It’s often said that online reviews are the new word-of-mouth. This, of course, has had massive implications for brands across the world.
The phenomenon of social proof is no joke. It has been proven that social proof leads buyers to feel more comfortable and confident in making purchase decisions.
This applies so much so that if your brand doesn’t have enough reviews, most consumers will look elsewhere to find a product or service with the social proof of positive reviews to back it up.
When you take into account that displaying positive reviews for higher-priced products can boost conversion rates by up to 280%, promoting positive reviews quickly becomes a no-brainer.
In our first ever blog post, we gave you the Business Owner’s Ultimate Guide to responding to bad reviews. Now, we’re back to show you 6 key methods to promote the positive ones.
1. Streamline The Process
First thing’s first, you need to accumulate reviews in the first place before you can move onto promoting the good ones. To make sure you actually get more reviews, it’s best practice to abolish any barriers that could deter loyal customers from recommending your business.
To get around this, you need to have adequate tools to ensure:
- A prompt to leave a review is provided
- Your business/brand information is up-to-date on all platforms and websites
- The consumer has plenty of platform choices to leave reviews on
- The review process is convenient and not at all convoluted or confusing to the end-user
There are several automation tools out there that cover all of these necessities. Our preferred choice is NewReview, which takes care of the process of review gathering from start to finish for both brands and their target markets.
2. Just Ask – The Right Way
It might surprise you to learn that 70% of consumers will leave a review when asked. While it can seem awkward to ask for a review online at first, techniques exist which are proven to be effective.
Whether you automate your email prompts yet or not, asking a question in the subject line prompts more responses.
Another key to successfully garnering more reviews is to be good at picking your moment. On a practical level, this means getting the timing just right.
Of course, this differs between E-Commerce stores, service providers and individual professionals. For online stores, it’s best to avoid asking for a review before their product has arrived – you might get more reviews, but they probably won’t be nice!
3. Incentivise Positive Reviews
Some consider this tip the oldest trick in the book. If you’re having trouble getting more positive reviews even if you’re following the above steps, you might need to offer your audience something to tempt them.
There is a tasteful way of incentivising reviews without being pushy or a bit sad. A good old “leave a review for your chance to win!” is a reliable method of garnering more positive reviews.
What the lucky winner might receive is up to you – it could be a discount, a coupon code or even a period of free membership. As long as it’s within community guidelines and doesn’t smack of outright bribing, you’re good to go.
4. Don’t Hide From Negative Reviews
As discussed at length in our first blog, a protocol exists that brands need to follow when responding to negative reviews. The worst thing you can do is ignore them while they sit in a highly visible position.
The proper handling of negative reviews (as long as they are fair and reasonable) can actually bolster the trust consumers have in your business, casting you in a more positive light.
5. Amp Up Your Social Strategy
There are so many reasons why social media is crucial for brands. This is where much of your target market will engage in discussions about your product, service or even your business as a whole.
It might sound obvious, but make sure you allow customers to leave reviews on your social media profiles where applicable, such as Facebook.
To prompt more reviews from customers through social, why not ask them a question seeking their opinion? If you do this, just ensure you have some semblance of a community management strategy in place, just in case it all goes south!
6. Put Reviews In The Spotlight
Make sure your positive reviews are clearly on display where customers can see them. Creating a testimonials page on your website can help instrumentally with this if you don’t yet have a place for them on your website.
Before you go crazy with uploading positive reviews on highly visible mediums, make sure you acquire the express permission of their authors to publish them publicly.
A Bonus Tip!
Before we wrap up, we have one more bonus tip to share: turn your most loyal customers into brand ambassadors.
Contact your most genuinely enthusiastic fans and offer them this role. Your ambassadors can help your brand shine on social media. They’ll respond to other positive reviews, promote your service or product, and share your content – all of their own volition.
If they are trustworthy and dedicated, your brand ambassadors can be unparalleled for bringing in good press. This way, you’ll gain an authentic voice that actually wants to promote your enterprise. That’s pretty priceless!
There are so many ways your brand can promote positive reviews, and these methods only scratch the surface of the myriad ways to accomplish it.
It’s all a part of how our behaviour adapts to the digital world, and that’s been one hell of a learning curve for humanity. That’s exemplified by the advent of trolling, which we explored in-depth in our previous analysis. Are online trolls harmless pranksters or a force for destruction? You decide!