I love getting positive feedback or a review from people who have worked with me or enjoyed reading my articles. As human beings, we all like to be praised and validated for our efforts, while it also is a positive endorsement to others who may be considering my services. In turn, I like to sing the praises and give positive reviews for people who have delivered a great product or service to me.
However, I feel strongly about giving fake reviews or testimonials. From a personal perspective, false reviews go against my values. As a PR consultant and journalist working with women entrepreneurs and leaders, false reviews can just do more harm than good.
A recent post on a Facebook business group asked people to give fake reviews of each other’s websites or Facebook page. The post to date has had almost 1.5k comments and most in favour of giving each other false reviews. The popularity of that post has led to similar posts and shout-outs for fake reviews.
I was one of a small number of people to speak up against false reviews. The reasons I included were:
• You’re damaging your reputation and potentially causing a public relations crisis for your business if word gets out you’ve been conjuring up reviews.
• Search engines and social media platforms can penalise you for trying to beat the system (forms part of what is called black-hat tactics).
• Made up reviews are dishonest, unethical and a reason why people have less trust in marketing. (Research the many articles on this topic)
• False reviews go against best practice. You may want reviews but as the old saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”