Regardless of how you choose to market your business, it’s a well-known fact that word of mouth still reigns supreme. However, we live and trade in a time when this analog mechanism is becoming increasingly digitized, turning the smallest of voices into the most captivating of orators and what they say matters.
These electronic reviews are essential to your business: They assure prospective clients of your integrity, worth and reputation. They create social proof and that’s marketing gold.
So, what is Social Proof?
Social proof is the idea that people tend to follow the crowd. They do this because they assume other people have made the right decision and, not wanting to be caught-out, they do the same.
Consider this: If you’re on vacation and considering places to eat, do you head for the empty restaurant where the waiters are checking their Instagram feed or, do you go to the place next door, where there are customers eating, busy waiting staff and people waiting to be seated?
Of course, you go to the latter, and that’s social proof.
Now transfer this example to the digital world: Customers are much more likely to engage with a business with hundreds of reviews then they are with a business that has no social proof.
Fresh is Best
It’s best when customers leave feedback on your business when their memory of the experience is fresh. Services like Broadly, an online review system, ensure that their account will be accurate and detailed by prompting them to leave a review as soon after their interaction as possible.
Encouraging customers to leave such reviews creates social proof and/or presents opportunities to improve the product or service your business offers by addressing any issues as quickly as possible. Thus limiting the risk of negative social proof, which might do more harm than you think…
Utilizing customer review software means that you’ll be notified when customers leave feedback on your business on sites such as Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor. This presents an opportunity to gain real-time feedback on your customers’ experience with your business and gain insight into what they love.
It also puts you in a position to address any problems they may have had quickly and privately (not necessarily in full view of all the other review platform users!), therefore improving the quality of social proof they may go on to share.
The intelligent application of review software can help to improve your visibility, not just on the review sites that your customers frequent, but in search engine results too.
By embedding a stream of customer reviews directly into your website, you can show off all your business’ great feedback.
This stream of ever-changing and updating content enhances your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and will push your company website up the rankings of Google and its competitors.
Customer reviews aren’t beyond your control, you just need to manage and capitalize on them!