Reviews are crucial for establishing your company as a reliable service provider and increasing the social proof value of your marketing campaign. That’s a clever way of saying trustworthiness. The importance of how your organization is regarded online has never been greater, and online reviews are the tip of the spear when it comes to building that perception.
Potential customers can use online reviews to help them make a purchasing decision. In fact, a large body of evidence suggests that reviews play a significant impact in converting window shoppers to buyers—we’re talking about a 270 percent boost in conversions.
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Similarly, more people than ever before are willing to give a review. Reviews have woven their way into the very fabric of how consumers make purchases, whether it’s to indicate support and loyalty or to explain discontent.
However, there is always yang to any yin, and as reviews gain more clout, there will always be bad actors out there trying to scam the system. It’s fine to have a few less-than-perfect ratings of your products and services because it can help you develop credibility. As many as 85% of customers look for negative reviews to gain a full picture of their previous interactions with a company.
Perhaps prior poor evaluations are purely coincidental and do not reflect a company’s overall quality. Then then, they could be a symptom of a larger problem. Consumers making purchasing decisions, on the other hand, want to have that knowledge to feel like they’ve done their homework. It may sound contradictory, but a flawless 5-star rating isn’t always beneficial to a business. In fact, there’s a sweet spot in the mid-4-star level that encourages more conversions.
How do you spot fake reviews?
So, what should you look for while you’re on the lookout for phony reviews? Here are four factors that might set off some alarm bells:
1. Reviews that are oddly designed or badly written
A New York Times best-selling novelist is not for everyone. However, if you come across reviews that appear to be poorly written, full of grammatical errors, or otherwise oddly formed, there’s a good possibility they’re fake—especially if you come across them one after the other.
2. Excessive praise or condemnation
The tone of reviews in favor of or against a product or service is usually similar. It’s the outliers that you should be wary of. You’re probably looking at phony reviews if you find a review that says something is the best thing that has ever happened to humanity or an incredibly nasty review that seems to have nothing to do with the business.
3. The raging flood
While it’s common to witness a rise in reviews over a short period of time after the launch of a new service or product, there are instances when you’ll see an avalanche of reviews all dumped in within a few weeks of one another. And while that’s strange in and of itself when you consider how identical the tone of these reviews is, there’s a fair likelihood it’s a bot or review farm.
4. Bogus profiles
When it comes to bots, While many sites need reviewers to register in order to post a review, having a unique email address is all that is required. Fake profiles are likely to have very little personal information and no additional reviews on a specific site or anyplace else on the internet, which can be difficult to verify.
Continue what you are doing
As previously said, battling with fake reviews is a never-ending battle. Businesses must take an active role in ensuring that genuine reviews of their products or services appear not only on their own site but also elsewhere.
Keep an eye on any mention of your company on third-party review sites and work with those sites to ensure that only genuine, original reviews are posted. To improve your company’s trustworthiness, consider partnering with a leading digital marketing or branding company. It’s also important to remember that a few bad reviews are acceptable.
Running a small business is difficult enough without having to deal with bots and bogus reviews on a daily basis. However, you can’t afford to sit back and do nothing. Given the importance of reviews to your potential consumers, it’s critical that you prioritize managing your online reputation and make genuine review generation a part of your corporate culture.