“What can we do about fake reviews?” This was the thorny question posed by the BBC’s Business Daily programme.

A World Service discussion looked at the tricky issue of managing online reviews – including the challenges faced by brands and the growing threat posed by bogus content.

Igniyte’s Managing Partner Simon Wadsworth, was part of the panel examining why this is such a huge problem and more importantly, offering tips to companies on what they can do to deal with fake, and real online reviews to protect brand reputation.

Review-powered consumer choices

The programme, broadcast Tuesday 19 June 2018, made very clear that, as the way we consume goods and services shifts more towards online, reviews are becoming increasingly important to the decision-making process.

Where’s the trust?

Today’s customers invest a lot of trust in peer to peer reviews – making managing them an essential part of any business strategy. But, as Simon explained, when reviews are mis-leading, the effects on brand and sales is devastating.

Brands under attack

UK and global companies are coming under attack from a wide range of sources, including competitors, ex-employees and malicious individuals.

“By the time they come to us, companies are often in dire straits,” says Simon. “With fake reviews affecting the way they do business.”

So, what can be done about fake reviews?

“Companies don’t need a ‘fake review’ strategy, they need a review management strategy,” Simon adds. “Customer service and marketing departments need to work together to look at both on and offline issues. Brands must invest in monitoring to allow them to spot problems and react to them quickly.

“Taking control of conversations that are happening online – and taking complaints offline where possible – is essential. It’s a huge job, but if you care about your brand’s reputation, it isn’t one you can afford to ignore.”

You can listen to the discussion and tips for businesses in dealing with fake reviews between Simon Wadsworth, freelance journalist Oobah Butler and James Kay at review site TripAdvisor, here.

 

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