After releasing Episode 3 – The Importance Of Reviews I wanted to release a blog diving a bit more in detail about the subject from the different platforms in which your reviews can appear to the process I take in gaining you more reviews. Without the use of software to manage your reviews it can prove quite daunting, but not impossible if one is determined enough to set up each platform and follow up on reviews.
The benefit in utilizing software is consolidation of information and making it easier for a client to leave a review. That being said let’s get into some of the various review websites that I currently manage while keeping in mind that there are more out there, but I try and cover all the main ones. At the bottom of this blog I will include a complete list of U.S. Based review platforms that I cover (I do maintain a few in Australia and the UK as well).
Firstly, let’s talk about the major players in reviews which is two fold. At the top of our list is always Google, Yahoo!, and Yelp. These are all well known platforms that clients and customers alike are aware of immediately upon mentioning the names. When I say this is two fold I mean that there are other major players in the game now in the form of Social Media. According to Statista.com 72.4% of North America (not just the U.S.) uses Facebook alone which is currently the king of Social Media platforms. That means a good portion of the country may be checking your Facebook page and/or reviews before making their purchasing decisions.
With the above statistics in mind I would categorize Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn as major review contributors as well. In addition I would likely consider Yellow Pages online directory a fairly large contributor because of the trust some have for Yellow Pages in general even if they were not aware of the platform in an online sense.
I would definitely recommend that you maintain accounts on each of these platforms. That’s 8 platforms and quite a bit of work to setup, maintain, and request for people to review your business on. You may be gathering reviews on these services as we speak, but there are ways you can increase the frequency of reviews left, the number left on various platforms, and the quality of reviews given that we will go over here in a moment.
As I stated before I will add a list of all the review platforms I cover at the bottom, so feel free to utilize this list to locate and create accounts on those platforms. You may want to create a separate email to manage these platforms as they all have various notifications that you may not want to mix up in your everyday work email. Sometimes you may even have to claim a location when creating an account if the public has already left reviews related to your business. There is quite a bit you can do on these various platforms like add a profile picture, phone number, hours of operation, and more. These will all help customers recognize your business via the online profile so it is highly recommended that you fill out as much as you can.
Now that you have your various accounts setup and have properly fixed your notifications to keep track of what is going on in these platforms it’s time to get more reviews. The best way to get reviews is simply to ask! There are of course various ways to ask for reviews and one of the most obvious is just to verbally ask or mention that you would appreciate an online review to whatever platform you wish. Another method is to print out stickers, cards, sheets of paper, or really anything requesting that someone leave you a review.
Don’t forget to specify which platforms you are looking for reviews on or the platforms you happen to be on in general to help people with the process. A few more methods include adding a request for reviews to your email signature so everyday correspondence can gain you reviews, create an email campaign through a service such as MailChimp where you can upload emails to send requests to, sending hand-written holiday cards or thank you cards, sending other forms of “snail mail” to request a review, or adding a request and links to your website.
Once the reviews begin pouring in you really want to answer those reviews whether they are good or bad, but especially if they are bad. If you reply to a 1-star rating with apologies and offers to rectify the situation then other people see that you are trying to fix the issue and may disregard the 1-star rating. Also you may be able to salvage your relationship with that one customer which could get the rating changed or just help you retain the customer while coming across as a reasonable business to those looking through reviews.
It is very very important for you to respond to negative reviews with tact as you do not want to push other customers away in the process. Think about how you would like to be treated by a company even if you may have been in the wrong regarding the situation. Really take to heart the old saying “treat others as you would like to be treated” when dealing with responses to reviews.
Aside from the major review contributors there are quite a few industry specific review platforms such as WeddingWire.com CarGurus.com and more that may benefit your business because they specifically relate to your products or services. I definitely recommend looking into the list I have below and doing a bit of research yourself to find which industry specific platforms you should be a part of. While this may not be a “mainstream” form of reviews it very well may be for your industry.
For example, I know for a fact WeddingWire and TheKnot are fantastic places for Wedding service reviews. If you’re in that industry and not on these platforms you are severely hurting yourself in the marketplace. My wife used both wedding review platforms to do research on the venue, entertainment, flowers, and food. I also happen to represent an entertainment company that does work with weddings.
Everything I have described here is congruent with the way I run my review management service although I have invested in software for me to manage multiple accounts and grow multiple businesses reviews as I do run a marketing agency. Manually doing this can be a full-time job and if you find yourself bogged down or just not enjoying the process at all I will definitely be here to help you along the way.
I will be implementing a Review Management page on this website within the next week to provide more information and pricing to all my visitors, so if this is something you’re interested in then please reach out to me via the contact form or even the listed phone number so we can talk about increasing the number of 5-star reviews your business has across multiple platforms.
I hope this information has helped and would appreciate any feedback or questions you may have about reviews here in the comment section or even directly through my contact form. Thanks again and keep plugging away at your digital marketing journey!