Everything You Need to Know About Online Reviews

In last week’s “week in review” post, I took a stab at placing Yelp and the BBB in the same playing field with regards to what they do, from a business’s perspective. The BBB used to be the third party authority on whether or not a company was trustworthy. But with the rise of online reviews, and social media, the authority on whether or not a company is trustworthy is found in the direct experiences of other people (consumers).

So what’s the reason for having the BBB?

I won’t spend an entire post asking that question. Instead, let’s focus on the online reviews. Online reviews are everywhere:

  • Yelp
  • Amazon
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Your website
  • Forums and discussion boards
  • Ordering platforms like Seamless
  • Anywhere else people interact online

Most reviews are outside of your control. All that you can do is service your customers at the highest level, work to ensure you don’t get a lot of negative reviews, and respond when you do.

But you can also encourage positive reviews to offset some of the negative reviews you’re bound to get. You can use links in email signatures, a form on your site, and social media pages to direct your happy customers to post reviews for you. The more positive reviews exist for your company, the more likely people will trust that you follow through on the marketing promises that you make.

And positive reviews are there for you to incorporate into your marketing. Many companies today use real customer experiences to help convince new customers. You can use testimonials in your promotional materials, and post reviews on your website.

At the end of the day it is all about trust and reputation. Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust marketers. So encourage positive reviews and address negative reviews in order to keep those consumers forever in your favor!