Let’s set the stage:
You’ve booked a weekend away on the coast and want to treat your partner to a nice dinner. You’ve never been to the area before and, as far as you’re aware, there are no stand out options with a Chef's Hat or Michelin Star.
You post on Facebook to see if any of your friends have a recommendation, but the only response you get is a sarcastic one from your best friend. (Idiot!)
Next, you turn to Google, searching ‘best restaurant in (town name)’. Up pops Google Maps with a list of local restaurants and their user-generated star ratings. Below Google Maps is a TripAdvisor link titled ‘The 10 Best Dinner Restaurants in (town name)’. You open it in a new tab.
Both Google Maps and TripAdvisor suggest the same two restaurants. One gets a 4.6 star rating from 4 reviews, the other has a 4.5 star rating from 56 reviews. You click the latter and follow the links through to their Facebook page. Their food looks amazing. You click on the reviews tab and read the most recent half dozen comments, all of which give the restaurant 5 stars. Looks like you’ve found a winner. You click ‘Contact Us’ and your phone starts dialling...
Who’s been through this exact process or something similar for a hotel or a plumber or a bike shop?
You’re not alone, with research suggesting 60% of Australians read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
How to generate more online reviews in 2019
Given the importance of online reviews, we've compiled some of the ways we help our clients generate more online reviews. As you will see, our rule of thumb is ‘ask and you shall receive’.
- In Person
If you serve a satisfied customer, ask them for a review. Handing out a business card with details on how your customers can review your business will increase the likelihood of them following through.
- Email Signature
Include a ‘Review Us’ button or text link within your email signature, linking to your most important review platform (likely Google or Facebook)
- Post Purchase Email
Send a post-purchase email to your customers asking them to review your business. Make it easy by including links to the specific pages they can review you on.
- Post on Social Media
Every few months, promote a post on Facebook asking your followers to review your business. Your followers typically think favourably about your business so it’s likely their reviews will be positive.
- In-store Displays
Provide detail in-store outlining what platforms people can review you on and how to go about it.
- Offer an Incentive
Run competitions or provide discounts to those who’ve reviewed your business. Be careful not to suggest the reviews have to be positive as it’ll instil distrust. The places you promote the incentive will help control who submits a review.
Getting people to review your business is an uphill battle.
Therefore, YOU need to make the process as easy as possible. Make sure your business has an account on all the popular review platforms and when including a link to that platform, link to the review page rather than your profile page.
If you’d like help implementing a review strategy or any other marketing related advice, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.