Reviews are such an important component that many companies have taken to encouraging their current and former employees to leave fake reviews just to get their numbers up.
This is because reviews have become a staple part of a business’s online reputation. Having enough positive reviews can translate into sales, as we’ve seen repeatedly, and can be an effective strategy in a company—particularly for a small and growing business. According to Moz, 67% of consumers are influenced by reviews they read.
This goes against the policies of most review sites, including Google. However, this doesn’t stop employees from leaving fake reviews to help boost their company’s online reputation.
Let’s see how this happens and what to do about it!
Companies That Leave Fake Reviews
Many guidelines stand on the most powerful platforms to help monitor reviews. Google enhanced its methods to inappropriate flag reviews that could hurt the overall reputation of a business. It goes without saying that those who manage a business’s Google My Business account should not leave a review for a business because it will be easy for Google to detect that it is not an authentic review. This can and has led to Google suspending Google My Business accounts for suspicious activity.
Companies can be so desperate to increase sales or boost reputation. They’re willing to go beyond all costs, which brings us to one example of a company posting positive reviews by employees.
A few years ago, we wrote about Sunday Riley, a brand that was brought to court in 2016 for encouraging employees to post positive reviews regularly to help boost overall sales. These directions came from the CEO and head of sales. https://reviewinc.wpengine.com/2020/01/14/the-great-american-fake-off-in-reviews/
Eventually, Sunday Riley was held accountable for legal implications and had to pay millions in settlement damages.
The question you have to ask: was it worth it?
The company has to pay millions in penalties and legal fees, but the company’s online reputation will most likely recover. The internet is forever, and fake reviews by employees are the most significant way to lose trust within your customer base. The cost of losing a fan base is more than the millions Sunday Riley lost in the settlement.
How Can You Tell Reviews Are Written By Employees?
It isn’t always easy to tell. As seen with the situation with Sunday Riley, it took years of consistently leaving fake reviews until private documented emails regarding the scam were leaked. Otherwise, who knows how long it would last?
Companies may offer incentives in exchange for reviews, but that goes against most platform policies to keep all reviews fair. In general, it’s harder to prove reviews were written by employees unless someone documents it and reports it.
For the most part, we can assume that employees writing positive reviews on behalf of their employees will continue to happen unless there can be a better way to track it.
Why Automation Software is the Way
Okay, you might not be able to combat your competitors by getting employees to write positive reviews. Unless you have solid proof, it might not be worth your time to report reviews if you suspect your competitor is using this method. And yes, we agree it’s frustrating to gather reviews with integrity when other companies incentivize reviews.
The best option a company has to get more real reviews is to invest in automation software that can monitor your business reviews and make sure to rectify any issues before they hurt your online reputation.
Investing in reliable software to monitor your online reviews and reputation is the way to nurture your online presence. Most companies opt for a free demo and see if it fits their needs. Try our demo today!