The Power of Reviews
As a company looking to build a reputation, you must always consider the power of social media reviews. Most companies take very little stock of their importance in their business, but they hold a tremendous weight. Go ahead and look for a pizza parlor somewhere in your town. How do you do it? It’s usually one or two places. You open up Google and you say pizza parlor places in your city. Then you watch as a list opens up. But do you know where they really come from? They’re actually being generated from Google Maps. Now do the same exercise but open up Google Maps and there you will find the ability to make the same statement, and you will see Google Maps open up with not only a list, but the exact locations and the reviews. When you run your business, that’s how most people find you. They might say your name or they might look up your type of product. There in Maps, they should find your listing.
The problem is that most of them have zero reviews or at the most one or two reviews, which makes the impact look even more negative. How do I know this? I’m one of the top-ranked Google reviewers. As a level 7 reviewer, I generate Google reviews many times per month as I travel throughout the United States. The first thing I look for when I choose a product or service is their ranking on Google reviews. If I see a place that has less than 4.5 stars and very little reviews, it is immediately eliminated. After that, I look for the 4.5+ reviews with a high volume. If you have less than 10 reviews in your company, reach out to friends, family, your social media accounts, and emails to gather more reviews. Some companies will offer a $200 Amazon gift card drawing from those participants who have filled out a review. Or you might offer something to everyone who gives you a review. Personally, I believe that if you have earned the right to get a good review, and you simply ask, you will receive.
If you have received any ratings with less than a 4.0 rating, I would encourage you to contact the customer and work to resolve the issue. If you earn back their trust, they will typically give you a higher score. You can always send them an email requesting them to change it. Google reviews are ranked as the highest rated reviews in the world. Why is that? Because they’re not tied to any monetary payment system. Some of these other review systems like Angie’s list, Travelocity or some page that manage travel, are usually tied to payments either by the customer or the seller. Google has none of that. They don’t pay anyone to give reviews. It’s simply by being honest and relevant do you earn the right to continue giving reviews and moving up the ranks. I encourage you to build your reputation using Google reviews.
Now, if you’re working on building your reputation business-to-business, there is nothing better than using LinkedIn to build those reviews. Let’s say you are a security company working in the commercial business market, and you focus primarily on the auto dealership industry using video surveillance. Your first step is to begin to connect with as many of the audio dealership prospects in your area. Build a network of these companies and begin to follow them on LinkedIn . As you do, you can systematically message them with the opportunity to talk about the value of your services. If they become a satisfied customer, you can invite them to leave a testimonial about your company and your services. And once you’ve received it, I recommend you add it to your business LinkedIn page and your company website.
It will certainly add to your company’s presence a feeling of authenticity that may have been absent before the reviews. Software companies like GatherUp and Podium offer a service that allows you to embed your Google and LinkedIn reviews right onto your website page. It also allows customers to drop a review allowing you to build your reputation and your value. I suggest you give it a try.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to establish yourself within your niche market, the only way to do that is to continually strive to build your brand and your reputation with reviews. If you want to earn your way into your customer or prospect’s CIRCLE OF TRUST, you have to make the effort to gain their trust. Do you remember the movie Meet the Parents? Remember when Gaylord Focker wanted so badly to get into his father-in-law’s circle of trust? It’s certainly not easy, and once you get in you don’t want to lose your right to be inside that circle, so take seriously the power of reviews.