Why reviews can help your social marketing efforts

It seems like some businesses and ecommerce websites today approach digital customer reviews as nice-to-haves as opposed to must-haves. The truth is that if you’re not using customer reviews, the hidden secret sauce gem, then you’re missing out big time in your social marketing.

For quite a while now, online reviews have proven to increase your return on investment in a major way. Customer reviews, whether good or bad, can complement your social marketing strategies and efforts in so many ways. To many of the seasoned veterans in the marketing world out there, social and reviews go hand in hand. They’re a match made in heaven, if you like.

Customer reviews and social marketing are not an either/or situation, like some may opine.

Despite the numerous benefits of integrating the two in your social marketing endeavors, it’s still the most undervalued, underrated and underused digital tools available right now. It’s a travesty!

No one will ever argue against the fact that reviews can make or break your brand. But since around two-thirds of consumers rely on customer reviews during the online shopping experience, what better way to showcase your brand than to narrate the consumers’ stories. Everything from highlighting a great experience to improving a customer’s bad experience, you’re providing a human feeling to a sometimes human less shopping trip on the Internet.

As part of your social marketing efforts, reviews can offer an inside look into the real-time experience of a customer. And when you deliver, you spotlight your brand’s promise.

Proof is in the Results

JeffBullas.com alludes to a number of statistics that note how important customer reviews are crucial to your business and overall brand when competing in today’s globalized marketplace:

  • 72 percent of consumers trust a local business when they read positive reviews.
  • Consumers look for reliability, expertise and professionalism in a brand’s reputation.
  • Shoppers spend about one-third more at a business with “excellent” reviews.
  • 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Reviews contribute to the dialogue in social media. User reviews simply amplify the ever-so powerful word-of-mouth marketing that has attributed to business success and failures for so long. Social media marketing is the No. 1 technique to acquire new customers, while client reviews, which can serve as a way of social proofing, can further expand your reach.

Marketers concur that reviews play an important part, even the lead role, in social marketing. Reviews in social marketing often generate greater traffic, higher engagement and new leads.

Here are a few reasons why reviews in social marketing yield terrific results today:

  • Referrals are one of the top sources of traffic for online stores.
  • A brand can be more trusted with authentic and verified reviews shared on social media.
  • User reviews shared as social referrals reach other customers in similar demographics.
  • Social referrals boost word-of-mouth and attract valuable customers.

Real-World Examples of Social Reviews

Brands have finally realized the full scale and power of social reviews. Indeed, celebrities and athletes will still be paid millions of dollars to endorse a product on Twitter. However, brands are quickly honing in on reviews from the average customer, and are placing those front and center.

Let’s take a look at a couple of real-world examples of how helpful social reviews can be.

Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancers with certain expertise in fields of writing, editing, graphic design, video production and so on. These freelancers usually start out on Fiverr to grow their portfolios. Many clients use them because they’re cheap and effective. But how do they find the cream of the crop and sort out the good from the bad? Reviews! Star ratings and written reviews from past clients will often help a potential customer decide who’s the best.

Yelp is pretty much the premier destination for all things reviews, whether it’s a local restaurant or a neighborhood dentist. Many businesses now thrive or die based on Yelp reviews. This is why some businesses go as far as paying someone to write reviews for them. Of course, a website like Yelp has done its duty to combat this trend and have done a splendid job at it.

Amazon has recently dealt with a wave of controversy of fake reviews. But it has rectified the situation. Reviews are now the crème de la creme in the Internet world. Star ratings and reviews are actually verified and can help third-party sellers, authors and manufacturers.

Many of these websites, and their respective users, survive based on the reviews.

How to Add Reviews to Your Social Marketing Campaign

With these statistics and reasons, you and your team may be wondering how you can incorporate customer reviews into your social marketing campaign. It really isn’t too difficult to do so.

Here are several tactics to use when adding online reviews to your social marketing:

Locate & Identify the Social Sites

Where are you getting the most mentions? Where are most of your reviews coming from? These are good questions to ask because when honing in on this task you have to locate and identify these social websites. Without doing so, you can’t take advantage of the customer reviews.

Respond to Online Reviews

Did you receive a positive review on Facebook? Did you get a negative comment on Twitter? Whatever the case, you should always respond to reviews written by your customers on Yelp, Google+ and any other social network or social website. Your audience will appreciate this, too.

Happy Customers Equal Happy Reviews?

If your customers are really happy about your product or your business then encourage them to compose a review online. Moreover, once they do write a review, get them to share it with others. The data suggest that companies see a 26 percent increase in traffic from Twitter when reviews are shared, and another six percent jump in traffic from Facebook.You don’t have to manually reach for each customer, Platforms such as Yotpo can help you generate more reviews by sending MAP (Mail After Purchase) for each customer who made a purchase in the website, asking him to review the product & service.

Customer Service on Social Media

When your customers have a question, a comment, a concern or feedback then you should always respond back in kind. Customer service on social media is just as important as customer service in person. If a shopper came up to you in a store you wouldn’t ignore them. So, considering the power of social media, you wouldn’t ignore a customer asking a question.

Share Positive Feedback With Your Team

As soon @JohnDoe makes a review on Twitter, share it to one of your employees – @JaneSmith, @SlaterD and/or @MacGuffin. The more the review is shared and the more your business gains the spotlight the better it is for everyone involved.

Final Thoughts

Some may believe that they’ve already perfected their social marketing craft. This is an incorrect viewpoint to have because things are always changing and other additions are yielding sublime numbers. Customer reviews on social media are one of those complementary things working out very well.

It’s true that many are not taking advantage of this tool lying under the radar. Getting customers to pen reviews on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest is often overlooked. But why? Customer reviews in addition to your social marketing leads to traffic, engagement and sales.

In a world where we’re constantly searching for higher conversion rates, greater brand reach and more sales, it’s surprising that some are missing out on a great opportunity in social reviews.

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