Where Can You Share 5-Star Reviews of Your Business?

Establishing a positive brand reputation online relies more and more on word-of-mouth marketing. As consumers become increasingly reliant on what others are saying about your business to make their purchase decision, so you need to know where they're looking and how to make the most of 5-star feedback. We talked a lot last year about the importance of local listings, but how can you build more reviews on such sites and make the most of them across the web? Let's first look at how you can encourage more people to leave positive reviews of your business. [caption id="attachment_2225" align="aligncenter" width="438"]five star rating Does your business get the 5-star reviews you deserve?[/caption]

Finding 5-Star Reviews

(Okay, we'll also accept four stars as a sign that your business is making waves with customers... congratulations and keep up the good work!) What's vital is to make sure you are capturing customer sentiment wherever you can, and especially when your service has them excited to tell anyone who will listen to stop by your store or site. Here are a few ways we see our clients building better review profiles for their business:
  • Google Yourself! - First things first, check that you have a completed presence on Google+ that incorporates the physical location and links to your main website. The more complete your profile, the more there is for searchers to find, and to remind customers that Google is a good place to go to spread the word on your great work.
  • Catch them when they’re happy - Develop systems that check in with your customers when they've spent some time with you, especially if you know that time has been appreciated. It makes for good customer service to follow up with a quick survey after any interaction, but you can get even more mileage out of the process by finding the happiest of them and requesting a review (or referral).
  • Keep it quick (and simple) – Most sites that include reviews require only a rating and a short description to explain the service a customer has experienced with your business. By reminding loyal customers that they can offer feedback quickly and it will help others find you, it increases the likelihood of landing a positive review that take the individual just a minute, but lasts a lifetime (in digital terms) for your firm.
  • Tell them how – In a similar vain, you might give the review process a little push by reminding people how and where they can share their thoughts. Write an easy-to-read guide to giving reviews on sites that you consider most important, or those that you know your customers use on a regular basis. Google is a great place to start, as you'll often have email addresses and be able to tell who uses Gmail. Facebook is another, because of the sheer volume of people who use the site every day and the fact that reviews are easy to leave on your business page. Occasionally, the only thing stopping customers leaving feedback is the idea that they don't know how, so show them!
  • Translate reviews into testimonials – Spotlighting the positive views of others is an effective way to encourage more satisfied customers they can do the same. Add alternating text testimonials to a prominent place on your site and include client compliments in content such as blog posts where relevant (we've left one of our own below, just for good measure!) Remember to thank the customer more than anything else, as these reviews are a gift that every business is grateful to receive.
Thank you to Randy for sharing his satisfaction with our service!  

Sharing 5-Star Reviews

As our last tips tells you, sharing great reviews is often just as important as securing them in the first place. It reminds existing fans and customers that they can help a business they love with little more than an few minutes of their time, as well as encouraging others to come back and see you for that great service they'll receive. While your social networks and other content marketing must be about much more than your own business and products, there's every reason to share the occasional review and feedback from customers. It helps new customers to understand the kind of service they'll receive from you, and gives you a great chance to tell your followers about the customers you work with, perhaps even shining a light on what they do for a living in the process. Here are a few ideas to get you started sharing more of what makes you great:
  • When a review comes from a supplier or a customer whose business you can promote, focus your content on saying thank you and then promoting their work, rather than your own (that's what the review was for, after all!)
  • Look to lesser-used channels to share your best feedback, such as YouTube for video testimonials (which you could embed on your site) or quick comment snippets on Twitter, tagging and thanking the reviewer. Anywhere that they wouldn't expect to be thanked is a great place to stand out.
  • Weave positive feedback into a piece of content that other customers wold find useful. For example, if you solved a particularly common problem for your customer and that's why they're saying thanks, focus on describing your solution so that others can benefit, or even contact you if they can't take on the challenge themselves.
  • Create a custom visual to thank and celebrate your customer. A customer of the month feature or a special offer on their next visit (after they have reviewed, as you should not solicit reviews with promotions)  provide a great foundation to let the talented artists on your team try their hand at digital design.
What techniques have you used to find and share five star reviews of your business online? Let us know over on LinkedinFacebookTwitter or Google+.  

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