As one of the most popular online review sites, Facebook is susceptible to fake reviews. This guide shows you how to get fake Facebook reviews removed from your business page.
You can order a year's supply of dog food with a few clicks on a tablet and make phone calls without lifting a finger. (Getting Siri to actually call the right person is another story.)
But while advancing technology has made some parts of modern life easier, some corners of the Internet are like the Wild West.
Facebook, here's looking at you.
Facebook for Businesses: A Blessing and a Curse
Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild giveth and it taketh away. On one hand, the phenomenally successful site - which has more than 2 billion active users in a given month - has been hugely useful to many small businesses. Connecting with customers using Facebook is free, and so easy that even technologically unsavvy managers can do it.
How Facebook Helps
The social aspect of Facebook is a boon, at least for businesses that have mostly happy customers.
Say one such customer - lets call her "Carol" - uses your business and leaves feeling impressed. Carol goes home (or logs onto Facebook from her phone before leaving your parking lot) and writes your business a rave review, giving you five stars.
Then she decides to share the review with her Facebook friends - all 3,593 of them. All you did was give one customer good service, and within minutes thousands of people have read about how great you are. Thanks, Carol! Come again!
How Facebook Hurts
Unfortunately, while Carol is typing away in her car, the guy in the next car over (we'll call him "Cole") is doing the same thing.
Cole didn't just come from your business, though. He runs a competing business and he drove over to scope you out. He sees all the happy customers walking out of your doors and decides to do something to put a dent in your reputation.
So he logs onto the fake Facebook profile ("Dave") he created for exactly this purpose and gets creative. He writes about how he was just in your business. An employee was rude, he writes. Everything was dirty and the prices were too high. One star.
Later on, Cole logs into his personal Facebook page and shares the review written by "Dave." "Wow, the competition isn't doing so well!" he writes. "Our employees are always helpful, and we pride ourselves on cleanliness and fair prices. Everything is 10% off tomorrow, so come visit!"
Dealing With Fake Reviews
Ugh, Cole. No one likes you. But there are people like him in every city. They're not always competitors. Sometimes the fake reviews are written by bitter former employees, or from real customers who exaggerate their criticisms to make you look bad.
The who and the why don't matter that much when you're the one who's the target of fake reviews. What matters is how you get rid of them...
1. Report the Review
The only recourse Facebook gives businesses in this situation is to report the fake review.
- Log into your business's Facebook page and find the review in question.
- Find the three dots in the top right corner of the review.
- Click on the dots and choose the "report post" option from the menu that appears.
- Follow the instructions to report the post. A Facebook administrator should review it within a few days, but may not take any action to remove it.
2. Respond to the Review
Because it may not be possible to get the fake review removed, it's often a good idea to publicly respond to it so that other customers get your side of the story. Make sure you're calm before writing anything.
Keep it succinct, share your version of events, and try to turn it into a positive. For example: "This reviewer seems to be confused, because he describes a rude female employee but only male employees were working on the day he says he came in. Either way, we want to make this better so Dave, please message us so we can help!"
3. Minimize Its Impact
The odd negative review, whether it's fake or not, loses its power when it's surrounded by positive reviews. Having many recent and positive reviews brings up your overall star rating and makes those negative posts look like outliers.
You can get that steady stream of real, positive reviews written by real customers using an automated system like ReputationStacker. It's a simple, efficient way to get the rave reviews you've really earned.
All you have to do is drop in an email address or phone number for your customers and ReputationStacker automatically reaches out to them, identifying the people who have something positive to say about your business and directing them to the review sites of your choice.
ReputationStacker also offers a range of tools and widgets that help you manage your reputation, from alerting you about new reviews to helping you share your positive reviews on your website and social media pages.
Embrace Real News, Not Fake News
Facebook: love it or hate it, it plays a major role in your business. Fake reviews can hurt your reputation, but positive reviews can improve your reputation and help you grow your business.
Banish fake reviews and limit their influence by getting your real customers to write the glowing reviews you deserve. ReputationStacker can help by finding those customers and making it easy for them to write Facebook reviews.
Now that's worthy of a smiling-face emoji!