March 10, 2016
Learn why your current efforts may not be working and how PR can help
Your company is wonderful and many of your customers tell you so. If only they could tell other customers, prospects, applicants and key stakeholders. Well, they can, through social media and online review sites. But with so many sites to choose from, which ones are best?
You’re probably already aware that online review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List and Consumer Reports go hand in hand with social media platforms in giving consumers a more complete view of your company. You can learn how to use social media to collect customer reviews to further extend your visibility and improve your reputation.
Why positive online reviews are important
In a recent survey, approximately 80 percent of respondents admitted that they find user-generated online content about a company holds just as much weight as opinions of friends and family when making purchasing decisions. Nearly 90 percent trust online reviews more than information provided by a salesperson.
Studies show that consumers need to see about 10 positive reviews before they are able to trust a company.
More than 65 percent of consumers aged 18-24 rely on information found on social networks when considering a purchase.
Research has shown that 4 out of 5 customers have changed their minds about making a purchase after reading negative reviews.
How to use social media for maximum advantage to get online reviews
1. Take charge. By doing research, you can find out which review sites and social media platforms are the most influential for your industry and buyer personas. Learning where people are talking about your company and listening to what they say will allow you to focus your efforts and take a more active role in controlling your online image. Find your best reviews and post them to your social media pages. It is vital to check all platforms that could be relevant to your business and, more importantly, claim your listing on these sites.
2. Ask. Every day, you ask customers and prospects to connect with your company on social media but you probably don’t request a review. Many people can’t wait to go online to complain about poor service but most don’t think about taking the time to praise a company for something good, so remind them. You can do this several ways, such as providing direction to your customer service team, a well-worded call to action in your newsletter or a reminder at the bottom of a receipt. For example: “Did we exceed your expectations today? Let us know.”
3. Make it easy. Include an area on your website or social media pages where satisfied customers can tell you about their experiences and provide links to specific review sites. You can ask if they want to make the review public (for everyone to see) or you might even encourage them to share these stories with friends and followers.
4. Get creative. Today’s customers love to share their lives on social media already, so you can use this to your company’s advantage with an innovative campaign. For example, customers can create videos of themselves using your product to do good work in their communities or you can create a hashtag for customers to answer a particular question, such as “I like your company because …” This allows you to generate – as well as collect – the reviews.
5. Use a PR firm to help you. The biggest part of using social media for online reviews is how you engage, respond to and build relationships with customers. Having the right content, voice and social media knowledge can make all the difference. Unfortunately, many companies do not have the time or expertise to give it the attention it deserves.
Let Axia Public Relations be your partner in social media and online reputation management. We will help you develop strategies to leverage feedback, expand your reach and achieve profitable results. Contact us today or download our e-book The Essential Social Media Management Guide to learn more.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has been with Axia since December 2013. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.
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