In this digital age, online reviews have the potential to make or break your business. While negative reviews can be a blow to your confidence, they’re also a brilliant opportunity to improve your business and give you the edge over your competitors.
If you’re not yet savvy with social media marketing, online reviews may feel like an uphill struggle. You might worry that these sites are reserved for established businesses with a vast network of contacts. However, as we’ll see below, there are plenty of ways you can use these sites to market your business without needing to be an insider from day one.
Read on for some useful tips and tricks on how you can harness the power of online reviews to promote your business.
Introduction to Online Reviews
Online Reviews Definition
An online review is a review of a product or service that has been published by an individual on the internet. Online reviews can be found on many different sites including social media, blogs, and review websites. Online reviews are important to consumers as they can give them information about a company or a service provider before they purchase a product or use a service.
Consumers rely on online reviews as a source of information about products and services and are increasingly turning to the internet for guidance on what to buy and where to shop. Some review websites are specific to certain types of businesses, such as restaurants or hotels.
Online reviews are important because they give potential customers information about companies or service providers before they purchase a product or use a service. Customers can read reviews to help them decide if they want to use a product or service and to see if other customers had a positive experience with the same company.
Types Of Reviews
There are three main types of online reviews:
- Product reviews. These are reviews written by customers who have purchased and used your product. Product reviews are often found on eCommerce sites and can be very useful in promoting your product.
- Service reviews. This is where customers review the quality of your service. They may also write about the ease of the buying process and how helpful your staff was during their interaction with your business.
- Brand reviews. Brand reviews are anything that influences the perception of your brand in the eyes of your customers. This can include your website aesthetics and design, the language you use, and the images and videos you use in your content marketing strategy.
Online Reviews Reflect The Identity Of The Business
Online reviews aren’t just a snapshot in time; they’re a record of your business’s journey and its successes and failures. As your business grows and evolves, so too will your reviews. It’s important to be aware of the journey that your review history is taking and to be conscious of your role in this journey.
It’s easy to get carried away with online reviews, but it’s important to manage your expectations and remain level-headed. Whilst reviews are an excellent way to generate leads and sales, you can’t simply sit back and expect them to flood in. Successful marketing is a two-way street, and all good relationships start with a little bit of effort on both sides.
This means that you need to be proactive in seeking out reviews, and also in responding to them. Reviewing your existing reviews (both good and bad) can also be a useful way of identifying the factors that are most important to your customers and adapting your strategy accordingly.
How to Use Online Reviews To Promote Your Business
The best way to use online reviews to promote your business is to be proactive. Avoid leaving your customers to their own devices and letting the reviews speak for themselves. Instead, actively seek out reviews and request that your customers leave feedback on your products and services.
You can do this by including a feedback form on your website, or through social media. Many social media platforms allow you to collect reviews via their native review and feedback functionality.
If you have a positive review from a customer, be sure to highlight it! Post it on your social media accounts and make sure to tag the customer. This is a great way to publicly thank your customers for their support and to show them that you appreciate their endorsement. If you have received a negative review, don’t be discouraged. Instead, use the feedback as an opportunity to improve the experience for future customers.
You can do this by taking the following steps:
Listen To Feedback
Take a moment to read the review and use it as an opportunity to improve your product or service.
Don’t take the review personally. Instead, think critically about how you can use the feedback to improve your business.
Respond to the reviewer promptly and courteously, thanking them for the feedback and assuring them that you’re working on improving the situation.
Once you’ve responded to the reviewer, take action to improve your business and the experience you provide for your customers.
How To Use Reviews To Develop A Marketing Strategy
Keep An Ear To The Ground
One of the best ways to keep an ear to the ground and to keep track of your review strategy is to create a business review strategy spreadsheet. This spreadsheet can be used to track the following:
- The date your reviews were published. It’s a good idea to keep track of when you received your reviews as you may want to revisit them at a later date.
- The source of your review. Where did your review come from? Social media? A blog? Which platform? Was it a review or just a comment? Your business review strategy spreadsheet can help you to keep track of all this information.
- The type of review. What is the content of your review? Is it a positive or negative review?
- The rating of your review. How many stars did your review receive?
- The title of your review. What is the title of your review?
- The URL of your review. What is the URL of your review? Keep a record of this as you may want to use it in the future.
Monitor Your Business And Brand
As well as keeping an ear to the ground, you should also be keeping an eye on your business and brand. This can include monitoring your social media analytics and keeping an eye on the content your customers are engaging with the most.
You can also use social media for competitive research. While this may sound a bit strange, you can use social media to keep an eye on your competition.
To do this, you should keep an eye on the following:
- The social media accounts of your competitors. Are you following their accounts? How often?
- The hashtags your competitors are using. What hashtags are they using? Moreover, what are they talking about?
- The content your competitors are posting. What type of content is your competition posting? Is it similar to yours? What do you think of it?
Ask For Recommendations And Response
Another great way to use online reviews to promote your business is to ask your customers for recommendations. This can be as simple as including a question on your receipts such as “If we’ve done a good job, why not click ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up? Or if you have a moment, we’d love to know why you chose to use us?”
If you’re feeling generous, post your review on Reliable Reviews, Facebook, Yelp, Google, or any other social media platform. Once you’ve received a few recommendations, you can use them to promote your business on your website or social media accounts. You can also respond to each recommendation and thank the customer for their feedback.
Turn One-Star Reviews Into Opportunities
If you have one-star reviews, don’t panic. Instead, see them as opportunities to turn a negative review into a positive one. For example, if someone is unhappy with the delivery time of their product, offer them a discount code or free shipping as a way of making up for the inconvenience.
If someone has given you a negative review because they don’t like your product or service, try to resolve the issue and ask them to remove their review. If you have a one-star review, don’t try to get it removed. Instead, try to turn it into a positive review and make sure your company is doing everything in its power to make that person happy.
Review sites are a huge part of the digital marketing landscape. If you’re not yet using them to promote your business, now is the time to start. When you first get started, you may feel like there are millions of other businesses waiting to pounce on your website.
However, there are plenty of ways you can rise above the noise and use these sites to promote your business positively. With the right strategy, you can get reviews on the review sites and become a legitimate player in your industry. The key to this is engaging with your customers and making sure that you’re giving them a great experience from beginning to end.
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