Who doesn’t love the weekend? When Friday and Saturday roll around, one of my favorite things to do is to try a new restaurant. Where do you turn when thinking about trying something new, whether for dinner Friday night, finding a new apartment or when the need for a mechanic arises? Asking other people’s opinions has always been a key part of the decision-making/buying process. Many of these conversations take place “offline” with a person’s network of friends and family. In this first post of a two-part review series, we will explore the new word-of-mouth marketing.
New Word of Mouth Marketing
For years, many businesses have thrived on word-of-mouth marketing. “Don’t forget to tell your friends” has more meaning today than ever before. A customer’s network of friends and family has expanded to include everyone online. Reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing. Whether people had an awesome experience or less desirable one, reviews shape what consumers think of a business or product and affect which restaurants, mechanics, or products they spend their money on.
Third-Party Review Sites & Search Platforms
It is not just customers that value local search reviews. In the world of search, many platforms are trying to deliver better and more relevant search results. Reviews and ratings have given them the opportunity to accomplish this. Review sites such as Yelp, Facebook and others are considered trusted sources of information. Search platforms tend to rank these sites higher in business search results.
Along with other third party review sites, it is strongly recommended to claim and build out a Google MyBusiness page. Pictures, reviews and ratings can be displayed from your Google MyBusiness page.
Get more Reviews
Just waiting for people to review your business is like taking a 50/50 gamble. The reviews will either be from someone who was less than thrilled with their experience and wants to take it out online, or from someone who was so overjoyed with their experience they want everyone to know. The best marketing strategy is to actively ask for reviews from your customers. Many people don’t think about writing reviews, but when you ask, they will. Make it a part of your marketing efforts. Doing so will help sustain your presence online and on review sites.
The last thing to consider when asking for reviews is to make it easy for your customers to do so. Sending a follow up text or email with links to the review sites gives your customer a gentle reminder, while also helping them find your pages. The more regularly you ask for reviews, the more you will get.
Reviews are changing the buying process and allowing your businesses to get more feedback from their customers. The first step to taking advantage of the new word-of-mouth marketing is to get people to review you. In part two of our review blog series, I will discuss the benefits of positive and negative reviews, as well as the best practices to responding to each.