As online marketing gained strength, the importance of online reviews increased, as they are the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing. The impact of positive reviews is quite significant when it comes to promoting your business online but they are not always easy to get. Buying fake reviews might be tempting but it can backfire and put you at a disadvantage.
Why You Should Steer Clear of Buying Fake Reviews
When you think of valuable online reviews, honest reviews is what you need. Those reviews that are a true testament to your customers’ satisfaction are what truly make an impact. Building a strong review portfolio can take time but in some cases, business owners might be tempted to go after a “quick-fix” and pay people to leave positive reviews, fake reviews. How? One way, for example, is to offer free products and services to certain customers —like influencers who people trust, then give them an “extra incentive” in exchange for a positive review. There’s more harm than benefit in doing this.
You’ll Get Caught
Fake reviews are quite obvious. Everything, from the user to the comment is often suspicious. Plus, they’re usually posted in bulk in a matter of minutes, which completely gives away the fact that they are not natural.
It Will Take a Toll on Your Reputation
You want to build a trust-based relationship with your customers so that it will stand the test of time. The minute you start lying to your customers, you’ll start losing credibility and losing customers, all at once. Additionally, you can expect that lack of honesty to be promoted online, as customers discover there’s something wrong, in an attempt to warn others. It all just comes spiraling down from there.
Just because many people do it, it doesn’t mean it’s legal. When you pay someone to provide their opinions in a public manner, that person is obligated to state in their review that they are a paid endorser. The guidelines are set by the FTC. In 2011, a case became very popular when the FTC fined a company called Legacy Learning Systems for hiring people to provide fake reviews. The fine was for $250,000.
It might be tempting but Impressions Agency doesn’t recommend buying fake reviews. Instead, look for ways to encourage your customers to leave a positive review whenever they feel you did something right. Slowly building a strong, legitimate review portfolio is far more effective.