By now you must have heard of The Shed at Dulwich, the top-rated restaurant in London… that didn’t exist. But how did Oobah Butler get his “restaurant” to the top of TripAdvisor, you ask? Butler reveals that it’s by using a consistent flurry of fake reviews. Yes, ITV’s Susanna Reid was right in calling him “a naughty boy”, but what can businesses learn from his little experiment?
- One is that people hunger for authenticity and are willing to pay for it.
- That people look for social proof. They trust “trusted” review sites so much they’re basing their decision on them. In fact, Nielsen says 70% of consumers trust their fellow consumers’ opinions online.
- That even top sites can be tricked (Yes, okay, SEO specialists and Google have been at it for a while, and this isn’t an endorsement to resort to trickery, we just like stating the obvious).
- That the adage “Fake it till you make it” actually works.