By now, you’ve probably heard about the wonders of online review sites such as Angie’s List and Google+ Local. These sites have grown in popularity over the last few years, forcing many business owners and consumers to jump on the bandwagon. But before you turn yourself over to the wonders of online review sites, the following are a few things you need to know about these sites that nobody ever told you.
You don’t have to claim your page for reviews to be left.
Some businesses think that they can bypass receiving reviews by not claiming their business page on review sites, but this isn’t true. All review sites allow customers to leave reviews on your business whether your company page is claimed or not. This means that information about your business can be spread on sites you never even heard about, and if plenty of negative reviews pour in, it can be damaging to your brand.
When you claim your business page, you will be able to fill in the correct information about your company, and you’ll also be able to respond to the reviews as well as earn other additional perks.
Some reviews are fake.
In a perfect world, all the information that is found on online review sites would be real and accurate, but unfortunately, it’s not. Some companies are taking matters into their own hands and writing fake reviews for their own company to boost their rating, and some are even going as far as writing fake negative reviews for their competitors to lower their rating. Some consumers are even writing fake reviews on businesses they’ve never been to just to earn recognition by the online review site. Some sites provide their VIP members (those who write an insane number of reviews every month) with special perks, such as exclusive events or even money.
Most businesses opt not to focus on review sites because they don’t know how to manage them, but managing review sites is easy if you use the right tools. Review monitoring tool Review Trackers can easily help your company stay on top of what’s being said about your business. Review Trackers will send you an email alert every time a new review or comment is left on any review site across the Internet. This way, you always know what’s being said about your business and where so that you can take the right action.
They’re not going away.
Even with the fake reviews and the negative PR that some review sites have received (such as Yelp’s accusation of bribing companies to buy ad space), online review sites are not going away. Every day, more and more review sites appear because that’s what consumers want. They want a place to access information from other consumers, and they want a place to provide their own experiences to help the purchasing decision of others. As long as consumers continue to visit these sites and leave reviews, online review sites are going to stay.
AUTHORS BIO: Hailey Brunsworth is a freelance writer who teaches other review trackers about managing online reviews.