The Value of Online Reviews and Social Sharing, Part 2

Engage Customers Before they Get Away

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If you are not getting consistent positive feedback and engagement from your customers, it may simply be because you aren’t specifically encouraging the kind of feedback and participation with your organization that you want. Even if you are seeing positive feedback, if you aren’t capturing and taking advantage of it, it may make you feel good at the end of the day – but it isn’t really helping build your brand like it could.

In Part 1, we looked at the reasons your customers make your best brand ambassadors.

Comments & Shares

Social media sites make it pretty easy to share content we like with our friends. To inspire someone to like, comment on, or share your branded content, you first must deliver a satisfying customer experience and be regularly publishing helpful, valuable content that will move them to respond. This is true on social media and on your website or blog. The first thing you must do is be share-worthy.

I visit fun or quality establishments or see great content that I would like to share every day. Sometimes, it takes just a couple of clicks and it’s done. Too often, brands don’t take the extra step or two up front to make it as easy as possible for me to comment, share or recommend their brand while it’s on my mind. Sometimes I will craft or format the tweet or share myself. Most times I’ll just click away - opportunity lost. You must make it easy to share.

click-to-tweetClickToTweet.com is a great (easy & free) tool for pre-crafting tweets your customers, readers, or visitors can share.

Whenever possible, you should be performing diligent social listening so you know, as a brand or community manager, when someone has shared your content or recommended your product. If you pre-formatted the tweet, for example, you should easily be able to see that your brand was mentioned in a positive tweet. (You should see it if it was negative and respond accordingly/appropriately as well!) While recognition is not necessarily expected from very large brands, it’s always nice to be noticed. You should acknowledge the share.

Reviews & Recommendations

Depending on your business model, the first step to securing a positive review or recommendation usually starts offline. To make me want to send friends your way, you must provide a great product or service.

When you have provided a great customer experience, please realize people are busy, busy, busy! Once a customer leaves your store or your site or closes out that confirmation email, they might feel great about your brand and still might never have a chance to tell a friend about it. They just may never think to do so. You need to ask for the recommendation …and, just like asking for a comment or share, please make it easy for them.TIP

You can do this in several practical and even creative ways. For instance, you could follow up with an automated email to say “Thank you for your business” and, in addition to social share and email icons, tell them exactly where you’d like them to leave a rave review:

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  • Provide a feedback link where they can write a rave review that other visitors to your website will see.
  • Give them a link to Facebook and ask them to leave a review there.
  • If your business is B2B, send them to your LinkedIn Company Page and ask for a recommendation.
  • If you are a local business, you might send them to Yelp or to your Google+ Page.

How do you chose where you want the review? Maybe you don’t have to! You may want to concentrate reviews on your website, your Facebook or LinkedIn, or you might see more value in those reviews being within Google. However, since you will be sending email thank you’s to customers, you could manage and segment the email list to specify the type of request you send based on information you have about each customer!

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  • If you know that they already like your Facebook page or that they came to your site from Facebook, you may want to send them back to Facebook to leave a review.
  • If your customer is another business (B2B), you may want to send them to LinkedIn.
  • If they provided a Gmail email when the order was placed, you can safely link them to your Google+ Page and collect a review.

The best strategy should be determined based on what you know about the customer, your target persona, and your objectives. In my next article, we’ll focus on your objectives and your best opportunities for capturing and taking advantage of engagement with your customers.

Join us on Facebook (and Like our new page!) to share what you are doing to capture good will and make it easy for customers to recommend your product or service to their friends on social media and elsewhere. Are you doing enough? Could you make it easier?

Al Buscaino

alExecutive Vice President, Strategic Services
877-446-3486 x 222

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To learn how INDIVO can help enhance your online and offline marketing efforts, contact Al Buscaino.

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