Positive reviews are the lifeblood of any dealership, but spotting those fake reviews and learning how to handle them can be just as important.
At Digital Air Strike, we always encourage working with a trusted, reputable technology vendor to help with a dealer's reputation management. That involves actively getting new reviews from your happy clients and monitoring and responding to reviews, whether it's positive or negative.
While the ongoing pandemic has increased online spending, this was followed by a rise of fake online reviews. Here are tips to spot those fake online reviews:
- 1. Were there a large number of reviews left within a 2-3 day timeframe?
- Often when businesses purchase reviews, the company they hire will log in and inundate the site with reviews all at once. There will sometimes be hundreds of reviews posted all at once, which is a telltale sign that the reviews are not authentic.
- 2. Look at the user profiles that are leaving the reviews.
- Is it filled out with information?
- Fake reviews will sometimes come from “burner profiles” created by companies that offer fake review services. These profiles will often not be completed or filled out with any specific information. For example, on Facebook, the user can add family, friends and fill in personal information about themselves. If you look at a profile and see that the “person” doesn’t have any friends, that’s a sign that the review is likely fake.
- Have they left reviews before?
- If a fake profile is created, the review will likely be the only review that profile has ever posted.
- If they have left reviews, are the reviews for businesses that are around the same geographic location?
- It is common to see fake profiles leave reviews for businesses in geographic locations that are not near each other.
- Where are the reviewers located?
- Often fake review companies will be located in countries that are not near the location they are leaving the review for. If the review you are looking at is for a business in Phoenix, AZ, but the user profiles are in a different state or country, that is an indicator that the reviews are not authentic.
- 3. Do you see a balanced mix of good, bad, and neutral reviews?
- All positive reviews with no negative or neutral reviews indicate the reviews are likely fake.
- Many negative reviews left within a short time frame indicate that the content of these reviews is likely fake.
- 4. Do you see a balanced mix of star ratings with written reviews?
- Fake reviewers won’t have an experience with the business to write about in their review. If you see a business page with all ratings and no reviews with content, that is an indicator that some of the reviews may be fake.
- 5. Do a large amount of the reviews mention the same employee?
- It is usual for reviews to mention an employee that they have had an excellent or poor experience with, but when many reviews left within the same time frame mentioning the same employee but no real details of the experience, could be an indicator that that employee has purchased reviews for the businesses site or asked their friend network to pad their review numbers.
- However, if each review includes specific examples of what the employee did or other details of their experience, you likely just have an employee who is excellent at customer service and/or has mastered the art of asking for feedback – In that case -- ask them to share their secrets for getting great reviews!
Digital Air Strike is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based consumer engagement technology company that helps over 7,000 businesses increase consumer response and conversions in digital and social media environments while generating measurable ROI.
Digital Air Strike provides a free Intel Report to businesses. Click here to get a custom analysis of your online presence, from Google and Facebook, to top review sites.