NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/24/13 -- According to ReputationChanger.com's president Michael Zammuto, planting fake reviews is a imprudent way for businesses to try to get ahead -- but that hardly stops businesses from attempting it. In fact, the technology giant Samsung has been accused of planting fake reviews on the Internet; according to a recent news report, the company is being investigated following a number of complaints to the FTC, and Samsung is "simply admitting" to this wrongdoing "without really even fighting." Zammuto has issued a new statement to the press, opining on this contentious issue and on its implications for other businesses.
"All business owners understand that reviews are important -- and in this Age of Yelp.com, online reviews have never proven more important," begins Zammuto. "That a company like Samsung would seek to shore up its positive reviews is no great surprise but writing fake reviews is no way to do it."
There are many potential consequences that threaten companies engaged in fake review activity, and Zammuto says that Samsung has run afoul of all of them. "For one thing, there are legal implications, as the FTC is indeed staunchly opposed to fake reviews -- something Samsung is learning the hard way," he offers. "In addition, when a company is caught pumping itself up with fake, positive reviews, it leads to mistrust from consumers, and as such it can actually make a company's online reputation worse."
According to the news report, however, Samsung has not just taken to posting fake, positive reviews of its own products. The technology giant has also been accused of planting fake, defamatory reviews of its competitors' products. This, too, is rich with implications, says Zammuto.
"Samsung is not the first company to think of writing damaging reviews of its competitors' products -- and in fact, this practice grows more pervasive all the time," he explains. "As such, no company is impervious to the threat of fake, defamatory reviews, planted by a rival company. Even the best and most reputable companies can be brought down by this."
Zammuto says, it is indeed critical for businesses to get proactive in building up their positive review portfolios -- but faking them is not the way to go. "Companies definitely need to work to develop as many positive reviews as they can," he says. "The hard part is getting them from real customers and consumers -- though let it be said that some of the strategies for developing positive review profiles are really pretty straightforward." He says that many businesses are successful simply by asking their best clients, directly, for some positive feedback on sites like Yelp.com.
"Writing fake reviews can lead to trouble, but ignoring online review sites is not the answer either," concludes Michael Zammuto.
Michael Zammuto is the President of Reputation Changer, and as such he is one of the most public advocates for the online reputation management industry. An award-winning technology entrepreneur, Zammuto has successfully launched and guided several thriving online startups. His previous career experience includes work with ChaCha and Ontario Systems, among other companies.
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