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Top Tips for Managing Online Reviews

Online reviews are something of a hot topic right now, and the ACCC is keen to eradicate dodgy practices.

Given the escalation in regulatory activity, I thought it might be useful to provide my top tips to ensure effective management of online reviews.

Social media – “house rules”

Someone has a rant on your Facebook Page, and attacks other posters who disagree or offer suggestions for resolving the problem. You delete their rant, which sends them into paroxysms of rage. New post, ranting about their deleted post. And on it goes.

It’s wise for brands with active social media pages to have “house rules” which posters must follow when engaging with your brand or other posters. The rules set the tone for the standard of behaviour expected, and establish consequences for breaking them.

In this case, abusing other posters would be a breach of the house rules. You can warn the poster that their post will be removed, while still inviting them to contact you offline to discuss their problem. 

Incentivising reviews

This is where brands often come unstuck. It’s fine to incentivise reviews provided:

(a)   They’re incentivised equally – not just the good ones.

(b)   The incentive is disclosed.

(c)   Negative reviews aren’t deleted, or only positive reviews published. In context, manipulating reviews like this may be considered misleading.

Managing negative reviews

If someone submits a negative review on your social media page don’t delete it out of hand, lest you enrage the poster. Instead, address their reasonable concerns.

If you screwed up, own it and commit to fix it. If the poster is still enraged, then nothing will placate them.

But others viewing the comment chain will draw their own conclusions, which are more likely to be in your favour if you’ve been reasonable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Kelly is the founder of KHQ Approved, which offers fixed fee solutions across a range of areas (including marketing law and contract review).  Peace of mind from an experienced team for a reasonable price.

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