Paying for Good Online Reviews?

September 18, 2012

All companies seek glowing ratings and reviews online about their products and services, and some companies are willing to pay for them. 

A new study by Gartner shows that corporate spending on positive paid-for social media ratings and reviews is on the rise and expected to continue to rise as companies place more value in online reviews. By 2013, 10 to 15 percent of online reviews are expected to be paid for by companies, according to the company’s research. 

Positive online customer reviews have been shown to have influence over customer decisions. A Cornell study last year found that negative online reviews prevent shoppers from making a purchase 80 percent of the time. 

Some companies pay customers to leave raving reviews about their business online, while others may tempt customers to leave positive reviews in exchange for an incentive, like a coupon or free sample. Review sites like Yelp and the FTC, which seeks “truth in advertising,” are reportedly unhappy about the growing trend because it’s tainting online reviews. 

Source: “10-15% of Online Reviews Will be Paid for by Companies in 2013,” TechSpot (Sept. 17, 2012)

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