False Reviews

Is Your Competition Writing False Reviews of your Services to Drive Traffic to Them?

A recent article in the online content of the popular Business Insider website, www.businessinsider.com, underscores the growing concern business owners have that fake negative reviews are becoming more prevalent in social media circles across industry.
First noted in larger numbers in the hotel industry, large companies have developed analytics that test for fake reviews. With its reputation of prestige and honor, it is hard to believe that competing accountant firms would actually post
nefarious reviews of competitors to drive clients to themselves, but it is something to be aware of when monitoring a firm’s social media presence. For a small firm or independent accountant, it is especially important to be on the lookout
for negative reviews that may have been done purposely to drive business away. Such reviews can impact reputation, income, and could even incur legal fees. Here are some signs to look for when monitoring company reviews:

Top Signs of a Fake Review

While the best fake review writers may be skilled at covering their tracks, there are some general signs to look for when monitoring company reviews.

  1. The same sort of review from the same or similarly named reviewer is located on other competitors’ websites.
  2. The information is too general to be authentic.
  3. The review is posted on all competitors’ websites but one or two.
  4. The review sounds too technical in nature or does not use the normal jargon of an average client.
  5. Multiple posts contain same basic content.

A number of reputation monitoring sites have evolved over the decade to provide a layer of monitoring for business owners, but there are a number of offensive moves to take without hiring a reputation consulting firm.

Use a strong Offensive to Build Strong Social Media Presence

Being active in a professional association, blogging on the company website, and offering incentives for clients to review services are all ways to build a positive trend so that potential clients will see current, relevant, and dynamic postings that
will outshine even a few negative reviews. Creating a positive trend can include:

  1. Weekly blog posts regarding topics your best clients would find useful.
  2. Responding directly to feedback as it occurs so that clients perceive you as responsible and will come to value your interaction with them.
  3. Make it easy for clients to refer your service to others; spend resources making the company website as user-friendly as possible.
  4. Ask for client reviews personally over the phone or face-to-face.
  5. Use any negative reviews as a place to respond positively, and politely.
  6. Promote complementary businesses and in general set a positive example of building B2B partnerships.

While negative reviews in the age of social media may not be avoidable, planning a positive offensive strategy and regularly monitoring social media outlets can contribute significantly to the overall positive image of your business and your reputation.
Maximizing your advertising dollars with social media should be a proactive endeavor to avoid being blind-sided by the possibility of fake negative reviews. Creating an impenetrable offense is the first step to a successful defense, should
you ever find yourself in the situation of dealing with sketchy reviews. Learn more about the hidden benefits of becoming a CPA and
how much higher your salary could be.

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