The Importance of Online Reviews for Businesses Can Mean a Surge in Brand Awareness and an Overall Increase in Profit in the Long Run
An integral aspect of owning a business today would also mean the potential to garner online customer reviews for communication and positive participation. Customer reviews on social media today play a huge role in bridging divides between a viral form of feedback and simple word-of-mouth technique.
According to a local consumer survey report, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers also read at least an average of 7 reviews before trusting any business or buying a product.
So now if you’re sitting back leisurely in your chair and admiring these reviews, do know that you’re missing out on an incredible chance of creating more value for your business.
There are plenty of third-party sites that you can find reviews on, but there are possibilities of it being a vague and irregular number. Fortunately, there are methods on social media which can help an entrepreneur/business organically grow using only customer reviews for products/services.
What Should Social Media Platforms You Focus On?
Google Analytics notably mentions all the individual platforms that garner traffic. It also notes the platform that generates the most traffic.
For example, if Google Analytics points Facebook to be your key traffic generator- then focusing on the same social media platform and revamping it to have more social prowess is a good start. Though your company’s traffic may be coming in from Facebook, do not forget to count on other social media platforms as well.
In this consumer-centric online marketing era, aligning your business with other social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Google Reviews is a smart step forward. Focusing on two or more social media platforms would mean a unified approach in harnessing more power on social media with added customer reviews.
Facebook is a popular choice for customer reviews. It is a quick medium to give businesses credible information based on a consumer’s experience and evaluation of any service/product. Users can read reviews, add pictures or a rating besides the post, thus allowing users to quickly predict whether they want to opt for a service or not.
Twitter is not always the most sought-after option for reviews. Despite that, Twitter is a great platform to generate a snippet based on customer reviews. A lot of businesses use Twitter as a platform for customer service and it effectively helps in strengthening the link between a customer and business.
Instagram is a unique platform which has always outdone business expectations by harnessing the capability of doing more. Instagram’s review system is visually appealing and it cocoons an environment of detailed descriptions along with good-quality images. Most brands prefer using #hashtags and #reposts to generate a community vibe and develop brand awareness on social media.
- Google +
Having an optimized Google + page business profile is one of the most standard mediums of zeroing down on local searches. Being present on Google + can give you an opportunity for users to find your business using local maps, find the opening and closing times and even read reviews all based on your search results. If properly utilized, Google + can increase the overall traffic being generated towards your business.
LinkedIn recommendations for user reviews are extremely helpful for brand awareness and visibility in the online clutter. If you want your clients to trust you personally, then LinkedIn is the chosen platform. There are various plugins and tools that can help promote your LinkedIn on email and on the site. Since LinkedIn does not generate a lot of traffic as other social media platforms do, the key to connection is by packing more reviews in your bag. You can also request connections to review you from an entrepreneurial perspective to create a valuable profile.
As the social media expert, Brian Solis said, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
Extensive Ways of Leveraging Social Media for Customer Reviews
Billions of people around the world interact and engage with social media communities, which is why creating a profile for your brand is valuable. Social media is one of the easiest platforms for brands to interact with their customers and it is a constant channel of communication i.e if you do it right!
There are various ways to collect customer feedback, but what could actually be easier than a survey is the path paved for social media success. It is important to know what customers speak of, especially in association with your brand.
Curated below are a few ways of understanding how to grasp a consumer’s attention and leverage social media to improve customer service for a brand.
- Social Media Listening
Monitoring mentions of your competitors and your brand is a good idea to get started. By overhearing mentions of your brand name on social media, the solution of customer feedback, support and customer reviews will be addressed. Monitoring competitors on your social media platform can also help you connect with customers who are unhappy with your services and resorting to other means. Try and learn why they may be dissatisfied, and how you could improve on measures to better serve them. At your best, you can learn by differentiating yourself apart from the competitors, nurture leads and convert them to happier customers!
- Product Feedback
Collecting product feedback on a new product launch or changes to an existing product is important and efficient to keep your customer base in-the-loop. Leveraging your social network to be larger and constitute target customers, industry influencers and prospects is important as a communication medium for greater adoption rates post a new launch/feature changes.
Understanding the power of customer reviews is important because if unsatisfied, bad reviews coupled with a disgruntled person is a recipe for disaster for your brand. Product feedbacks are important since they act as reassurance towards the customer and your services.
- Efficient Focus Groups
Effective focus group interviews also have a good deal of segmentation within them. To filter that, conduct your R&D efficiently and incorporate mediums like Google + to target your audience. Facebook’s live feature for a Q&A segment is also a well-planned idea. Focus groups tend to make a person feel special about the power of choice and are inherently contributive towards a more refined search on products/services.
- The Power of the Poll
Conducting polls to understand the choices of your consumers is a fun, interactive method of garnering customer reviews and feedback. Asking people for their opinions on critical issues or lighter topics can gauge your customer’s opinions and preferences on a wider platform.
- Industrial Influence
One of the major reasons social media exists is for networking. Taking advantage of gathering the best answers to the choosiest of your questions is a brilliant way of asking for help, interacting, inducing engagement and also opening up new doors of meeting somebody influential and strengthening relationships. Influencers in any industry are of great assistance to somebody who wants to step up their game. This is a good solution for brands that are looking for greater visibility and hoping to create more awareness.
- Developing Personas for Greater Inbound Marketing Strategy
Do you know who your customers truly are? You may think it isn’t important in comparison to the product you sell but these are important characteristics that form customer- buying decisions. Having a well-defined persona can assist you with targeting marketing campaigns and narrowing down prospective customers. Personas put a face to a customer and drastically reduce confusion, thus better-placing products and identifying a user’s needs and wants. Developing personas is one of the most important aspects of your inbound marketing strategy since it paints a better picture for your marketing, sales and product teams.
As a marketer, adhering to common social media practices and community management guidelines include;
- Keep your responses to customers light, helpful and short. Focusing on building brand stories around their questions is also a good start.
- Responding to customers with unique statements instead of a copy-paste job is incredibly important.
- Incentives are another good way of asking customers for reviews. Incentives engage consumers to be more proactive with their ideas and who doesn’t love a freebie occasionally?!
- Avoid arguments with your customers online. Answering queries by being respectable is crucial. Ignore and disregard the use of hate language, profanities, and inflammatory statements. Those social-media wars are the worst and can tear a brand’s reputation down in just a few seconds.
Social media management software like Buffer, Sprout Social, Mention, Brandwatch among others are good bets on handling public forums, registering customer feedback, and assisting brands to develop their image with a brand identity attached to it.
Subscribing to Google Alerts is another good method of getting notifications as and when a customer posts a review or a comment.
Understanding the power of social media and various channels is important for a brand to show their customers that their opinions matter and that they care. Gathering insights from negative comments can be seen as an opportunity to accept failure, improve and expand the overall performance and growth of a brand.