These days, companies of all sizes are realizing that positive online reviews can greatly enhance their Internet marketing efforts- while bad ones can potentially destroy an otherwise healthy bottom line almost overnight. So obtaining and managing reviews becomes very important.
But the biggest issue with thousands of businesses – especially smaller ones – is that they have a different problem: they are getting few, if any at all, reviews.
You really can’t impress potential customers with great reviews if you don’t have any, so how can you get the ball rolling? Glad you asked, because today we are going to share a few practical tips you can use to get the feedback you need to move your marketing campaign forward.
Ask for Reviews, and You Shall Receive
This seems like an obvious idea, but it’s an important one. Your customers may not know how important their reviews are to your business. So let them know that you’d appreciate a bit of public feedback. It’s important to make your request soon after you have completed a transaction with them since the experience is still fresh in their minds.
Have a Presence on Major Review Websites
Review sites, industry websites, social media sites, and online directories are all popular venues to host reviews. It follows that you’ll stand a much greater chance of getting those reviews if you actually have an active profile on each of these sites. Your profile should be as thorough as possible by including business contact information, logos, staff photos, and a link to your website. Make it easy for buyers to find you online and say good things about your business.
Go the Extra Mile to Earn That Review
Before you can earn a great online review, you have to do something to stand out in your customer’s mind. So the easiest way to get a great review (even if you have an brick-and-mortar business) is to go above and beyond your customer’s expectations. Make them happy and they will be more inclined to share their experience.
Thank Your Reviewers
In the same way that asking customers to leave reviews can be an effective way to manage your business reputation, thanking the ones that do can be very beneficial as well. By publicly acknowledging individuals who say good things about your business, you encourage others to follow suit. Can you go too far in thanking your clients? Read on…
Be Very Careful about Compensating Reviewers
FCC guidelines say that you can compensate reviewers, but you can’t make that compensation dependent on the quality of the review. In other words, if you’re giving out coupons or discount codes to anyone who leaves a review for your products or services, you have to do so even if they trash you online. Be careful with these guidelines and plan your campaigns accordingly.
One interesting thing to note about online reviews is that they tend to come slowly at first, but then speed up once customers start to leave feedback. Momentum tends to generate over time. This means that if you have lots of good online reviews, chances are other satisfied customers will chime in as well. On the other hand, if people are saying bad things about your products or services on the Internet, you can expect other like-minded individuals to do the same. However, the benefits of having positive reviews outweigh the risk of dealing with some sour apples.
It’s up to you to get out there and earn the positive reviews you know you deserve- and show them off to the world. It takes some effort, but getting those positive reviews may give you very tangible benefits.