How to Use Your Online Reviews
Humblebragging (n): /ˈhəmbəlbraɡ/: an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud.
It’s a well-accepted internet fact that humblebragging is not so humble. After all, it seems to be the very definition of pride to draw attention (however subtly) to your own achievements. However, there is a notable exception: your business! Your official online social presence exists to make sure that your fantastic reputation is well known. It can be a delicate line to walk, but good marketing walks it, making sure your brand’s accomplishments are highlighted in such a way that makes your business feel approachable and friendly – and definitely nothing like the friend who posts their vacation photos with a caption that says #blessed.
So how does your business draw attention to its achievements? It’s easy enough to post a photo or two of a reward you recently received (and you absolutely should), but posting more than once can overtake your fans’ feeds. Writing a status or blog post about your fast service and amazing staff can be great, but customers tend to be suspicious of glowing praise written by the business itself. What do consumers trust? Other consumers.
The credibility of 3rd party validation is incredibly strong and well-documented. In fact, according to Forbes, “personal recommendations are the number one driver of consumer purchase decisions at every stage in the purchase cycle[.]” It is incredibly impactful for a potential client to hear about how great your business is from another customer, who they view as unbiased.
It can seem daunting to leverage 3rd party validation – should you interview customers? Take a quick video testimonial? – but luckily, the age of the internet has given business owners a quick and ready source for accessing 3rd party validation at any time: online reviews! Your online reputation is critical. After all, most customers will look up your business online before visiting your brick and mortar. So how can you leverage this space to your advantage?
- Respond to All Reviews
- It’s important to respond to everything that customers post about your brand, both positive and negative. It may seem tempting to only respond to the negative reviews in order to mitigate any potential reactions, but showing your gratitude to customers who took the time to leave you a glowing review can signal to potential clients that you care. For negative reviews, always respond with sympathy, even if you feel a customer is being unreasonable. When potential clients see that you are responsive and thoughtful about your online reputation, they will be more likely to trust your brand. In addition, seeing you calmly and politely handle a negative review can give potential customers greater faith that their purchases will be in good hands!
- Respond Quickly to Reviews
- Regardless of whether a review is negative or positive, always respond as quickly as possible. Customers who have had a negative experience want to feel heard – it’s why they’re leaving you a review! Responding quickly can let them know that you’re listening and that you care, and signal to future customers that you’re attentive.
- Share Your Reviews
- This is where humblebragging can become an art! If you get a glowing or unusual but great review, share it across your social media platforms so that everyone can see. It’s a great way to share your positive reputation and give a warm thanks and shout out to the customer who took the time to review you.