How to protect your brand from malicious and false reviews

by Mark Bailey

Reviews and in particular online reviews are one of the key ways that consumers make decisions on purchases and services, making them critical for success. While it is inevitable that there will be some critical reviews, receiving a whole barrage can be damaging to your brand. When a brand is on the receiving end of a lot of malicious and false reviews, it can deter customers. In extreme cases, it can prove devastating to a business.

Spotting malicious and false reviews

Reviews can be found in many places online. There are Google reviews, dedicated review sites, reviews left on social media sites, and reviews left on your own website, to name but a few. When you find critical reviews, it is important to work out if they are genuine or malicious, as these need to be dealt with in different ways. To ensure that you spot negative information on your brand in a timely manner, set up a Google alert for your business. It takes mere minutes to do and will allow you to see what is being said on parts of the web that you do not routinely monitor.

If someone has had a genuinely bad experience with your brand, they are entitled to leave a review of this. In these circumstances, it may be appropriate for you to respond in a professional fashion, apologising for their experience and finding a way to rectify the matter. In doing this, you will turn a negative review into a positive as potential customers will see you as a company that is keen to ensure customer satisfaction.

There are a number of ways to tell a false review from a genuine one. A false review may include information that is probably wrong or it may be very vague on details, often claiming that the experience was bad without giving any examples. The review may also include a link to another site, which is likely to be the real purpose of the review.

The profiles of such reviewers are often dubious and will be unlikely to show up as a verified customer. If you reply to these reviewers, then they will likely ignore it or give a vague response.

How to deal with false reviews

There are a number of ways that you can tackle false reviews. On some review sites, you may be able to flag the review as spam, and if it is on your own Facebook page, you can remove such spam by reporting them to Facebook. If you are facing a continuous barrage on your Facebook page, you may choose to turn off reviews altogether.

You can try to have malicious reviews moved from your Google My Business page by flagging them to Google and filling in the required information. Results are not instant and you will likely need to wait a couple of days. If this is not successful, you can seek assistance from a support associate, who can be contacted by phone, email or Twitter. To successfully remove a review this way, you will need to explain why the review is false and how it violates their policies.

All of this can be time-consuming and it is well worth using a professional service to protect your brand from false reviews to protect your online brand. Using the latest technology, companies can help reduce the rankings of negative search results, ensuring that a Google search will prominently display results that give a genuine and positive view of your brand. As most people do not look further than page one of an internet search, this can ensure that even if false reviews still exist, they will not adversely impact on your brand.

Boost positivity

To counter the effect of false reviews, ask your customers for genuine reviews and feedback. Maintain efficient and professional customer service and you stand a good chance of gaining plenty of positive reviews. Using a PR Agency that specialise in luxury brands can help ensure you have the right strategy to building positivity.

Learn how to create effective content for your website, and keep it regularly updated so that this boosts the image of your brand. Regular updates and good SEO practices can do a lot to ensure that the image you want to portray appears highly in Google searches.

It is important to keep negative reviews in perspective. No one expects a business to have all five-star reviews, and negative ones can help your review statistics appear real. Customers are also becoming increasingly savvy at noticing the more obviously fake reviews and will mostly prefer to read verified and reputable reviews before making their decisions.

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