Here’s a cold, hard truth you probably don’t want to hear: in the business world, people do judge you based on what other people say. But here’s a positive spin on that: if your reviews are positive, it speaks highly of you and your business, and that’s something you can be truly proud of. In fact, increasing online reviews is one of the best ways to grow your brand, especially if the reviews are of the good variety.
4 Smart Methods of Increasing Online Reviews
1. Make it as easy as possible for consumers to review your business on social media channels and review sites.
Claim or add your site on Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, Amazon, Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau, and any other review site or social media channel you see fit. Regularly monitor reviews that are submitted, and give an appropriate, controlled response to both the positive and negative ones.
2. Optimize your website and social media channels.
Make it easy for people to review your business directly from your social media channels and your website. Create a fillable form for your website, and add badges to your social media channels that lead users directly to the source.
3. Create email marketing campaigns specifically for reviews.
An effective digital marketing campaign would include sending thank you emails to individuals who make an online purchase from your business. It’s a great opportunity to focus on increasing online reviews. As you send this email, make sure you encourage them to review your business on a specific social media site, and provide a link for them to do so easily.
4. Give satisfied customers incentives to leave online reviews.
Encourage customers to review your business by offering discounts, gift cards, or a contest entry in exchange for the reviews. Consider it your way of thanking them for being loyal customers.
Why (Positive) Reviews are So Important
When’s the last time you went to a restaurant that was new to you? Did you step right in blindly, or did you take a minute to browse their menu online or look up their hours? We’d venture to guess that you checked out the reviews too, right?
Now, did you agree with the reviews? Chances are, after you left that restaurant, you understood exactly what the reviewers were talking about. … Or you had already judged the restaurant based on what you read and saw what you wanted to see when you were in there.
Either way, if those reviews you read were positive, you were likely encouraged to actually go to the restaurant. You might have also ordered what everyone else said was delicious, so of course you thought it was too. Now, there goes another happy customer who is likely to return time and time again.
But the importance of increasing online reviews goes far beyond the psychology of communication.
In other words, the reputation and future of your business isn’t only in your hands. It’s also on your customers’ fingertips.
Positive reviews are also beneficial because you can use them to grow your brand by making the reviews visible on your website and boosting them on social media sites. Social media, after all, is today’s “word of mouth” – even though yesterday’s “word of mouth” still counts too.
And of course we can’t forget this important factor: the search engines consider your reviews and your responsiveness to them when they’re ranking you. In other words, if you respond quickly to both positive and negative reviews, it means you’re an active business that is on top of things. And the search engines like that.