5 ways to thwart fake bad reviews and manage your online reputation
It’s easy to spot when your company’s online reputation is under attack. Often, multiple critical reviews pop up at the same time with similar language repeated throughout. Do the reviews sound like a story rather than facts of the reviewer's experience? Check the reviewer’s profile. Does this person have a history of leaving only negative reviews to get free products or services?
Once you identify that the reviews are fake, it’s time to follow through with your crisis plan. Your crisis plan should be in place long before anyone posts a negative review of your company.
Here are some ways you can combat fake negative reviews:
- Proactively seek out positive reviews before you’re attacked.
If you have hundreds of 4- or 5-star reviews already, they’ll provide a cushion when multiple negative reviews pop up at once. Post signs around your company encouraging customers to leave honest reviews about their experiences. Potential customers who come across your review page are smart enough to trust a longer history of excellent reviews over a short spam of negative reviews.
- Make sure you claim your social media and review pages.
By claiming your review pages, you’re able to respond quickly and efficiently to negative reviews. Not claiming them before a spam attack results in extra steps that waste time and could result in more negative reviews or a loss of business.
- Have review management software in place.
ReviewMaxer gives you the ability to see reviews across hundreds of review platforms all on one page. The attack of fake reviews may not just be on Yelp or Google, it could be across multiple sites. Review management software allows you to see where the attack is taking place and regularly updates you on new reviews as they come in, so you can respond to the negative reviews quickly.
- Report the fake reviews.
Each review site has its own policy on how to report reviews. However, this isn’t an instant problem-solver. Support for review websites is often understaffed compared to the number of reports they handle each day.
- Turn off the review feature.
As a last resort, you can turn off the review feature. This mainly applies to Facebook. Since you should own your business page on Facebook, you have the ability to control the review feature. Most review sites, like Yelp, don’t allow companies to remove their page. If you do turn off reviews, it’ll prevent new positive reviews from coming in. Most of the time, people don’t trust old reviews. That’s why it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when a fake review crisis happens.
Want to learn more about how to manage your business reviews? Watch this free demo today to find out how ReviewMaxer can protect your company.