If your reputation management plan is to simply submit your own reviews or use a company to do it for you, you are making a big mistake in your reputation management repair. first of all it is unethical. Secondly, such reputation management planning violates the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and could lead to a fine for deceptive advertising. Google, Yelp and other search engines look for this type of unethical reputation management. Getting caught could severely affect your business’s online presence.
Read the below article from Practice Dock.com:
The Legal Ramifications of Posting Fake or Paid Reviews Online as part of your reputation management
As more medical practices, plastic surgery centers and dentists joinonline directory listing sites to promote their business, it’s important to consider the legal ramifications of posting false reviews or paid reviews about your business online.
Dozens of listing sites now give users a chance to “rate” the business or service provider based on their experience, and also write brief reviews or testimonials.
Positive reviews and testimonials about your practice and services can help you generate more business and establish trust with prospective patients.
Unfortunately, some business owners take advantage of these services by posting fake reviews or paying people to post reviews on various sites. Is this legal?
Here’s a closer look at this trend:
FTC Guidelines About Posting Reviews and Testimonials
The FTC has created the following guidelines for reviews, blog posts and any form of online publishing such as articles:
· All endorsements or testimonials must be truthful and not misleading in any way
· If there’s a connection between the endorser and the company that would affect how people evaluate the endorsement, the relationship must be disclosed
· Even paid endorsements are considered to be deceptive if they make false or misleading claims
If the FTC or other consumer interest groups finds that your practice has been posting fake reviews online, or that you are paying someone to write reviews about your business without indicating that they are being compensated for the activity, you could face a hefty fine and end up losing credibility.
The Bottom Line
It is illegal to post fake reviews about your practice or business online, and you cannot pay someone to post a review unless they indicate that their response is actually an endorsement. So what’s the best strategy for medical practice managers, doctors and dentists?
Ask your loyal customers and satisfied clients to post testimonials on sites you recommend, and don’t pressure them into writing a review in any way. Reviews posted online must be genuine and authentic.
Take the time to market your services responsibility, ethically and honestly, and invite satisfied clients to post positive testimonials if they wish to do so.
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