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Here’s a recent comment from a user wondering about whether they should buy Tripadvisor Reviews.

“I run a small B+B in Mexico.  I’ve bought Tripadvisor reviews in the past.   It’s expensive and they’ve  removed a few.   What are the best tips to keep me in the 4 – 5 star ranking?”

Let’s take a step back.    TripAdvisor, as a travel content aggregator, is best known for their large amount of user reviews. In fact, they were one of the first travel websites who adopted user-generated content. Even though the site encourages users to submit their reviews on the site, there’s a dark side to the practice.

Should You Buy TripAdvisor Reviews?

Buy Tripadvisor reviews

If you run a business, like a bed and breakfast, hotel or restaurant you probably want to attract more business. You start looking at TripAdvisor and find more 4-star reviewed establishments than you thought.

Four-star reviews imply quality. Anything less is seen as either average or less than average. If you don’t have 4-star reviews, your business might have a problem gaining new customers and growing.

The problem is that your business has several two-star reviews on TripAdvisor and an ad for your competitor with four-stars is showing on your page. This could mean that your business is practically ‘dead in the water’.  Most people might think your business, well, isn’t good enough and may be willing to visit your competitor even if their cost is higher.




Sometimes, TripAdvisor may filter out good reviews, only leaving bad reviews ‘out in the open.’ They say that first impressions are everything in the business world—and those low-rated reviews pretty much cost your business its reputation and potential sales.

In a moment of desperation, you thought about to yourself, I should buy TripAdvisor reviews. You did a search on Google, checked out some sites and eventually landed on this page.

There are plenty of services that will let you ‘buy TripAdvisor reviews.’ Business owners like yourself can even buy hundreds at a time to boost the ‘appearance’ of your business’ reputation on TripAdvisor.

You might have glanced over these sites and thought, ‘I probably need these reviews to counteract those negative reviews and get your business booming.’ You’re thinking that moving up a few stars can make your business look reliable to consumers.

Buying TripAdvisor reviews to move business up just a few stars-on-average isn’t actually such a good idea— here’s why.

The Truth Behind Buying TripAdvisor Reviews

Website where you can buy tripadvisor reviews

Let’s be honest. Buying TripAdvisor reviews seems like an easy way to make your business look great to users.

You only have to spend a few hundred or a few thousands for several dozen reviews, guaranteed to ‘boost your business’ and TripAdvisor reputation. With the promise of using ‘ethical white-hat reviewing techniques,’ you really can’t blame business owners for being enticed by that kind of business-boosting prospect.

The thing is buying reviews is dishonest. In other words, you’re paying a service to lie to potential real customers. This is unethical and you will get caught.

As an example, hotel businesses who buy hotel reviews have those same reviews talk up their facilities. Their facilities may have ‘great rooms, fast service, and good food,’ but in reality, may provide service that’s less than what the reviews allege.

When customers see these reviews, they’re expecting the bed and breakfast establishment to actually be worth the stay. When they actually experience your establishment, they feel confused and even betrayed.

How to game tripadvisorYou’re also lying to TripAdvisor if you purchase reviews. Doctored, bribed and dummy reviews are actually some kind of ‘epidemic’ on the site, somewhat tainting their reputation. Businesses have been buying TripAdvisor reviews through review writing services to ‘boost’ their site reputation. In fact, TripAdvisor banned over ’30 hotels for suspicious reviews.’

Many of these reviews were bribes by the establishments themselves, promising customers additional incentives for their stay—if they left a glowing review. The other reviews naturally originated from buying hotel reviews from writing services.

To combat the prospect of ‘fake reviews,’ TripAdvisor now monitors user-submitted content on their website. Reviews now are subject to ‘a verification process that reviews the IP address and email address of the review author, detecting any suspicious patterns or questionable language.’ Users are also allowed to report suspicious content, later reviewed by their team of ‘quality assurance specialists.’

Even though TripAdvisor is taking steps to completely remove these ‘fake’ reviews, not all reviews are completely gone from the site.

Should You Buy TripAdvisor Reviews?

If you decided to buy TripAdvisor reviews, don’t think you won’t get caught. Your industry is a competition between your competitors and yourself—as it is a game of pleasing your customers. Competitors will always monitor their competition. It only takes a few suspicious reviews for people to suspect your business of having a doctored TripAdvisor page. You will get caught.

What can you do instead of buying TripAdvisor reviews for your business?

Start Monitoring Your Reputation:

That’s simple enough. Instead of resorting to the ‘easy way,’ there’s the hard way. Luckily for you, the hard way to promote any hotel, bed and breakfast and even excursion business is good old-fashioned online and offline marketing. The better news is that you can use Socialdraft’s Managed Services to take this off your hand. However, if you want to handle it yourself, here is a breakdown of what you need to do.

Remember that this is about the long run, and you want your hotel or BnB to be around for years to come. Set your place up on Google Alerts. Whenever your hotel or BnB is mentioned, take action:

Good Reviews: First, click over and engage that user. Thank them for their review and send them a small token of thanks. Then share that amazing review across all your social media accounts. This is the best kind of advertising.

Bad Reviews: Click over to the site. Inspect the negative review. Was this a crazy customer, or was this something others have complained about. If this is a legitimate complaint, make a note to discuss with your team. Then, take the time to thank the customer for bringing this to your attention, let them know it is being handled, and ask them for a chance to make things up. It is possible to turn negative things around.

The Takeaway?

Don’t buy TripAdvisor reviews. If you are getting constant negative reviews under 3 stars, then you need to look at your business and analyze why these are happening. Take the time to fix these items…then…start responding to each bad review. Ask unsatisfied customers about what they didn’t like about your service, especially if it’s something that can be improved. Take bad reviews in stride. Take them as an example of what you need to improve in your hospitality business.

You don’t have to buy TripAdvisor reviews to make your business look that much better. Be honest with your customers to improve their experience at your establishment.

 

To be honest, this takes a lot of time. If you don’t have the time or expertise on how to deal with TripAdvisor reviews, let our team of experts handle it. The Socialdraft team has been managing TripAdvisor reviews for local clients for over 10 years. How does it work?

  • You are assigned a SIM (Social Identity Manager)
  • First, your SIM will optimize your TripAdvisor listing.
  • Then, your SIM will analyze your TripAdvisor reviews to let you know what the most pressing issues that need to be addressed are and give you actionable items so you can start to get them rectified.
  • Your SIM will come up with a set of responses that can be easily customized for recurring issues that are brought up for your TripAdvisor reviews.
  • Your SIM will respond to reviews so you don’t have to and send you a weekly progress email.
  • If there are sensitive items that come up on TripAdvisor reviews should be addressed internally or need the touch of your lawyer, your SIM will let you know so that you can take the necessary steps to address it.

Want to learn more about how we can help your business manage its TripAdvisor Reviews? Schedule a discovery call with us today.

So you want to buy some reviews for your business from Yelpers. You know customers are constantly searching for reviews before choosing where to spend their cash. You know that if you have a 4-star review it’ll drive more “boots” into your business. Problem is, right now you have a 2-star review and you’re “dead in the water”. Maybe you’re a new business and Yelp has filtered out your last three good reviews but only shows that 1-star review by some annoying customer. It’s frustrating, it’s not fair and it’s costing your business money. But, before you go and buy Yelp reviews, think about how it could negatively affect your business…and consider using Socialdraft managed services to help you manage your reviews instead. Let’s get down and dirty before you make a big mistake.

Buy Yelp Reviews For Your Business Today

If you made it to this page, you’re probably in the situation outlined above. You searched around the internet for websites that sell Yelp reviews. You’ve seen some that charge a mere for $25 per review. “Wow, that’s cheap!”….you tell yourself. If I move up a few stars that could mean five, ten, maybe even fifty thousand dollars of new business. Easy decision, right? Wrong!

There are major ramifications ethically, financially, and even legally.

Let’s break down each separately.

Is it ethical to buy fake Yelp reviews?

Buying Reviews on Yelp

No. The reason why is you are allowing a third party to lie to your future customers about the quality of your business. You have real customers who pay you money for your product, instead of listening to them you’re misleading them. What if they find out? Well, I’ve got bad news for you Yelp’s algorithm has gotten more and more sophisticated to the point where they know when a review is fake and should be filtered. Continuous infractions get pages flagged. The above image shows what your Yelp page could look like if you buy Yelp reviews and get caught.




How many people do you think will find you on yelp now? Not many.

How can buying fake reviews on Yelp hurt you financially?

Let’s say you’re not caught by Yelp’s algorithm. You get 20 new 4 to 5-star reviews (costing you $500). You start to see you business traffic pick up which is good but you then start seeing new reviews coming in which are negative. Why you ask? Because you’ve deceived the Yelpers and their expectations are high (you are a 4.5 star now aren’t you?). Now that falsely inflated traffic you were receiving is dropping like a bomb. What can you do? It dawns on you buy more reviews. This cycle goes on for a while until the company you’re buying fake Yelp reviews from offers you reviews from Yelp Elites. You agree because a Yelp Elite is 10x more important than a normal person. Because of that you pay the premium of $500 per Yelp Elite review.

Socialdraft’s Managed Services include Yelp page optimization, and review management.

You wait a few weeks and your reviews are still sinking. You think that Yelp Elite reviews could help. You contact the company you’ve been buying reviews from and they say you just have to wait a bit more. What you realize is that you’re not scamming Yelp, you’re getting scammed. Yelp Elites get so many benefits from Yelp (private parties, free dinners, free swag) that to risk all that for a few hundred bucks isn’t worth it.

What Happens If You Get Caught Buying Yelp Reviews

Let’s say you get caught. Your account will be flagged on Yelp. That free traffic they were sending to your website disappears. Past angry customers will comment about this on your social media sites as well as other review sites. News sites write articles about businesses that buy Yelp reviews, they use you as an example.

Ask yourself how an article in the local paper stating that your business was not good enough so you had to resort to paying some guy online to create fake accounts for you to get fake reviews. I’d say that would affect your bottom line in thousands of dollars a month.

Is buying fake reviews on Yelp illegal?

You’re probably telling yourself, “I’m not going to get caught and if I do I’ll spin it some way that it won’t affect my business”. Well bad news, this is also illegal. Federal Trade Commission’s (FT) 16 CFR Part 255 Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertise says it’s a big “no-no”. In particular, Part 255 is used by the FTC to require any bloggers, product/business reviewers, third party advertisers, and others posting reviews to disclose any financial incentives (if they were paid), gifts, accommodations, or otherwise benefits they may have received in return for posting a review.
You know that company Belkin. They build those Wifi routers you have in office. Well, they were fined in the 7-digits. A plastic Surgery Franchise was fined $300,00.

According to the FTC “Anyone that uses someone else to “promote their products would be wise to put in place a reasonable monitoring program to verify…that they follow the principles of truth in advertising.”

You keep saying to yourself there is no way they’d find out. Wrong. Remember it’s not just a relationship you and your customers have. There is the relationship you and your competitors have. Wouldn’t a competitor who knows you’ve got fake reviews send a few anonymous calls to the Attorney General and even Yelp itself? This is scary stuff.

What can I do instead of buying reviews for my business?

Now you’re asking the right questions.

1 – Analyze

You need to look at the review you have and see if there is a trend.

  • Is a waitress slow with the check?
  • Is there a problem with your receptionist?
  • Can your bedside manner be better?
  • Are your prices too high?
  • Since you stopped offering towels in the gym, did people get upset?

 

Read all the reviews and look for a thread connecting each. Once you see it you’ll know what is the first thing you have to fix.

2 – Fix it.

You’ve identified the issue take action.   I am not telling you to put a band-aid on the problem. I am saying fix it outright.  Sometimes, this is almost impossible.   You might be cash strapped or even the complexity of the issue is too hard for you to fix in a short period of time.  That’s okay.  Breathe.   How about taking baby steps.   Fix what you can of the issue and devise a plan to keep doing that.

  • Bad waitress? fire her.   If she’s your sister-in-law, move her to the register.
  • Got a batch of bad inventory?  Write off what you can or lower the price and mark it as “almost new”.   Someone will take it.

Be creative about the solution and you’ll see how simple it is to cut out of your business.  Those nights you’re up thinking about this blight will be gone.  It’s gone and your business is stronger for it.

3 – Shake hands and Kiss Babies

Go back to Yelp and respond to all the bad reviews.   Admit to the issue and tell them how you fixed it.  People love this.  They want to understand you are not some evil corporate company that cares for profits over their happiness.   Once they see you respond to them it will alleviate some of the anger from your customers.  I can call Keanu Reeves a bad actor all I want, but if I met the guy I’d tell him I loved Matrix 2 (which I hated). People have a much harder time being mean when they are personally invested in a business.

Invite the people who were upset to come back.  When they come in, thank them for their time.  Show them around.   In no time you’ll see those 1-star review change into 3+stars.

These 3 steps should help you mitigate and traverse the dangerous world of reviews.

But I Don’t Have Time For This!!!!

That’s where Socialdraft’s Managed Services come in. Socialdraft combines technology with the human touch to help you get Yelp off your mind. How does it work?

  • You are assigned a SIM (Social Identity Manager)
  • First, your SIM will optimize your Yelp listing.
  • Then, your SIM will analyze your Yelp reviews to let you know what the most pressing issues that need to be addressed are and give you actionable items so you can start to get them rectified.
  • Your SIM will come up with a set of responses that can be easily customized for recurring issues that are brought up for your Yelp reviews.
  • Your SIM will respond to reviews so you don’t have to and send you a weekly progress email.
  • If there are sensitive items that come up on Yelp reviews should be addressed internally or need the touch of your lawyer, your SIM will let you know so that you can take the necessary steps to address it.

Want to learn more about how we can help your business manage its Yelp Reviews? Schedule a discovery call with us today.