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February 11, 2018

5 reasons why I don’t use facebook reviews

It’s a post I see on a daily basis in almost all of my photography/small business groups on facebook, and it’s all about facebook reviews.

This is something that I have wanted to write on for quite a couple years, now and I am finally doing so!

A lot of people look for reviews, when hiring a photographer, or going to a new restaurant, but for the most part, I don’t trust reviews. They are usually coming from one of two people, people who had the most FABULOUS time somewhere, or a person who had the absolute worst experience in their life and wants to warn others. It is sad when you don’t have the best experience, and it is now a person’s first thought to go write one-star reviews on every single social media site.

Now it’s not just facebook reviews that I don’t trust, I don’t trust yelp either. Business owners can pay to get things removed off their pages, and then yelp keeps charging them more and more to keep the reviews off their page. It is multi-leveled unethical. I used to work for a company that did this and one of my daily tasks was to check all of our review outlets!

So here are the 5 reasons I do not trust facebook reviews.

  1. Reviews coming from people who don’t even live in this country. It’s happened to me when I had my reviews on, and a bunch of people from overseas started leaving reviews on my page. Sure they were 5-star reviews, but this is when I shut off my reviews because I have seen it happen to too many people. All of a sudden 20 – 30 people start leaving 1-star reviews on your page from out of the country and then try to get you to PAY THEM to take them back off. Facebook is not helpful in this situation of course. The only way to get them to take down a review is if it has profanity in it.
  2. Are you one of the people who sometimes get in arguments with strangers online? Do you comment on large companies/political posts/share content on Facebook. Do you know that people will actually click on your personal profile, find your business page and leave terrible reviews? They may even get their friends to join in on the “fun”.
  3. Clients using reviews as blackmail. Yes, this is a thing. Yes, it is slander, and YES it is illegal. I see it all the time, people posting screenshots of the father of the bride saying if they didn’t hand over the RAW files, he was going to sue and leave terrible reviews everywhere, even though in their contract that they signed it clearly states “Under no circumstances will RAW files will be given” Please don’t be this person. If you’re having trouble with a vendor, talk to them like they are an actual human being. You’ll get a lot farther with someone by communicating rather than blackmailing them and threatening to take them to court. Recently a photographer took a couple to court because of this and she WON. It was a big deal in the photography world so don’t be these people!
  4. Rival Companies leaving reviews on this page. Yes, I have seen rival photographers get into review wars on facebook. It’s terrible, and I am glad that I have an amazing community of photographers that would never do that.
  5. The last reason is a little personal for me. I used to do free shoots from my sorority in college, and after I graduated, I started charging them for shoots (You know like a business should do!). I loved shooting my sisters, but I was an alumnus now and trying to run my business professionally. Well, that made people in my chapter pissed and they started reviewing every single page they could find with my business name on it. I cried for days. Girls who were my sisters tore apart my business in just a matter of hours. I almost gave up photography, something I had been doing for 10 years and loved so much. I distanced myself from most of the chapter, with the exception of my little. Of course, after this, they had to hire someone anyways to do all their shoots!

The scariest thing is these are things that I see almost every day. I am lucky to have only had to deal with small problems with facebook reviews, but having repeatedly seen these problems, I just shut them down. Now I’m not that active on my business page anyways, Facebook is a pay to play (or be seen!) kind of page now, but that’s a whole different blog post!

Of course, I have seen arguments from people that those reviews don’t matter, because your clients will be able to tell the “fake” reviews from the real, but that is a lot of risks to take.

So how do you avoid this? Where can you get accurate reviews?

For wedding vendors, we are lucky to have two companies who run certified reviews. Meaning that we verify we have worked with the client, and it is not a fake review. These are Wedding Wire and The Knot, two of the largest wedding databases in the country. For those not in the wedding industry, I trust google reviews when it comes to internet reviews (for the most part)

The biggest seller for me when I am choosing to hire someone though is word of mouth referrals. People that my friends have used, that they have gushed about, and have told me the whole story, not just the terrible and the perfect! I have been going off word of mouth for the past 2 years, so this winter I finally put my big girl pants on and got myself on:

The Knot 

Wedding Wire

Google

Click on the links for my pages, and if you’re a past client of mine go ahead and leave a review!!!

So let me know in the comments? How do you feel about Facebook reviews or internet reviews in general?

and always remember that there is an actual person on the other side of the screen.

 

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