The world of Internet marketing is complex and varied. It used to be that having a business website was enough to attract the attention of new customers. However, these days your web marketing approach must be as multifaceted as the web, itself. One new(ish) frontier that is revolutionizing the way customers find and evaluate businesses is that of online business reviews. There are a number of popular sites that exist as forums for posting these reviews – including Yelp, Google Places, Urban Spoon, Bing, Foursquare, and many more – and your business should be using these sites to its advantage. In addition to registering your business with these sites, you also need to be encouraging people to post their reviews. How do you do that? Here are three ways you can get your customers to write reviews for your business:
Ask for them. Any time you know that you have made a customer or client happy is a great opportunity to ask for a review. Also, make good use of your mailing lists by sending requests for reviews. This can be done via telephone, email or snail mail, or you may even include a request for reviews (with links to review sites) on your business website.
Make it easy. Rather than simply ask that customers write reviews, you should instruct them on how to post them. Don’t make it seem like homework for them. Posting reviews is actually a very simple process. Direct customers to the sites you are registered with, and list step-by-step directions for publishing their reviews on those sites (with screen shots, if possible).
Offer incentives. Of course, it is not ethical (or advisable) to offer a reward in exchange for a positive review. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with thanking a customer for a review by offering some kind of coupon or other incentive. Here is a way to offer rewards after the fact and inspire other customers to write reviews on their own inclination: any time someone posts a review of your business, post an acknowledgement of that review (whether it was positive or negative), along with a “thank you for your input” and an offer to enjoy more of what your business has to offer with a complimentary coupon. Other customers who see that will be eager to jump on board by providing their own reviews.
Online reputation management is a complex process, but it is also tantamount to your business success. To make the most of your online reputation, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us, the Reputation Rockstars. We can be reached by phone, at (815)836-4663(815)836-4663, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.