Written by 5ivecanons Staff
You might have seen the stickers, “people love us on yelp,” or even the more cynical “people hate us on yelp.” Either way, how will any business handle online reviews?
Consumers are connected to brands as customers, as influencers and as brand advocates. Instantaneously a consumer can review a product or service for everyone to see. Consumers have opinions and the web is their forum. Brands need to have a strategy to handle reviews – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Reviews are important to your brand’s success. This can give your product the advantage over a competitor’s product. When it comes to purchasing decisions, 90% of consumers say they trust reviews from somebody they know, however 70% of consumers trust reviews from people they do not know.
The chart on the left demonstrates the effect recommendations have compared to user-generated content. Consumers ages 18-34 find user-generated content and recommendations from friends or family to have the same effect on purchase making. However, among consumers ages 47-65, recommendations from friends or family are twice as likely to impact their purchase making.
Social media has changed word of mouth marketing. Before, there was no way of knowing what was being said as it went from one person’s mouth to another person’s ears. Social media has become word of mouth. Now consumers have forums to go to, to post opinions on things, and share those opinions with their friends.
When it comes to sharing positive brand interactions, consumers ages 18-34 prefer to use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to share information with their friends, followed by the use of third party sites, such as consumer reports, and then emails to friends. Consumers ages 47-65 preferred sending an e-mail to a friend to share a positive brand experience, followed by third party sites and social media.
There are tools to help your business. Yelp! is a small business tool that gives consumers a forum to review a business and gives the company a means to respond. Yelpers have written over 25 million reviews and 66 million monthly visitors use the service. Yelp aims to connect people with great local businesses and Yelp Business Accounts allow businesses to share information with the Yelp Community. Simply put, it’s word of mouth — amplified.
Yelp recently crossed 25 million reviews and 66 million monthly visitors
Consumers can go to your business profile and leave reviews. More often than not, there are review for businesses whom do not even know they have a Yelp! account.
Small businesses need to take social review seriously and it’s easy to get started. Yelp! gives you a “Reviews” tab to monitor and respond to what is said. More specifically, brands can respond to reviews publicly or privately, so a brand can deal with reviews more personally than others.