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How to Use Review Sites to Market Your Business

By Randy Clark

Today’s consumers are faced with an abundance of choices. In the smartphone era, many of your customers are going to go online and research your company before they choose to frequent your business. Don’t be afraid of online reviews! Potential customers want to see as much online information as they can before making a purchasing decision.

Encourage your customers to write reviews on your business. Speak in person to your most dedicated customers, or send them an email with a link to a review site to make it easy for them to get started. Post on your social media or place a sign in your business that states that you would welcome customer reviews. Most people only write reviews if they have an amazing experience or a really negative experience. Make sure your customers have an amazing experience so they will be more inclined to interact online with your brand.

Highlight positive reviews on your social media and website.  When customers write a nice review of your business, be sure to post that review on your social media and in your place of business. Create a place on your website that highlights these testimonials from satisfied customers.

Interact positively with your customers online.  Once in while, you may run into a negative review of your business from a disgruntled customer. Always be positive when interacting online with a customer. Do not be defensive about your business, do not make any threats to the reviewer and do not say anything online that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see. Respond online with a phone number for this customer to reach you to discuss their concerns and then take the conversation offline.

Encourage customers to use multiple review sites. Different review sites cater to completely different audiences. Yelp® is not the only game in town anymore, and people usually will go to several review sites to research your business. Depending on your vertical, there may be several sites, such as Angie’s List® or Yahoo Local®, where it may make sense to be present. Once you have determined what review sites are important for your business, set up an account for your business on these websites. On your own website, make sure to include links to these review sites and make it easy for customers to review your business in one click.

Do not write fake reviews. Do not ever write fake reviews for your business or hire a writer to write fake reviews. This is an unethical practice and you will get caught. If you get caught doing this, your business will lose all credibility and profits will suffer.

Utilizing online reviews from customers is a quick and easy way to drum up interest in your business. Encourage your customers to start writing reviews today!

Yelp®, Angie’s List®, and Yahoo Local® are registered marks belonging to their respective owners who are unaffiliated with and do not sponsor  Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.

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