Using Social Media Sharing for Battling Fake Negative Reviews for Small Businesses
Fake reviews as a disruption tool are becoming a bigger issue for small businesses. The internet makes it trivially easy to create new accounts and leave either a positive or negative review for any business.
While Google has a lot of review policies for their users, it still has a tough time automatically identifying those that violate the policies. The good part is that you can be careful at monitoring reviews and make a good case for why some of them are fake and should be altered on platforms like Google, Twitter or Facebook — by directly reporting them.
The Challenge for Google
The main challenge is that Google doesn’t know who your customers are; hence they won’t accept “this was not a client” as a reason to remove a review. Users are allowed to have anonymous usernames and it’s too difficult to prove the identity of users online.
Moreover, a user doesn’t have to be a customer to be able to leave a review. They could simply interact shortly with your business and this could range from just trying to call you to having some issue while browsing the website.
It can be extremely frustrating to have a random user destroy the reputation that was built up over years with hard work. In these situations it is always advisable to take step back and analyze it with a calm mind. The most important thing is how your future prospects will interpret it when they find and how you respond to the feedback.
Share Your Issue
The obvious path to take is contact Google and make a case for fake reviews being left for your brand. This can take a long time and could even be rejected by Google.
Alternatively you can use the leverage of social media and turn the obvious fake negative reviews into a positive movement for you, especially if you own a small business. Whoever is behind fake reviews is seeking to harm the business. Sharing this with your community or followers will lead to a positive response from your audience. There will be satisfied customers that will be vocal and share their positive experience with your brand.
When you share your experience with fake reviews, choose platform where you have most o your followers. You shouldn’t directly ask for positive reviews. The response from your audience will be a natural response from people that were a fan of your product or service. If you offer a great customer experience, you’ll have these types of customers and they should be the people you want to share this with.