I’m on a bit of a reputation management kick at the moment.
I mentioned the other week about how social media management is an incredibly important part of your online marketing strategy.
But reputation management shouldn’t be a one-off part of your business. It’s a philosophy that should run through the core of your business model and affect everything you do online.
And now that Google My Business has launched, it’s easier than ever before for smaller businesses to manage reviews and grow their reputations.
The best policy
Companies that generate a lot of independent customer feedback online can point to it in a number of positive ways.
They can show how a number of people prefer their services to a competitors. They can be used to show how well people rate things like delivery times and postage fees, product quality, and much more besides.
A lot of Kia’s current global marketing strategy revolves around the positive independent feedback left about the company by customers that have purchased their cars.
Though not every review is a 10/10 appraisal of Kia’s models that works in the company’s favour. They play on the fact that the reviews, left on independent review site Reevoo, are real, honest customers that are leaving feedback about Kia.
It’s a clever strategy, especially when considering 94 per cent of new car buyers will do research online before committing to a purchase.
Though not the only factor, since Kia has been using online and offline reviews in its marketing efforts web traffic rose 21 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2013 while Q1 dealer website traffic was up 72% on Q1 2012.
Do you indulge in review management and how do you encourage people to leave reviews about you online? Let me know in the comments section below.
Ask and ye shall receive
I like to point to the Kia example not only because it’s been executed so well but because of another factor, the volume of authentic reviews.
Kia has thousands of independent user reviews. It’s not because they’re a big company, either. It’s down to one simple strategy – asking!
Kia simply asks customers six weeks after a purchase whether they’d like to leave a review or not. Simple as that.
It has helped Kia to amass a huge amount of genuine, positive reviews and – ultimately – helped get their name into the heads of new car buyers.
I hear a lot of people ask how to get more reviews. This is where the management aspect comes into things. Have you actually tried asking people to leave a review?
Like social media management, review management is all about building long-term relationships with your customers and doing everything in your power to keep them happy.
Like an angry tweet or Facebook post, a negative review has to be dealt with quickly and professionally to make sure that people have the absolute best perception of you as possible.
95% of unhappy customers will return to your business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. Can you afford to be sloppy?
What’s the nicest review you’ve ever had online and did it have an impact on your business? What was the worst? Let me know below!
Review your review process
Kia’s review is a very long-term approach to help the company get closer to its customers, but there’s no reason you can’t start optimising your website and social media presence for people to leave reviews now:
Make it easy
Usability is hugely important when you want people to leave reviews. People are more likely to leave a review if they can fill out a box, click a button, and not have to do anything else.
Having to fill out a lot of boxes and jump through a number of hoops quickly turns people off and discourages them from leaving a review, even if the intent is there.
Be alert on search and social
I mentioned recently in my post about link reclamation how important it is to monitor mentions of your brand. Review management follows the same principle, and getting in touch with people talking about you to ask them to leave a review is a very positive move.
Google Alerts can help in this respect as can keeping an eye out for brand mentions on a social media platform such as Hootsuite.
Make your reviews visible
Visibility is essential when leaving reviews, both socially and on your website. Make sure you activate your Facebook page’s review tab and encourage people to leave a Google review for you.
It’s easy to add review widgets such as GetKudos to your website with a simple bit of coding to encourage people to leave their thoughts behind.
Take the punches
No matter how upset you get or disagree with a review it’s essential not to censor people. Take negative feedback as seriously as the positive and use it to grow in the right direction.
90% of consumers say online reviews influence their decision before they make a purchase. People will be more appreciative of an honest, independent appraisal before they put money your way instead of a lot of fishy-looking 10/10 reviews.
Create an incentive
People will be more willing to leave a review if there’s an incentive involved. Incentivise potential reviews by entering people into a competition or offering discounts to people that take the time to leave constructive feedback.
Make the incentives clear on your website and promote them often through your social media channels. Include the campaign in your email marketing campaign to start building a catalogue of genuine reviews.
However, be sure not to go overboard and to stick to Google’s review guidelines.
Word of mouth is still the best marketing tool there is, especially if it’s positive. Putting a good review management strategy in place will help spread word of how good your business is to customers old and new.
If you’d like to learn more about review management and how to make your business more visible online contact us today!