Social Media 101: Online Reviews

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online reviewsFor the last topic in our Back to the Basics: Social Media 101 series, we focus on the importance of online reviews and testimonials and how your business can use them to its advantage. Keeping up with online reviews and testimonials is a way to stay proactive with your online reputation and is crucial to your business’ success.

Just the Stats

According to an article posted by Invesp:

  • 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on/with a business with “excellent” reviews
  • 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 92 percent of users will use a local business if it has at least a four-star rating
  • 26,380 reviews are posted every minute on Yelp.

As you can see, these numbers and statistics are staggering. Having a good online reputation is imperative to helping your business succeed and excel. Most consumers consult online reviews when trying a business or product for the first time, and the likelihood of a consumer visiting that business, and spending more, can rely heavily on whether the  reviews are positive or negative.

Where Can You Find Online Reviews?

Online reviews and ratings can be found in many places. Some popular online review sites to direct happy customers to include Google+, the YellowPages, SuperPages, Yelp and Angie’s List. These are all either review sites or sites that host a review section that consumers can go to in order to research and find information and reviews about a business.

Also growing in popularity, are business ratings on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook, users can post reviews on the business’ page for anyone visiting that page to see.  A potential challenge with this for the business is that these reviews cannot be removed, so both the positive and negative ones stay on the page as long as reviews are displayed. Facebook users can also choose to write a review of the business on their own page on their timeline. These can be hard for businesses to track, but certainly can impact reputation due to the influence of that one person on their friends.

What mRELEVANCE Likes about Online Reviews for Business

Online reviews are excellent for businesses for many reasons. First, and probably most obvious, reviews and testimonials show potential customers what others think of your business and how you deal with customers. Online reviews are the consumers’ evaluation on the business’ performance. If a business has many positive reviews, then it is a good sign that the business is on the right track, and should continue the route it is going.

In a way, consumers that leave good reviews are doing your marketing for you. The marketing industry refers to these customers as raving fans. Other people see their reviews and are more likely to try your business. A business can also see where there is room for improvement and how to better serve its consumers, thanks to online reviews. It is important to listen, think carefully on what action should be taken next and then act accordingly.

One last reason why we think online reviews are good for your business is that reviews give consumers a way to interact with the business and creates engagement and a relationship between the two. Having a solid reputation and relationship with consumers helps create raving fans that return as loyal customers. Many times, a business can respond to the reviews, good or bad, and by responding appropriately the consumer feel slike their voice is heard and that the business cares about what they have to say.

How Should Your Business Respond to Negative Reviews

First thing is first: receiving a negative review, is not necessarily a cause for concern. Many times, negative reviews are provide much needed constructive feedback on where your business might need to improve. Thanks to negative reviews, you might come across problems did not even know existed within your business that need to be addressed.

When there are legitimate negative reviews, it is the perfect chance for your business to show why consumers should still come to you. A thoughtful response to a negative review can show that your business is truly listening to what the consumer is saying. Thank the consumer for their feedback, show concern for the problem and let them know your business is looking into the problem. Doing this, shows that your business cares about the consumer’s thoughts and can help bring that consumer and others back to your business.

In the end, online reviews play a key part in your social media and marketing strategy. They are essential in your online reputation and could be used to your advantage in many ways. At mRELEVANCE, we want to keep you informed on the best practices to help your business succeed.

To help your business stay relevant, be sure to check out all our Social Media 101 posts:

If your business is ready to take its marketing strategy to the next level, contact us via our online contact form or by calling 770-383-3360. We’d love to show you what your company can do with our help!