There is nothing more important in digital marketing today than generating online reviews and carefully curating responses to all feedback that will have an impact on your business.
Online reviews can either be a massive boon for your business or a huge turn off to people finding you on the web. Consumers use online reviews to do everything from finding a doctor in their city to buying a book on Amazon.
A few bad reviews can be the difference between a sale for you or a deal for your competitor.
The quality and quantity of online reviews can also impact your local SEO search results, which is one of the largest marketing megaphones available to businesses. Plus, having better reviews gives consumers a reason to trust your service or product over your competitors.
Review generation and management can help you stay a step ahead of your competition and dominate the search results. We’ll show you how to get more reviews and effectively manage them.
What is Review Generation?
Simply put, review generation is the process of getting more online reviews on your business’ listings on review sites. This includes sites like Google and Facebook, among other industry-specific ones like TripAdvisor.
Before we get into how to generate reviews, we have to cover a couple of ground rules.
Different review sites have unique rules regarding the solicitation of reviews to ensure authenticity and fairness, so be sure you are following their best practices before asking customers for reviews.
Here are links to those guidelines:
At the time of writing this, Facebook does not have any guidelines for reviews.
How to Get More Reviews
Here are a few strategies for getting more online reviews:
- Ask for a review of your services in an email to your customers to show that you care about their feedback
- Add links on your website and other marketing channels to make sure your review sites are prominently shown
- Send SMS messages asking for them to review your business
- Ask for feedback with surveys on your website or in the office
- Have people check-in to your location on Facebook or other location-based social media
Important note: Make sure you aren’t pushing your customers to only give positive reviews, as this can violate many review sites’ guidelines. You should always ask customers for their real opinions rather than what you hope they will say.
A quick word on checking-in on Google and Facebook: This is a relatively new feature that tracks a user’s location in real-time and asks them to check-in or review the location visited. The service will then send them a notification up to 48 hours later asking how their experience was. Using this automated source, you can get a review without even having to ask for one!
If you do get a positive review, thank the reviewer and make sure to encourage them to come again.
If you do get negative reviews, don’t panic! Responding to negative reviews the right way can potentially turn lemons into lemonade.
Turning Negative Reviews into a Positive Asset
Just because you received a negative review doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around. A negative review is an opportunity to learn from mistakes and improve your customer’s experience. In fact, all of the review sites recommend being proactive in engaging with customers, especially to address negative comments.
Think about it from the consumer’s perspective—if a business is willing to take the time to apologize to an unhappy customer and tell them they will fix the problem, that should encourage that customer to come back and try the product or service again.
Reviews Improve your Brand Reputation
In the digital age, perception is reality.
Over 91% of consumers say they trust online reviews like they would a personal recommendation. That means that reviews are incredibly important for how people view your brand’s reputation.
If you run a healthcare clinic, people want to know that their doctor has a good bedside manner. People looking for a nice date night want to know that the serving staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu.
If you haven’t been proactive with your online reputation, there’s no time like the present to start.
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