How Fake Reviews Affect Your Business and Marketing Efforts
It has always been said that word of mouth is one of the best, cheap and effective forms of advertising. It is highly studied that for consumers, the experience of others is much more reliable than what we can read in the media or in the advertising of a product or service. This is mainly the reason why when buying items online or visiting a store, more than 90% of people seek opinions or reviews before making a decision.
From a marketing point of view, this can be considered unpaid advertising. Having satisfied customers who generate positive comments or reviews helps increase website and store traffic. But for that same reason, negative reviews can be counterproductive. However, this can be alleviated by offering quality products and customer service that encourages users to comment positively on our products.
But what are fake reviews Exactly?
Irremediably, this leads us to the opposite side, that is, fake reviews or false comments, interested and that only harm our business. Fake reviews or false reviews are considered when someone writes a review about a product or service that is not based on real experiences, in order to influence the perception of other users who are evaluating that product as a purchase option. For example, if a person goes to Google and wants to search for a technical service to repair a television, they can see a lot of information about it: address, phone number, location, and also reviews of people who visited this business. If the reviews are negative, the decision to go or not to that store can change radically.
You may also be interested: 10 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Can Drive Business Growth
The types of fake reviews you come across
Platforms work hard to avoid false reviews that manipulate people, in order to make the opinions as close to reality as possible. Several companies have been fined for being found to be paying users to rewrite negative reviews about their competition. In this sense, not only do the fake reviews have a negative character on the competition since we can find them in a positive variant to enforce the benefits of a product that do not have to be such.
- Negative : Their main objective is to damage the business. There have been cases in which an anonymous person has left a very malicious review with the intention of blackmailing the affected company, to be able to buy a product for free or at a lower price, or for personal reasons. The usual thing is that negative reviews are generated to damage the image of competitors and thus gain market share.
- Positive : In this case, the image of the competition is not damaged, but its own is falsely enhanced. One of the most recent examples we have within Amazon, since a large number of Chinese companies have been banned for generating false positive comments on about thousands of products, generally related to consumer electronics.
How does Fake reviews affect your business?
One of the great challenges a company faces is getting customers to trust its brand. When they go to look for a specific product and they find yours, they will look for a massive opinion that is good in general and that makes them opt in the purchase process. Therefore, if your business or product has many negative reviews (fake or not), the consequences can be very serious.
So what can companies in this position do? The main thing is to pay attention to the comments left by customers. That is, when we see negative reviews, the first thing we will have to do is reduce their impact time. First, you have to analyze if it is a review or comment is false or not. A clear and common sign of fake review is the lack of details; Comments can be general and do not refer to products or services. Second, keep collecting real reviews, talk to customers and tell them that if they like the service or product, they can leave comments on different online shopping platforms where we are present.
One of the great temptations is usually always to deactivate or eliminate the bad ones, but this can also be seen as a gesture of distrust on the part of buyers. Studies show that a rating of 4.2 stars is more than enough to generate confidence in the potential customer. If all the reviews are 5 stars it is suspicious while if all are 1 star the user will not waste a second on your product. This is why creating fake positive reviews is also counterproductive, people are used to reading real reviews and can easily determine if they are fake or not.
When it comes to reviews, knowing and responding politely is essential to resolving any issues. A company that takes the time to respond and be aware of these reviews creates a good image because it takes into account the opinion of the people to continuously improve the quality of its service.