09 Oct Trick or Treat? Using Social Media to Boost Online Reviews
It’s almost that time of year again where all the ghouls and goblins come out. As a business, let’s just hope they don’t make their way into your customer reviews! That is if you are getting any. One of the biggest challenges today is getting the majority of customers to leave reviews in the first place. So, what can you do?
Well, how about tapping into the online network where over 2 billion people hang out and interact with businesses? Yep, I am talking about Facebook. But not just Facebook. Also Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Social media platforms enable you to reach and interact with a wide audience of people so they are the perfect place to solicit more reviews.
In this post, we’ll cover why online reviews are SO important and how you can use social media to get more of them!
IS YOUR BRAND A TRICK OR A TREAT?
Until customers have bought your product or service, they don’t personally know if it’s a trick or treat. We’ve all been tricked, and it’s not a good feeling. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on something that is lacking in value.
Enter online reviews.
Reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Consumer Affairs are important because of the fact that 92% of people read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Plus, 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Let’s be honest here, every business is going to say it’s the best because it wants customers to buy something. But when dozens of unbiased customers say that a business is great, that holds some ground.
Mostly positive online reviews create social proof that your business does what you say it does. It shows that customers who have invested in your product or service have been satisfied. As a result, they help you gain the trust of your audience which can persuade them to buy your product or service. But nowadays you need more than just a handful of reviews as consumers are review-savvy. They want to see a large volume of reviews with a high average score.
So here’s how you can get more using social media.
GET MORE ONLINE REVIEWS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
SHARE THE TREATS
Sometimes reviews come in, and they are like treats. They help your business and leave you satisfied. You want to spread these as far and wide as you can to increase their impact.
So think about it. Have you received any awesome reviews that really highlight your brand and what you can provide? If you have, you can maximize the impact by sharing them on your social media platforms. And, when you do, mention how much you appreciate the feedback and encourage others to leave their own reviews.
You can say some variation of, “Have you had an experience with our brand? We want to hear from you, too! Let us know how we are doing!” The positive review will remind others who have had positive experiences about their own while the call to action will drive people to leave their own reviews.
2. WIDEN YOUR WEB
Like a spider carefully constructing a web to catch its prey, your brand needs to widen your web to get more feedback. Many platforms have incorporated user-generated reviews, especially helpful in local search marketing, and brands need to be present across several of them. But how do you get reviews across them all? Let people know about all of the social and review sites that you are using.
For example, say you own a restaurant and have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, FourSquare, Yelp, and OpenTable but most of your audience is on Facebook. You could create a post for Facebook that encourages your audience to review your brand on Yelp. As time goes on, you can create posts for each of the other sites as well. You don’t want to spam your audience with review requests but strategically schedule them into your monthly plan.
After doing so, you will have reviews across various platforms so that no matter where a new customer may find you, they can hear the much-wanted third-party voices.
3. BE AS TRANSPARENT AS A GHOST
Transparency is key these days on social media. Customers want to know the faces behind the brand, and they look for authenticity. With that in mind, be honest. Let customers know how important their reviews are to your business and other customers and ask them to help by taking a minute to share their experience. Remind them that it all helps to improve businesses and the products and services available on the market.
4. LURE THEM IN WITH CONVENIENCE
Next, Facebook is a good place to collect reviews because it is the largest social media platform. Make it easy for your Facebook following to leave you reviews by turning on the “reviews tab” in your account settings. Then, customers can quickly rate you using stars and can leave you a comment. Not everyone is going to go to other sites so this step will ensure that you catch the less-motivated reviewers. The easier you make it to leave a review, the more you will get.
5. DON’T GET LEFT IN THE DARK
People may give unsolicited reviews about your company on social media sites, but they are not always easy to find. The good news is, you can use a tool like Social Mention to look out for mentions of your brand in the social media universe. You will get alerted when it happens, and can then use the review to your advantage. Further, you can respond to it which is essential to show gratitude or to address any concerns or complaints.
6. OFFER TREATS YOURSELF
You know the old saying “You get what you give!” Well, you can offer customers a reward for posting a review. However, you do need to be careful as there is a big difference between buying reviews and rewarding people for providing their own reviews. Customers should be left to leave the review they please, whether negative or positive, and still be eligible for the reward. Rewards can be something like 10% off their next purchase or a free little gift. These can work great when promoted on social media to your followers who are likely already customers.
GROW YOUR REVIEW BASE AND STOP SPOOKING CUSTOMERS
No brand wants to scare away customers before they even get the chance to try a product or service. And, nowadays, reviews are the key to bringing them in. Use the power of social media to solicit feedback from all those happy customers that haven’t taken the time to share their experience.
If you can get the review engine running, you’ll have a bunch of user-generated content that works for you. How great is that? The trick is getting customers to leave the reviews and also “wow”-ing them so that the reviews are positive. So do your best to deliver top-notch service to each and every customer and use these tips to get them to share their experiences. Then, customers won’t see your online profiles like a spooky old haunted house which sends them running!