02 Mar Where To Focus Customer Reviews
As a small business, customer testimonials are key to rising above your competition and building a strong customer base. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, according to a 2016 study. This means now more than ever, customers want to know and trust a business before they engage with them. Reviews are the best possible way for you to entice customers to interact with you. So, where can your customers find these reviews?
With Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews (not to mention social media in general), there are more ways than ever for customers to rate your business and leave testimonials. While all of this choice means all kinds of exposure, it also presents a challenge to small businesses: Where should you focus your efforts?
All small businesses should be asking their customers to leave reviews. Whether it’s done via email post-purchase, done via a discount campaign, or just a general sign in your store, you’ll need to know what platform you want to direct customers to. Let’s look at all of the various platforms to help guide your decision.
We don’t need to tell you that practically everyone and their grandma are on Facebook. It’s no wonder that Facebook reviews are growing rapidly in popularity! People use Facebook to interact with brands, companies, and services alike and enjoy leaving reviews on a social networking platform they’re already on daily.
While Facebook may not make the most sense for a massive company like Nike or lululemon, it’s important for small businesses to consider. If you’re a restaurant, storefront, or offer a personal service, people will want to check out your Facebook page and read reviews left by real people.
Google reviews take into account your Facebook rating, so it’s important to focus your efforts on Facebook in tandem with Google reviews. It’s important to note as well that if you’re choosing to focus on Facebook reviews, make sure that your page is ready for people to land on it. Good content and engagement go a long way! If you have good reviews but also a blank page, you’ll risk scaring away your audience.
Google reviews are rapidly growing in popularity as more and more people become aware of them and how easy it is to make one. It’s easy for people to write a review, with access right on the Google search page if they search your business. Also, you can send customers a link to your google review page to send them directly there.
- Search your business on Google
- Click “Write a Review”
- Copy the link in your address bar and send away!
Google reviews also showcase Facebook reviews and depending on the industry you’re in, it’ll pull reviews from relevant sites (Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, Groupon, Open Table, etc.). It’s a super robust rating platform and shows just how important reviews are to SEO and other marketing tactics you should keep an eye on.
You can respond to customer reviews on Google, just like anywhere else. Google reviews also help boost your SEO, too! Bonus.
While Yelp is still relevant for many businesses, it can be a tough site for some small businesses to crack. If you’re a restaurant, you 100% need to be on Yelp. As a personal service (hairdresser, dentist, nail technician), people will likely look you up on Yelp, but it may be worth your while to stick to Facebook and Google for your efforts as they’re much more straightforward.
The tricky part is, Yelp doesn’t post all the reviews you get. Instead, it only posts reviews by users who have posted a lot of reviews. So, if a loyal customer joins Yelp to leave you a glowing review, chances are it won’t be shown to the public on the main page. What a waste!
It’s recommended to not “push” Yelp reviews because of this. Absolutely let people know they can review you on Yelp, but let it happen naturally.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to have a customer review strategy to ensure the reviews your getting make a meaningful impact. As an overarching strategy, it’s easy to say that likely Google is safe bet to focus your efforts. However, it really does depend on your industry. Check out your competitors and see what they’re doing. If they all have a lot of reviews on one platform, you should focus your efforts there as well.
Lastly, go to where your customers are. Think like your customers! Ask them how they found you and direct people there to leave reviews.
Need some help figuring out your digital marketing strategy? We would love to help, don’t hesitate to reach out today!
Written by Brad Dalli
Founder and CEO of Dalli Digital