Should You Buy Online Reviews?
I wish this wasn’t even a question that I get asked, but it is.
My short answer: No!
My long answer: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates that anyone receiving a gift or incentive in exchange for a review MUST disclose it. This law doesn’t differentiate between a $1 gift or a $1,000 gift. If you give someone free treatments, gift cards, or monetary compensation, the incentive must be clear and conspicuous to whoever is reading the review.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read reviews that have been incentivized I tend to assume they are biased. When I see a business service or product, with a lot of compensated reviews, I tend to think “tacky” or “cheap”. I believe it’s fair to state that clients leaving genuine & accurate reviews are not generally compensated. Not that this never happens – just hardly ever.
To stay compliant with FTC regulations, ensure the clients endorsing your practice have received a service or product from you. Don’t ask someone who hasn’t received a service or product to leave a review. Make sure that anyone sharing a review in exchange for a gift discloses the agreement. Also, ensure that clients reviewing your products know they are expected to provide an unbiased review and that a negative review won’t impact their compensation.
To sum it up, incentivized reviews do not really help your online reputation, and if they aren’t disclosed it’s illegal. It’s best to stick with a traditional client review system. The best way to get genuine & positive reviews from your clients is to have an automated system send a text or email shortly after your clients’ check out.
I understand the struggle that many aesthetic business owners face trying to accelerate their growth and strengthen their reputation, I am here to help! Contact me with any questions that you have about providing a client experience so excellent, your client can’t help but leave a review!