Fake reviews on sites such as Yelp, iTunes and Amazon are usually pretty easy to spot, but that doesn’t make it okay. While I can understand a company asking their friends to post reviews about their business or product in hopes of some promotion, any time a company or their representatives blatantly misrepresent themselves and post false reviews, it tarnishes the credibility of the industry as a whole.
Nothing wrong with encouraging existing customers or users to post a review of course, but gaming the review system is something I’ve seen happen far too often to dismiss it as either a mistake or oversight. If you’re in the PR/Promotions industry, you should know better.
For those who do encourage reviews the correct way, what’s your best tactic? Do you ask customers for reviews? Make it easy for them? Offer incentives (a big no-no for Yelp)?
Seeing the hoopla surrounding the new 4-Hour Body book, I hope that everyone who gave 5-star reviews before the book was even available (seriously, there were over 100) understand that fake reviews can cost real money. Then again, Tim Ferriss could just be really, really good at getting his fans motivated.
Here’s me talking to ABC15 about this issue like these.