In 2018, a majority of people read online reviews before they hire a service or buy from a company. That's why it's so important to get great reviews. Here's how.
Everyone knows online reviews are important. But did you know 90% of customers use them to influence their buying decisions?
Clients constantly ask us what they can do to improve their review ratings. Most think they need to limit negative reviews. Yes, this is important, but you can't 100% prevent them. No matter what you do, there will inevitably be a few unhappy customers.
There are ways to keep bad reviews to a minimum. But one of the most important parts of reputation management is maximizing your positive reviews. After all, two bad reviews mean little if you have thirty great reviews.
As crucial as they are, positive online reviews can be difficult to come by. How do you get your customers to spend their precious time writing a review?
How to Get Great Reviews Online
Our pros have built a quick guide to help any business get more great reviews:
Set up Profiles on Many Review Sites
Different customers prefer different review sites. Few customers will sign up for a new site just to write a review. Your objective is to have a profile on sites your customers already use.
You probably know all the big ones - Google, Yelp, Facebook, AngiesList, etc. But look for industry-specific ones too, like law firm directories or doctor-rating sites.
Make Sure Customers Leave Happy
This sounds like an obvious one, but it's constantly overlooked. If a customer is unhappy, take the time to settle things with them (if possible) before they leave a review.
Train your staff to make this a priority. If there isn't a manager available at the time, tell staff to alert the manager if there is an issue. The manager should contact the customer as soon as possible.
Publicize Your Review Profiles on Social Media
Sometimes a happy customer just needs a reminder. Incorporate your review-gathering efforts into your social media marketing.
All it takes is a post every once in a while, inviting customers to leave a review. You could even post great reviews to thank the customers who left them, and link to the review page.
Respond to All Reviews
When you're responding to an online review (positive or negative), you're not just talking to the customer. Everyone who goes to your reviews page will read it.
The fastest way to get people to stop leaving reviews is to make them think you won't pay attention to it. If you respond to every review, it shows customers you care and encourages them to share their thoughts.
Offer Indirect Incentives for Reviews (Carefully)
Review incentives are tricky business. If you go too far and only reward great reviews, you'll be in hot water. It's against most sites' terms of services, and there are even laws about review incentives.
Instead, try doing a giveaway each month. Put the names of all the month's reviewers in a bowl and pick one to win a prize.
Some companies choose to incentivize their employees as well, offering bonuses if a certain number of reviews are posted. But only do this if you can trust your employees not to post false reviews.
Invite Customers to Review You and Make it Convenient
Start instructing your staff to send follow-up emails to happy customers and include links to your review pages. It's a good idea to include several of them, so customers can use the ones they prefer.
Just be careful not to pressure customers too much and to use the right wording. Ask for honest feedback - not a "positive review." This could be seen as coercion.
Set Your Sites on Five Stars
Now that you have plenty of tools in your toolbox get to work and round up those reviews! If you want more hands-on help, contact our digital marketing experts.
How are law firms using content marketing to engage prospective clients?
Have you implemented a content strategy yet? Why not? You might be missing out on a golden opportunity to get your name out there, connect with potential clients and build your brand as an expert in your field. Long gone are the days when simple word of mouth or even traditional print advertising was enough. Law firms and lawyers are taking notice of the new trends in marketing, and the longer you wait, the more potential market share you could be missing out on.
Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of tactics and initiatives, and content strategy is one single, but important, part of your overall marketing strategy. Are you wondering what’s so great about content strategy and how you can use it? Start with these five tips.
1. Be Strategic With Social Media
If you’re wondering where to start, remember to use social platforms that are relevant to your target audience. For example, LinkedIn is great for business and for publishing more in-depth posts. Facebook should be used for consistent posting and engagement, which will establish your online brand and digital presence. Twitter can be used to answer short questions directly and interact with people in real-time. Just using social media isn’t enough, use it the right way.
2. Think Thought leadership
Your content is your opportunity to share your knowledge. Build thought leadership on topics that you specialize in, provide your opinion on court cases or other legal topics and work towards becoming a resource for your audience, casual information seekers and even other legal experts.
3. Understand Your Audience
Who need your services? What do they need? How can you help them? Knowing your audience is crucial to content strategy and marketing effectively. Take some time to critically think about who your audience is, what they want and how you can help them. Be strategic in your communication.
4. Engage With Your Audience
Now that you know who your audience is, talk to them! Make sure that if people are commenting for posting on your social media or blogs, that you let them know they’re being heard. When they start a conversation, take the opportunity to connect. Even if they don’t need legal help now, you better your chances of being their first choice when they do.
5. Speak Simply
When creating content, write with your reader in mind. Provide information that is both informative and digestible. Provide useful and in-depth content, but be careful not to use too much industry jargon or legalese. Remember that the technical intricacies might not be your audience’s strong suit - that’s why they need you.
Remember, this is just a start. Think about these different ideas and consider what comes to mind. The possibilities are endless and the sooner you put them into practice, the sooner you can reach your practice’s potential.
Still need help? River Avenue Digital specializes in content strategy. Contact us for a free site audit and we will let you know how to make you better.
H.L. is an American philosopher, author, teacher of marketing, and a friend of the Blog. He has many leather-bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany.
Download Our Free "Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses" PDF as Collateral for Your Next Meeting
River Avenue Digital was invited to present the benefits of social media for small businesses at a recent networking event. Leaving your audience with a takeaway is important, so we developed a handout that each small business owner was able to take home as a reference guide. Now you can download this helpful PDF: Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
Some of the content from the one-pages is bulleted below. Enjoy!
Why should I invest my time in social media?
Social increases brand loyalty
Top 15 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses:
Don't hesitate to reach out for your complimentary digital marketing assessment. Contact us today.