The early stages of marketing a new dispensary can be hard. Trying to increase your foot traffic and get people through the door can be hard. When your business isn’t well-established on the Internet, it can be tempting to sign up for a quick fix that will help you generate plenty of positive dispensary reviews (and you wouldn’t be alone). However, implementing online review schemes can seriously damage your company’s reputation and call your credibility into question.
In addition to being less effective and more costly at times than healthier growth strategies, review schemes can create legal trouble for your business and negatively impact your good standing in the eyes of consumers. Here’s everything you should avoid related to online review schemes and some helpful tips to generate dispensary reviews the honest way.
Why Do People Use Online Review Schemes?
Oftentimes, businesses feel that in order to create momentum for their company, their online presence must appear to be more robust than it actually is. From buying reviews to creating fake accounts, many schemes exist to create the illusion of a bustling and successful business.
While it is true that perception can be key in establishing a relationship with customers—you know the old aphorism, “fake it until you make it”—these schemes typically end up backfiring on those who use them. Consumers are fairly savvy, and many will do careful research before making their purchase. If something seems wrong or “off” about a product or business, consumers will look elsewhere, which means that your dispensary may suffer.
Common Types of Online Review Schemes
There are a few specific, common schemes that businesses should watch out for. To start, any review generation strategy that involves the use of friends and family is not only likely to be ineffective, but it runs counter to most review-regulation guidelines set forth by entities like Google or Yelp. And failing to adhere to those rule may lead to punishment—like ranking demotions, account suspension, and deleted reviews.
Asking people for “review exchanges” where two people review each others’ service is also prohibited according to online commerce standards. Google suggests that any reviews that are not reflective of an authentic experience with your business should not be published on your website or other business listings.
Finally, you are not allowed to hold contests where dispensary reviews are required for entry. Within the cannabis space in particular, these schemes can cause your business deep trouble as many states prohibit free or complimentary items as a practice in general.
The Dangers of Online Review Schemes
As previously mentioned, the presence of numerous fake dispensary reviews can create an untrustworthy atmosphere around your business. While some consumers might fall for falsified reviews or dishonest review generation practices, many more are experienced in their shopping habits and can identify those businesses that do not have an authentic reputation.
In addition, many review schemes can be downright illegal. For example, giveaway schemes are strictly against the law; one cannot exchange products or services for positive reviews, or you risk running into trouble with the FTC. Likewise, Google will completely erase your online presence if they are aware that you engage in unsavory tactics.
How to Cultivate Dispensary Reviews Properly
Foottraffik exists to help businesses create the growth they need to establish a base of customers and a robust reputation within the cannabis space. Learn more about our comprehensive reputation management and review generation service, designed to assist your business with the task of acquiring buzz the right way.
Want to know where your dispensary ranks online? Fill out the form below to get a free Dispensary Audit to see how you can optimize your online presence.