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Why The Rules For Getting Business Reviews Online Are Trickier Than You Think
Ingrain Social Media Tip of the Day #2-
If you are leaving a review online in places such as Facebook or Yelp and you have a vested interest in leaving that review, you MUST disclose it!
As a business owner, one of the most difficult things to accomplish online is getting a solid base of online reviews for your business. Not only is it challenging to get customers or clients to follow through with the call-to-action, you then have to choose from the multitude of sites available for online reviews.
To solve this problem, often well-intentioned business owners will turn to friends or family members to leave reviews for them, they may even buy reviews from questionable sources.
Why is this an issue?
The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for overseeing the truth in advertising regulations. As part of the FTC guidelines, they state that all reviews and testimonials need to depict the average customer experience, or you need a disclosure (this is why you see that little blurb at the end of diet commercials).
If you are leaving a review on a site like Facebook or Yelp and you have a vested interest in leaving that review, you MUST disclose it. This includes being a direct family member, employee, etc.
What to avoid?
When a business offers to “flush” out bad reviews or tells you their employees will leave reviews for you on pages to boost your reviews, a red flag should go up. Not only is it not ethical, it’s violating Federal Trade Commission guidelines…
What to do instead?
Make it a regular habit to ask for reviews from customers and clients. Provide a link to your preferred review site on your business cards, receipts, invoices and email signature. Don’t be afraid to ask and keep asking. At the end of the day, patience is a virtue and it takes time to build a business.
As I say in my workshops and to my clients…
Social media should be genuine, authentic and transparent. Keep it classy folks
Mandy Davis is the owner of Ingrain Social Media a boutique digital marketing agency in Bend, Oregon that specializes in digital marketing with an emphasis on social media marketing. Mandy helps clients from all walks of life and industries get their brands found online.