, no harm will be done, just keep a close eye on your brand in the digital realm and let us here at Localyser look after your online reputation management. A five-star review is in your future.

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