Until recently I thought Facebook reviews were a really important part of small business, I guess I still do, but I saw something last week that really worried me. Reviews of any kinds are a great way for your prospective clients to see who you are and what you do and that is important feedback for your clients to have.
Unfortunately what I saw was a deliberate twisting of the Facebook review system. I witnessed a business requesting others businesses to like there business page on Facebook, which is a legitimate way to grow your exposure.
However this person also asked for others to leave a 5 star review in exchange for the same for their business. This is what worried me. I use Facebook reviews, in fact all online reviews to give me a feel for what others think of a business, and while I am not naive and understand that there is every possibility that these can be false, I was saddened to see so many businesses happily give 5 star reviews for services never received. What those businesses obviously don’t see, is that those reviews can actually hurt your business and badly.
Wait what? Positive reviews can actually hurt your business, but how??
Unsubstantiated reviews will be seen by your proposed client, and when there are many with no description of the services received, it is quickly apparent that these are fake reviews. I know I wouldn’t touch a business that needs to compromise its integrity by encouraging false reviews, what else wont they be truthful about?
So if you are a business and you have taken part in something like the situation I have described above, my advice to you is to immediately remove the false reviews. Stand by what it is that you do, by all means take part in likes for like, grow your page and be proud of what you do. But don’t cheat, because like any other time in life when you cheat, you loose your integrity. Every. Time.
If you are a prospective client and you want to check if reviews are real, ask the reviewer! Send them a DM, mention the business you would like to know about and ask them about their experience. You will pretty quickly know if they are telling the truth, and if it becomes apparent that that business has fake reviews on their Facebook page, call them out, or walk away.
Have you ever left a review for a business? Do you read reviews?