How To Improve Customer Reviews

Every successful marketer knows that word-of-mouth advertising trumps all when it comes to generating new business. Whether your prospective customers or clients hear the opinions of others that have already done business with you. This creates a perception and influences decision-making in a way regular advertising never could.

Living in today’s digital world, customer reviews are the new word of mouth. People look for them, quite often, people base their buying decisions on them. Positive reviews about a company’s products or services can spread quickly and lead to explosive sales. While negative reviews can stifle sales and cause a business to take a step back.

Luckily, getting great customer reviews isn’t just about having your products and services out there in the marketplace and hoping for the best. There are specific tactics that you can use to ensure customers are satisfied and willing to leave a positive review for others to see.

Why People Look at Online Reviews

Typically, there are four reasons that a person would look for an online review:

  1. Get social proof from customers that have used the product or service.
  2. Learn more about the product they are buying.
  3. Reduce the possibility of making a bad purchase.
  4. Get a better sense of the product’s benefits and limitations.

Naturally, the goal for any business is to get positive reviews and use them to boost sales and grow their brand online. Here are five tactics you can use to get great customer reviews:

Ask for Reviews Across a Range of Platforms

The first step in getting great online reviews is to make it as easy as possible for people to leave them. The more effort it takes, the less likely someone is to dedicate the time to leave the review you want. Social media and third-party review sites are great platforms to help get the good word out about your company and your products and services.

Some of the most effective ones include:

  • LinkedIn Recommendations.
  • Facebook Business Page.
  • Instagram.
  • Manta.
  • YouTube – create videos and ask for reviews underneath.
  • Google – using the Google My Business feature.
  • Yelp – claim or add your business to start getting reviews.
  • Yellowpages – akin to Yelp, this is the digital counterpart of the iconic listings book.
  • Four Square – for brands in hospitality.
  • Better Business Bureau – claim your business if it’s located in the US, Canada or Mexico.

There are also many different niche review sites depending on the industry you are in that may be effective for eliciting great customer reviews. An example would be Trip Advisor in the travel niche or, as mentioned, Four Square for those in hospitality. The key for all of these platforms is to make it simple and ask for reviews, so there is no confusion about what you want your visitors to do.

Make the Most of Your Website

Your own website is a great tool for getting great customer reviews. Your web pages and blog posts should be optimized to allow visitors to leave their comments quickly and easily. You should also provide a clear path to all of your social media channels and be sure your website is optimized for mobile.

Assuming you have an e-commerce site, you may want to consider adding a live chat CHECK option to receive instant feedback from customers. This will satisfy people’s “I want everything right now” mentality and provide value as it reduces response times and enhances your customer service.

Solicit Reviews in Your Emails

Whether inbound marketing is part of your process, you will have a great platform to ask for customer reviews. Send out a short email after a purchase has been made asking for a review. You will get the most honest feedback possible because people feel as though they are communicating with you personally. That will help you boost sales or make the necessary adjustments if you notice a negative pattern in the responses.

If you don’t want to ask for a review and make them write their thoughts, consider adding a link to an online survey. Polls or surveys are easy to get set up, and the data can be analyzed efficiently. With a survey, you get to dictate the information that’s collected so you can also take the opportunity to learn more about your customers.

Incentivize the Review Process

You may find that you aren’t getting the number of reviews you’d like. Everyone believes their time is valuable, so give them a reason to leave a review. Incentives like discounts, coupons, gift cards, or being entered into contests should motivate people and may even boost your sales when they go back and shop again.

Birchbox, for example, incentivizes its customers to leave reviews by offering loyalty-based Birch Points. Since 2010, the brand has grown from a humble beauty products startup to being the world’s sixth most popular subscription service—and loyalty-driven review incentives have certainly played a part in its success.

Work on Your Timing

Asking for reviews at the right time will help you get more out of the process and improve your customer service at the same time. Whether it’s on social media, your own website, or in an email, timing is always important. The last thing you want is to get under someone’s skin at the wrong moment and end up with a negative review that others will see.

Some great times to ask for a review include after a client has positively interacted with your brand. If they tag your company or product on social media. Or if they spend a certain amount of time browsing your website or if they refer new customers to you. The idea is to approach them when they are feeling satisfied or fulfilled so that they will pass that feeling along in the review.

 

No perfect formula for getting great customer reviews exists. Though if you follow the tactics listed above, you’ll be successful more often than not. Assuming you want to prioritize reviews. Ensure you task certain team members with the job. Allow them to devote enough time to make it feasible. Once the strategy is in place, execute it. Keep moving forward until you have a multi-faceted process for getting reviews from a range of platforms.

Social Media Terminology

There are A LOT of social media platforms, and with these come all sorts of new lingos and terms when referencing their features. There is some overlap, but it can be confusing at times to navigate through the ocean of terminologies. As a business owner, your presence on social media is vital to maintaining and growing your business.  Here is a guide to help you along the way:

1. Facebook

  • Profiles: These are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. If you create an account, you can add friends, and if you follow other profiles, you can see their public updates.
  • Pages: These look similar to personal profiles, but offer unique tools for businesses, brands, and organizations and are managed by people who have personal profiles. You can ’like’ a Page to see updates from that business in your Newsfeed. Businesses would always choose to create a page and not a profile for their social activity
  • Business Manager: This is a platform that lets businesses more securely share and control access to their ad accounts, Pages, and other assets on Facebook.
  • Creator Studio: This is a tool that allows you to track and manage content performance, further across different Pages if you manage many. There is a scheduling tool and an inbox that allows you to manage comments and messages across Facebook and Instagram.
  • Facebook Ads: These are a means to amplify and target content to specific audiences for a fee
  • Carousel: Posts or ads in this format can display up to 10 images or videos at one time. You can highlight different products, showcase specific details about one product, service, or promotion, or tell a story about your brand.
  • Events: Users can make use of this resource to alert people to upcoming events or occasions so that they can reach many people quickly.
  • Watch: This is a free video-on-demand service you access through the Facebook site and app. It allows creators to upload their own short- and long-form videos, but it also includes original comedy, drama, and news programming.
  • Live: This allows people, public figures, and Pages to stream and share live videos with their followers and friends.
  • Messenger: Marketing professionals can use this tool to communicate with customers through private messages.
2. YouTube
  • Channel:  The channel serves your profile page, showing the account name description, the public videos the member uploads, and any user information the member enters.
  • Subscribe: By subscribing to a particular channel or user on YouTube, you can receive instant updates whenever new content from that source appears.
  • Title: This is the name that you give to each video you upload. Keywords are important here as well to ensure your content ranks well within search.
  • Tag: Adding categories through tags also helps your video to reach relevant audiences.
  • Description: This is a keyword-rich caption that appears underneath your video. Often businesses use this area to provide a strong call to action. As well as a link to a website, or other social media platforms.
  • Thumbnail: This is the custom image you can select as the cover of your video. This can either be a still from your video or a unique image uploaded to YouTube.
3. Instagram
  • Feed: The algorithm-based home feed shows the photos and videos which Instagram then thinks are most interesting to the user
  • Search and Explore: This is where you can discover content of interest from accounts that you don’t yet follow.
  • Filters: There are a variety of options for enhancing photos before publishing them.
  • Stories: These are ephemeral short-form content that shows in the home feed and on a user’s profile for 24 hours. You can customize them with filters and GIF stickers.
  • Highlights: This gives you the opportunity to save Stories in folders on your profile so they remain longer than 24 hours.
4. Twitter
  • Tweet: This is the communication unit on Twitter. It is limited to 280 characters. However, the most common length of a tweet is just 33 characters. Only about 1% of tweets hit the 280-character limit.
  • Retweet: This is a tweet from another user that is shared publicly with your followers.
  • Quote Tweets: These are retweets with additional comments added (up to 140 characters) before posting.
  • Reply: This is a direct response to another user’s tweet which begins with the @ symbol. Then followed by their username and then your response. As a result, some replies in a conversation don’t appear in chronological order. Replies are also grouped by sub-conversations to show the best content first. Then based on several factors such as interactions and likes.
  • Geo-tagging: This is the act of stamping the location details of where a tweet was created which enables users to search for tweets within a given area. You can then enable or disable this.
  • Moments: These are curated stories showcasing the very best of what’s happening on Twitter, customized and editable to show the current topics that are popular or relevant to the user. You can only create them on the desktop.
  • Mute Words: This feature allows users to stop receiving notifications for mentions based on specific words. As well as phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags.
  • Twitter Trend: This is a particular subject or conversation topic that is popular around the globe or a specific area used to classify tweets on the platform and increase their visibility.
  • Twitter Card: This is an enhanced version of a tweet that enables the attachment of media to tweets for the purpose of driving traffic to your website. There are four types of cards: the Summary Card, the Summary Card with Large Image, the App Card and the Player Card.
  • Periscope: This is a live-streaming social app built into Twitter that lets users broadcast and further explore the world through live video and social interactions.
5. LinkedIn
  • Connections: Connections are people in your network. Your network is made up of your 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections. As well as fellow members of your LinkedIn groups. Your communication options for your extended network vary based on the degree of connection.
  • InMail: These are private emails on LinkedIn, available only to Premium accounts, sent to fellow professionals without the need of an introduction, contact information, or connections.
  • Company Pages: These are specific pages for an organization to post or promote content through paid campaigns
  • Premium Accounts: These are paid-for subscriptions utilized for the purposes of career progression, recruitment, lead gen, business insights, and learning.
  • SlideShare: This is LinkedIn’s content hosting platform that works as a web service, letting you upload presentations, videos, infographics, and PDFs to share with everyone. It is a very convenient way to house all your brand’s shareable content in one place.
  • LinkedIn Group: This is a page that supports specific, topical discussions moderated by group owners and managers.
6. Pinterest
  • Pin: Pins are ideas that people on Pinterest create, find, and save from around the web. If you click on the Pin, you can visit the website to see how to make it or where to buy it.
  • Board: The Pins you save live on your boards. Name your boards and arrange them on your profile however you like.
  • Group Boards: These are collaborative boards with other Pinterest users, often used to share ideas and plans.
  • Rich Pins: Rich Pins provide more context about an idea because they show extra information directly on a Pin. There are four types of Rich Pin: app, product, recipe, and article.
  • Pinterest Browser Button: This is a browser extension that allows users to save ideas from around the web to a Board with one click.
Social Media Platforms and Algorithms

Despite the fact that social media platforms all revolve around “social networking websites,” they differ quite a bit. It’s not just the base functions and user experience that are different. In the back, all of the top social media websites, rank content and users using algorithms. These main platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. 

Facebook

The focus is to enhance the importance and viewership of local, familial, and friendly posts, rather than strictly business posts. While user-friendly content is the primary driver, another strategy the Facebook algorithm includes is spam management. Back in 2018, in just the first few months of its application, Facebook located and discarded more than 500 million false accounts. 

Instagram

Instagram has become a popular hub to find and post various types of content. Its algorithm focuses on every aspect of social media, from relevancy and connection to engagement and content popularity. The algorithm promotes Instagram’s users to comment, share, and likes. This cycle is applied, bracketed by ads and further posting, rinse and repeat.

Twitter

Twitter’s algorithm is unique, as it ranks its posts not only by relation to the user but to time and date posted as well. Fresh and updated material will rank higher than day-old news. The number of comments on a tweet will also have an influence on its rank. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as the leader in B2B marketing. This social platform is dedicated to networking, rather than posting content and building followers. It does this so successfully that it is the most popular platform for Fortune 500 companies to use. The site has developed an algorithm based on connection and engagement. Strong and relevant content is the key to success. Even if you don’t have a lot of links in your networking chain, you can continue to build onto it later. 

Pinterest

While Pinterest has a very different layout and follower strategy, we’re going to include it in the social platform lists. Its guided search method uses data collected from past content interactions to encourage new links. Searching, for one thing, will suggest relative content as you continue to use it. The benefit to this interest-themed algorithm is that it’s always showing the user something Pinterest knows they like. This makes the content more likely to be consumed and enjoyed.