What to Do if Your Reviews Are Attacked?
In digital marketing, every review counts. Consumers use reviews to help them determine where they are going to spend their hard-earned money. Consumers tend to trust reviews rather than marketing slogans. In the past, Google took note and changed its algorithm to weigh reviews more heavily. Too many negative reviews on sites such as Yelp, Facebook and Google can now affect your rankings. This means a negative review can alienate your client base as well as hobble your SEO efforts.
In the past, we talked about negative reviews and how you can turn them into an opportunity for your business. However, that assumes that the review in question is an earnest one. Competitors and trolls (as the internet has dubbed them) will sometimes attack a business by leaving fake reviews. This can not only damage your SEO, but it can also damage the reputation of your firm or company.
So, what can you do if you have fallen victim to a negative attack review? Here are a few things you can do to help fight for your reputation.
How to Handle an Attack Review
- Setup an Account. Before you can use any of the techniques we are about to discuss, you must have a business account on the review site. You must also connect that account to the listing that is receiving reviews. Most review sites will allow users to post reviews about any business, as long as there is a listing for it. However, you will not be able to manage the listing or respond to fake reviews without having created or claimed that listing.
- Flag the Review. Most review sites have a set of rules that reviewers must follow. Attack reviews normally do not follow those rules. When review attacks happen, they are often laced with profanity. Other times, they may have a conflict of interests, such as when a competitor posted something negative. At times like these, your first option is to flag the post. This will notify the review platform and its staff so they can delete the offending post.
- In a perfect world, you could flag a misleading or fake review and the review site would take it down. However, review sites may not agree that your flagged review violates its policies. So, what do you do if flagging a review does not work? You can respond to it. Every review site gives business owners the chance to communicate with reviewers. In such instances, you can directly call out a review for the fraud that it is, but you must remember some key rules. If you are going to call out a misleading or false review, stay polite and calm. Remember, others will be able to see your response, so it must stay professional.
- Use Caution. If a troll has submitted an inflammatory review, they may want an equally savage response from you. Do not play into their hands. An immature, hurtful or aggressive response could hurt your reputation worse than the initial bad review. A simple, polite response is often the best strategy in this situation. It will prove that you conduct yourself in a professional manner, which may actually win you more clients.
- Keep It Short. Any response to a misleading or false review needs to be short and to the point. Long responses risk losing the interest of anyone reading. If someone is just scanning through your reviews, a long response could also be mistaken for a rude response if the reader is not paying attention.
- Do Not Engage. If a reviewer responds to your response, do not respond. A back-and-forth between you and the reviewer can tumble out of control. If the reviewer has a point, perhaps suggest communicating in emails rather than on the review site. If the reviewer just wants to burn you and your business, do not communicate with them further.
- Be Swift. A review attack causes the most damage as soon as it posts. The longer it is up without a response, the easier it is for consumers to believe it is true. That means if you do not respond quickly, it may be hard to salvage the situation. Set up notifications on the various review platforms you use so you receive an email whenever someone posts a review for your business. This will help you mount the most effective counterstrike against your attacker.
Reviews are incredibly important for digital marketing in today’s industry. It has become a valuable tool in connecting consumers with the products and services they need. But not every reviewer wants to help others find what they are looking for. The next time you encounter an attack review, remember our recommendations. If you think you may need help combatting competitors and trolls in your reviews, our digital marketing firm may be able to help.
MediaSmack is a full-service digital marketing company serving businesses and law firms across the nation. Our list of high-quality digital marketing services includes SEO, Pay-Per-Click, social media, blogging and content marketing. We are an award-winning company with the experience and knowledge to help your business grow. To learn more about MediaSmack, give us a call at (888) 530-2935 or fill out our online contact form.