These days, we hear so much about #fakenews, but what most businesses are concerned about are #fakereviews! And rightly so: there's a lot on the line when it comes to fake negative online reviews. In a recent Headway Capital article, Barbara Davidson lays out three reasons why fake negative online reviews can be so harmful to business:
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation;
79% of consumers read a fake review in the last year, but 84% can't spot them; and
94% said that an online review convinced them to avoid a business.
There's also great advice on how to identify, report, and respond to a fake review.
Here at Harrison Edwards, our digital team frequently helps clients address negative reviews. In our experience, sites like Google and Yelp! are reluctant to remove fake negative reviews, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. That's why we recommend a firm, yet measured response, to the review.
Strength in numbers
Sadly, a fake negative review can ding a business' star rating. So, it's best to encourage happy clients and customers to review your business on a regular basis. Why? There's strength in numbers. One fake negative review can drop your business' ratings significantly if you have few overall reviews. However, if you have dozens, or hundreds of positive reviews, one fake negative review will have little consequence on overall ratings.
Speak to our digital team if you need external support managing your company or organization's online reviews. We have a wealth of experience and can be helpful to you!