If you are an avid user of the internet, it is almost impossible for you to remain oblivious to online reviews. They have become a common phenomenon on social media as well as websites like Reliable Reviews, TripAdvisor, Google My Business, and Yelp. Such reviews have become an integral part of customer relations and strategies today.
After all, what could be better than getting genuine feedback from real customers? And that too instantly! With the growing popularity of these sites, businesses using them have witnessed a marked increase in their customer base and traffic.
However, this has also led to an increased number of users writing fake or biased reviews to benefit themselves or hurt their competitors. So before you dive headlong into building your business profile on any one of these sites, here’s what you need to know about online reviews:
What Exactly Are Online Reviews?
A review is an expression of an individual’s experience while dealing with a particular product or service. Online reviews are typically found on platforms like Google, Amazon, YouTube, and other social media sites. Such platforms are designed specifically to allow users to share their experiences with others.
Thus, reviews found on these sites are usually genuine and reliable. Online reviews are extremely helpful for people who are looking for a particular product or service but do not know where to start. For example, if you want to buy a new camera but do not know which one to buy, you can simply go online and search for “best cameras under $500.”
You will find thousands of reviews from customers who have previously purchased such cameras and can give you valuable information about each one of them.
History Of Online Reviews
Internet reviews are a relatively new phenomenon and have only been around for about a decade now. The first website to have online reviews was Epinions, which was founded in 2000.
Notably, though, internet reviews have existed since the invention of the World Wide Web. The difference is that the online review industry today is significantly larger and more profitable than ever before. In the late 1990s, there was a growing trend toward online shopping.
But online shoppers were hesitant to purchase from unfamiliar websites because they didn’t have ways to trust that the site or product was legitimate. To address this issue, a few companies in the early 2000s began offering online review services.
Where Can You Find Online Reviews?
You can find online reviews on almost any site where people are engaging with each other. The most popular sites are social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Popular review websites also include TripAdvisor, Google My Business, and Yelp. Most brands and businesses have websites where they list their products and services.
Additionally, they provide space for customers to leave their reviews and feedback. Some of the most popular review sites are:
Reliable reviews are a robust resolution to cultivate and manage customer feedback and online reviews. With dozens of options and customizations, to satisfy customers’ experience goals.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the best place to create and manage your online business listing. The platform allows you to create a profile, add multiple photos, add hours of operation, and add a description of your business.
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. It has over 500 million visitors every month and is a must-have on your list of review sites. You will find thousands of reviews from customers who have previously booked a stay at hotels around the world.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. This review site is where you can post your business information, ask questions, and share your stories.
Yelp is another review site that you need to be on. The site is extremely popular in the United States and has expanded to other countries as well.
How to Spot Fake Online Reviews
One of the easiest ways to spot fake online reviews is through the use of a website or software that analyzes the text of the review. Fake reviews often have certain characteristics that will give them away. Some of these are:
The Review Is Too Favorable
The first giveaway that a review is too favorable is that it is extremely positive. An authentic review will have a balanced tone, whereas a fake one will be over-the-top. The reviewer will try to boost the business’s reputation without any basis for doing so. Another giveaway that a review is too favorable is that it uses exaggerated superlatives.
As we say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So if somebody is giving out something for nothing, there must be an ulterior motive. A blatant giveaway that a review is too favorable is that it uses the word “genius” or “world-class”. These are words that are too strong to be used in an authentic review.
The Reviewer Writes In The First Person
The first-person writing style is reserved for authors and poets. However, if someone uses it in a review, they are likely trying to bolster the review’s credibility. This can be a giveaway that the review is fake. If the review is written in the first person, then it should contain a word or two about the author.
This word or two is a good chance for the reviewer to mention where they come from and what they do. If the review doesn’t mention the author’s name, occupation, or place of residence, then it is a fake review.
The Review Is Too Long Or Short
An authentic review will be of moderate length. It will contain a few key points and reader-friendly language with a few lines in each paragraph. If a review is too long or too short, then it’s a fake review.
A long review is indicative of a fake review because no customer would go on and on while writing a review. A brief review is usually a sign of a fake review.
How To Handle Fake Reviews
If you suspect that a review on your site is fake, there are a few ways that you can go about addressing it. First, you should check if the review is actually on your site. If it is, you can flag it as unhelpful and ask that it be removed.
Do this as quickly as possible after the review has been written so that other customers don’t see it. You can also respond to the fake review by politely asking the customer to leave a real review or clarifying what the experience was. You should not get aggressive or defensive in your response.
Instead, be polite and understanding. It is better to have one or two fake reviews than to have no reviews at all.
Pros Of Online Reviews
- Customers are more likely to leave reviews when they have a good experience. This means that you will have more genuine reviews than you would otherwise.
- More customers will find your business online when they are searching for reviews. This will lead to an increase in traffic and sales.
- You will have a better idea of how to improve your business thanks to the feedback in the reviews.
- Customers are more likely to recommend your business when they see positive reviews. This will lead to more word-of-mouth advertising.
Cons Of Online Reviews
- You have no control over what customers write. They could write something completely irrelevant or even untrue. This could hurt your business.
- You have no control over the time at which they are published. This means that even if you have addressed a negative experience, it will remain on your page.
- Negative reviews can be difficult to remove even if they are unfair. This could leave a bad impression on potential customers.
- Customer reviews give everyone a general idea about the quality of your products and services. This can be difficult to control.
The Truth About Online Reviews
It’s always a good idea to take online reviews with a grain of salt. While such reviews are often useful, you need to be sure that they are legitimate. As mentioned above, it’s easy for people to write fake reviews if they want to.
To get the most out of online reviews, you need to make sure that the reviews are genuine. You can do this by responding to positive reviews and addressing negative ones as soon as they are posted.
You should also make sure that your business page has a thorough description so that you can encourage more clients to leave reviews. Overall, online reviews can be a fantastic addition to your business strategy.
Online reviews are a great way for customers to share their experiences and for companies to get feedback about their products and services. However, the increasing number of fake reviews on these platforms has made it difficult for businesses to trust online reviews.
An honest opinion, whether it’s positive or negative, can benefit any business. Online reviews give you insights into areas where you could improve. While there are some ways to combat fake reviews, it can be difficult to catch them all.
In the end, the best way to handle reviews is to focus on providing the best service and products possible. There are many benefits of online reviews.
Articles You Might Want To Read: