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Tag: Internet Trolls

A concept image of a magnifying glass with a wooden handle on a textured white surface showing the word authentic but magnifying the word fake resembling counterfeitting

Receiving Fake Reviews From Competitors

In this day and age, dishonest companies have been able to stoop to new lows by attempting to damage their competitor’s reputation online with fake reviews.

While it may not be immediately obvious that a competitor is attacking you, a quick check through their other reviews should give you a clue. They are likely attacking other similar businesses in the area. If negative reviews are posted on other competitor’s pages within a tight timeframe, you’ve got the start of a case.

Fake and negative reviews are tricky to deal with. Always do your research before dealing with them, or you may be responding inappropriately to someone who is simply expressing their displeasure. Remember—there is such thing as a legitimate negative review. Take these as constructive criticism, and respond politely.

Tact at All Times

When responding to a fake negative review from your competitor, practice tact at all times. Whether this negative review is legitimate or not, treat it with the same respect. Follow these steps to compose a polite and professional response:

Breathe

Literally. Breathing exercises will calm you down, so take a few deep breaths.

Don’t take it personally.

A difficult one, but part of being a professional.

Address the issue.

Start your response off by repeating their complaint. For example: I understand that you (insert situation here).

State your core values.

Inform the reviewer of your business’ core values and why they don’t match with what happened.

Make a game plan.

Tell the reviewer what you plan to do to remedy the situation. If this is a competitor leaving a fake review, you likely will not actually do this because the situation did not occur. But, existing and potential customers will appreciate seeing what you would do if it really had happened.

Say thank you.

Thank the negative reviewer for their constructive criticism and invite them back to experience your business again in a better light sometime in the future.

Even if you expect this review to be removed, there will be wait time. Writing a proper response is of value to your future clients. Don’t lose business and allow your competitor to accomplish what they came to your review page for in the first place.

Keep on Keeping on

Being a business owner will always come with its ups and downs. This is what professionalism is all about! Practice being a professional adult at all times, flag inappropriate reviews and represent yourself well.

Should Google not agree with your report, you can always escalate the situation, encourage friends and family to flag the reviews as well, and tweet @GoogleSmallBiz to hurry the process along.

Like with school yard bullying, a reaction is always what a troll wants, so give them a minimal one. In the end, you make your own reputation in the business world and can overcome anything by keeping a cool head.

How to Respond to Internet Trolls

goatsIf you blog or are active on social media, you’ve likely come across a troll or two. They aren’t hard to miss. A comment from one sticks out like a sore thumb. This is because their comment usually has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. It exists solely with the purpose of ruffling a few feathers, whether that means pointing out a small grammar mistake, stirring up controversy, or using profanity. The first step to dealing with a troll, is recognizing that you have a troll on your hands. Not every negative comment has a troll on the other end, so it’s important that you can decipher between someone who is genuinely miffed and someone who is present with the intentions of upsetting people. Trolls have sadistic characteristics, deliberately offend, and crave attention. When you know for sure that you’re dealing with a troll, keep these following points in mind.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

Trolls want a reaction. They want to see you upset, flustered, and frustrated. Don’t give them the satisfaction. The secret to defeating a troll is to deprive them of what they want. Respond reservedly and concisely. State the facts, and move on. Or, better yet, do nothing. By responding to their comments, you are “feeding the troll”, or adding fuel to the fire. The best thing to do is ignore them. This is not advice we would usually give about responding to comments, but this is the way to go when it comes to trolls. They are not worth your time or energy.

Defend Your Readers

Sure, the internet is full of terrible people. But there are a lot of good people, too – people who will come to your defense in the comments section. While this level of loyalty is a rewarding aspect of blogging, it can quickly turn ugly. As mentioned, the best way to defeat a troll is not paying them any mind. Your readers may not know this, so they may unknowingly give the troll more ammo to cause harm. Your duty as a blogger, or social media administrator, is to have their back in the comments section.

Use Trolls to Increase Engagement

We’ve pointed at the importance of responding to negative comments in a calm and cool manner before, and while you should always be respectful, don’t be afraid to get a little cheeky here. Look for holes in their logic. Not only can outwitting a troll be enough to get them to back off, your sass may catch the attention of others.

Delete Comments

In a previous post, we recommended that you should avoid deleting a negative comment –  it’s always an opportunity to show how far you will go to find a solution to a specific problem. However, if a comment exists with the only intent to hurt people or if it contains extreme vulgarity, then you should remove it. Deleting a comment should always be your last resort. There is nothing stopping them from writing another post.

Final Thoughts

At LinkNow Media, we urge you to be active on social media and blogs. Don’t let a few rotten apples keep you from starting a blog or creating a social media profile for your small business. As long as the internet exists, there will be trolls. Understand their behavior and know the appropriate ways to respond, and you’ll always come out on top.

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