Facebook and Google have introduced new programs emphasizing the value and importance of customer reviews for building a successful business. When both Facebook and Google offer to help you promote your online reputation, it becomes quite obvious that you'd better be laser-focused on consistently getting reviews from your customers, or you're failing in your reputation management efforts.
Most entrepreneurs know they should be getting online reviews, but usually treat the process as a mere afterthought. Instead, they spend more money and time than necessary to get new customers, when it would be much easier to showcase the quality of their work using reviews and social proof.
Here’s five tips on how to get more reviews on Google and Facebook:
1. Ask for feedback and reviews... but use this special question first!
Before you ask for a review or testimonial, here's an easy and persuasive way to influence people to want to give you a review. Ask your customer/client/patient this simple question, "Do you consider yourself a helpful person?"
By doing so, Robert Cialdini's research shows that you greatly increase the odds of getting people to help you when you ask them for a favor afterwards. In the study, asking the preceding question boosted compliance by 77.3 percent when the researchers asked random people to complete a survey vs not asking the helpful question first.
When a customer or client says "yes" to being helpful, tell them you'll be sending them an invitation to provide their feedback about their experience with your business and that it would be very helpful of them to share their honest thoughts.
2. Automate your reputation marketing process
One of my companies helps local businesses get more reviews usingreputation marketing software. The software helps the customer to easily provide feedback and reviews.
One component of the system is a tablet kiosk that sends out friendly texts and emails inviting them to share their feedback. One of our clients using our system went from 27 Google reviews to over 70 Google reviews in just a matter of weeks. During that time, visits by new patients skyrocketed and so have their revenues.
If you own an ecommerce store, there are plenty of software solutions to automate the review acquisition process. The key is to pick one and start using it before your competition gets too far ahead for you to ever catch up.
Image credit: Huntington Learning Center East Boise
3. Share reviews and testimonials on all your social channels
You should still be promoting your happy customer experiences on all your social channels, even if you aren't using Facebook ads currently.
People are more inclined to Like your page, or follow your business on Twitter, when they see how you take care of your customers, and once they become fans, they're much more likely to become customers.
Invest time transforming your your written reviews into image cards that you can post on your social channels, then automate posting of them using social media software like eClincher. Once you start sharing these reviews, other customers will want to provide their reviews as well.
4. Have more than one page on your website for reviews and testimonials!
Feature testimonials and reviews on every single page of your website, especially on your opt-in pages, order forms and checkout pages. Positioning them near the primary call-to-action area of the page increases the likelihood of getting your visitors to take your desired action. For example, if you are offering a free gift or special offer on your home page, put one or two powerful testimonials adjacent to the submit button that are relevant to your offer.
5. Get video testimonials
In today's digital age, it's easy to question whether online reviews and testimonials are authentic. However, no one can question the veracity of a video review. It also creates the opportunity to include theemotion of the audio message, which cannot be conveyed via images and text. Here's an example of an emotional testimonial video on the homepage of this Maryland plastic surgeon's website, by a lady who says the cosmetic surgeon saved her life. Remember, buyers make emotional decisions followed by logical reasoning to support their emotional decisions.
Every business should invest in a video station, even if it's a cell phone and mini-tripod, so you can quickly capture those magic words on the spot. If you operate online, a great inexpensive resource for recording videos directly on your website is Vidrack. Once you get video reviews, be sure to use Facebook Ads and YouTube Ads to promote them, while embedding them on various pages of your website.
You should include short reviews and testimonials in your newsletters and email communications. I rarely see emails these days that include testimonials and reviews. Sharing your most powerful reviews with your prospective clients and existing customers on an ongoing basis builds their trust in you for when they make their next purchase.
Business is more competitive and cutthroat than ever. It's essential that businesses differentiate themselves using proven psychological factors like social proof to connect with their ideal audience. Whether it's sharing your company's core values or showcasing your reviews and testimonials, every business needs to implement sound marketing strategies that builds trust, reduces risk, and will have a meaningful impact in the minds of your prospective customers.
By the way…
Do you consider yourself a helpful person? If so, would it be okay if you shared this article?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.