Savvy marketers know that word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful way to get new customers. However, with the rise of social media, people are no longer just sharing their opinions in person: they are broadcasting them to the world through Yelp, Facebook, Citysearch, OpenTable ratings, Amazon ratings, etc.
While we marketers can say whatever we want in an advertisements and marketing collateral, we cannot control what our customers say about us. This makes these customer ratings even more powerful than traditional media.
Right now, your customers are using online reviews to form opinions about your business, your products, or your services. So, it is important for your company to have a positive presence on review sites.
If you have not yet done so, be proactive in polishing the online presence of your business:
- Set up a free business owner account on Yelp, confirm your ownership of your business, and regularly check your reviews
- Start a Facebook page for your business
- If you have a local service-based business, purchase membership in Angie’s List and regularly check your reviews
Once you have built a foundation for your business’ positive online presence, it is time to take the next steps:
- Encourage happy customers to go online and post a review of your business
- Reach out to disgruntled posters and try to resolve issues
- Send thank you notes to customers who have praised your business
- Look for trends or patterns and take action to remedy any issues
By taking these steps you will ensure that your business gets the most from online ratings.