How to Increase and Share Your Positive Online Reviews

It’s no secret online reviews are increasingly important to your business, and that there’s a positive correlation between new business and the number of online reviews you receive.

That said, it’s more often how to get online reviews that hold businesses back. If you’re just starting to monitor your online reputation or looking to get more feedback, here are some ideas to rock your business’ online reviews.

Get more reviews

Why: 76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use.

If you don’t already, make an effort to grow your customers’ current email addresses. Not only does this allow you to market new services and products through newsletters, but enables your business to ask for recommendations and user reviews. ReviewPush is a convenient platform to ask for reviews across online review sites.

Make your presence on review sites more visible by adding links to profiles on review sites to your website (Think “Review us on Google” buttons). Also, include these same links regularly in email newsletters and social media status updates.

Don’t wait. Customers are more likely to review your business when their experience is still fresh. Monitor customer check-ins at your business on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, thank them for their business and kindly ask for a review.

When asking for reviews, consider the customer’s status as a Yelper. Yelp tends to filter user reviews from people with less activity on its site, in the effort of spam control. This can lead to a less than great interaction with your business if a customer provides a review and then can’t find it.

Rather than ask for reviews, display window stickers from the leading online review sites and add point-of-sale flyers to increase raise awareness of your review site profiles.

Get more positive reviews

Why: 52% of consumers reported that positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business

Offering discounts on a customer’s next purchase visit in exchange for positive reviews comes across as a little illegitimate. Instead, offer a discount on their next business transaction or entry into a sweepstakes for any type of review, good or bad.

Ask the customer about their experience with your business. If it’s positive, ask them to help spread the word on online review sites. Some business owners feel this is a little pushy. It’s not, and customers are usually happy to share a good experience. Better still, if you showcase reviews on your website, let the customer know you’re looking for a few standout reviews to feature.

When customers do write positive reviews, make sure to let them know you appreciate their feedback. It lets other consumers know you care about online reviews and encourages further feedback.

Finally, don’t stress over any negative reviews you do receive. Customers understand it’s a part of business and most become suspicious if a business has an abundance of positive reviews without one negative.

Get more mileage from reviews 

Why: Facebook has 955 million active users (averaging roughly eight hours monthly); Twitter, 140 million.

Now that you have all these reviews, make sure potential customers are aware of them.

While online review sites are a major (and growing) source for discovering your business, people use many web channels for consumer information and advice, and social media are some of the most active.

Millions of people are active in social media, making the social channels ideal to spread a positive message. Use social media to say “thanks” and increase the chance your reviews go viral, and more people hear about your good work. Regularly update your status on social media profiles with recent good news about your business, complete with links back to your profile on an online review sites.

When you receive a positive review, seek out the reviewer’s handle on Twitter and send them a “thank you” tweet. Likewise, on Facebook update a status with a quote from your positive reviewer with a link back to the review.

People like to know the time they took to write a review is helpful and appreciated. Responding to reviews via social media increases the chance they’ll retweet it to their followers or “Like” it on Facebook for their friends to see, helping you reach a new audience and receive even more reviews.

Of course, consumers will always visit a business’ official website, either reaching it from a search engine or another referral source. To maximize the reach of your hard-earned positive reviews, you should also display a few choice reviews on your site.

Photo cred: everyjoe.com