WASHINGTON, August 26, 2013 – Customer reviews are an integral part of marketing any product or service. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a company website that didn’t feature at least a couple of consumer testimonials.
Of course, there are press based reviews, but the consumer reviews may be more important.
Customer reviews are one of the most pure forms of feedback, if only because someone took time out of their day to review your product. They felt it necessary to share their experience with others, which means either they are very passionate about it, love it or hate it.
Here’s an example of a review page from Clarity Way Rehab. Notice how they include the person’s name and location in an effort to verify the person’s word, to demonstrate they are from real people.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for customers to believe proprietary reviews contain falsified information. That is, a good review which praises a product a little too much can definitely seem premeditated.
If that’s true, how can a company garner believable yet positive publicity from customer reviews?
Two words: social media.
How to Jumpstart Social Media Reviews
Getting people to review your service or products on social media is actually pretty easy. The most important thing you need to remember is that interaction with your customers should take priority above all else.
Invite them to write personal reviews, or tweet about your products. After they do, make sure you respond to their tweets, posts and comments.
Don’t sponsor just the positive reviews on your social media profile throw up some brutally honest ones as well. This will tell customers that you can take criticism, and that will make them a lot more open to sharing their opinion.
Most of all don’t just let your line of communication end with the publication of a review. If a customer writes a negative review, get in touch with them immediately and find out what they didn’t like and what you can do to change their mind. Negative reviews will always exist that’s the nature of the business. Perhaps with the right communication though, you can get some of your customers to amend a negative review. Furthermore, other customers will see you openly communicating, and that’s exactly the type of publicity you can’t buy.
How to Show Off Tweets
Twitter is a great platform for marketing a business, but it’s also a great platform to showcase customer reviews. Twitter users post about everything they do, from visiting the movies to making a new purchase. A lot of times they will even reveal how satisfied or unsatisfied they are with new products.
Believe it or not, customers watch official accounts very closely which means any amount of activity is noticed. A great way to show off positive reviews is to retweet them. Adversely, you can even retweet or reply to negative reviews as well. If you work on damage control just as much as you work on sharing the positive it will encourage customers to tell you when they have a problem.
Better yet, you want to know about every problem encountered when using your products. This will help you mitigate the issue in the future, thus allowing you to perfect your product or service as much as possible.
Take your favorite customer tweets and publish them on your company blog, other social media profiles or even your business website. There are plenty of ways to add Twitter widgets to external sites, meaning tweets and interactions will show up on their own in realtime.
If you want to find tweets about your business you can use the Twitter search function, and even specify what type of reviews you’d like to see. For example, you could search using the string “[business name]“ paired with a sad face emoticon. A search like this would return customers tweeting about your brand who aren’t very happy.
Facebook and Google Plus Reshares
If you’re using Facebook or Google Plus the like and plus one buttons are crucial, but there’s another feature which many forget to take advantage of. If a customer publishes a post about your brand or products you can ensure it reaches a wider audience by resharing. Resharing content will publish it to your entire follower base, and if you’re a business with lots of social media followers that could lead to a huge impact.
Before resharing anything you have the option to add your own spin to the content. This allows you to praise the reviewer, pose arguments or even encourage interaction. For example, when sharing a customer review you could include the question “who else had an experience like this?” It would invite other customers to share their praise or concerns openly.
Don’t Forget Pinterest
Pinterest isn’t just for pinning images and media. There are many different ways to pin text content on your Pinterest profile too. Tools like Pin a Quote, Screen to Pin and URL2Pin will allow you to share text content in different ways.
Just think about the impact of an entire wall dedicated to customer testimonials and positive reviews. The best part about it is that you could screen content showing up on your wall. I would recommend throwing in a negative review for good measure here and there, but if you don’t want to- hey it’s your business.
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