If you hadn’t already noticed – reviews are everywhere. Basically every online platform allows people to provide their own input, whether it’s a simple thumbs up or down, or a full blown written product review with star-rating. As a business, where do you start? You know it’s important to optimise and manage your online reputation – but which platforms are most relevant to your industry?
The Big Three
It’s probably no surprise that when it comes to business reviews, social media behemoths Google and Facebook dominate the market by far, regardless of the industry you’re in. The cross-industry Yelp follows in a close third.
These sites are so popular that whether you sell kitchen appliances or offer marketing consulting, odds are that the majority of your potential customers will use one or all of these sites to find you. This means that virtually every business should have a presence on the ‘Big Three’.
You should also continuously monitor and respond to new reviews on these platforms as they can and will list your business without your knowledge. Your customers pay attention to your responses and your presence on them. Not only are they likely to be the first platforms people see when they search your business, but your star-rating, review recency and activity on these sites all drastically influence how your business performs in search results to begin with.
However, dedicated reviews sites (like Yelp and TripAdvisor) are seeing less growth than Facebook and Google in recent years. This is said to be due to the convenience of having all of your review opportunities in the same place you already spend most of your online time – on web-searches or on social media.
Industry Specific or “Niche” Review Sites
While the Big Three attract more traffic and are generally more popular than any other review site, some industries do have review sites specific to them Typically, it is the serious buyers that will use them.
Sites like Glassdoor and Rate My Agent fall under this category. Nearly every real estate agent in Australia is on Rate My Agent and nearly every homebuyer or seller will see their agent on this platform in search results or be encouraged by their agent to leave their review there. These sites should never be ignored, as the type of customer looking for you there is typically highly motivated to buy. They haven’t just stumbled upon you, they are actively looking to buy, or in the case of Glassdoor, actively looking for information on you.
Find what people in your industry are using and ask your customers where they found you! Using these dedicated sites in conjunction with one of the big-three is a great strategy to cover all of your bases.
Hybrid Review Sites
Finally, we have Hybrid Review Sites. These sites often aren’t review sites on the surface, but offer customer reviews as a part of their primary offering.
By far the most popular group of hybrid sites are hotel booking sites like Booking.com and TripAdvisor or e-commerce sites like Amazon. The primary purpose of these sites is offering booking services or e-commerce, but they also gather customer reviews too.
Depending on your industry, these sites can be a goldmine, as their algorithms consider reviews an important data point for deciding how prominently your business or your products are displayed on the site. Additionally, a large amount of your clients will book or buy directly through these websites. If someone searches for hotels in Melbourne on booking.com but you’re only on google – you miss out on that potential customer.
All in all, your business should have a strategic presence on a some of these sites. When chosen and used proactively, you can effectively have a presence on every corner of the digital playing field for your industry. This not only increases your visibility and revenue, but can effectively give you a one up on your competition.
So, now that you’re on these platforms, how do you build your reputation from scratch? See our blog post on 6 Key Methods To Promote Positive Reviews or click here to see more about automating and managing the review gathering process.