Online Reputation for Local Brands: It Matters



June 1, 2014

By: Allan Utton – Partner Coordinator at Larche Digital Media

How is your online reputation?  Have you thought about it?  Have you looked to see what people are saying about your business?  If not, you may want to rethink your marketing strategy.


Do Online Reviews Matter?

Avg. monthly unique Yelp visitors = 132 million

70% consult reviews or ratings before purchasing.

Cumulative reviews grew 46% year over year to approximately 57 million

90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust unknown users, 27% trust experts, 14% trust advertising, 8% trust celebrities.


How it Effects the Bottom Line

A one-star increase on Yelp can increase revenue 5 to 9 percent.

The number of reviews and negative reviews do effect your websites search engine rank which in turn can throttle back the amount of visitors at your digital doorway.



Deal With the Online Reviews

Don’t look at bad reviews as a bad thing, but instead think of them as an opportunity to learn and grow your business. Use them to influence how you manage and build policies.

Note: A negative review is bad, but a negative review that is not responded to is worse!

Ensure you respond to every negative comment in a courteous manner:

  • Try to direct the conversation to a private forum whether it is a phone number or email address they can call.
  • Make the response human and genuine. No pre-generated responses allowed.  The readers can spot these a mile away.

Bend over backwards to make the situation right again and once done, ask the customer to write another review.

We all love getting positive reviews but negative reviews show you were you can better your business.


Gaining Positive Reviews

We have covered why online reviews matter, how it effects the bottom line and how to deal with a negative online review.  Not is the next step and that is to gain positive online reviews.

Make it easy for the consumer, put a link to a couple of the main review sites right on your website that will direct them to your business.

When a sale is complete simply ask the customer to post a review.

Make the review sites URL available to the customer either on their receipt or a card asking for a positive review.

Email a follow up to the customer thanking them for their business and request a review

For each of the above you could offer a small incentive, like a monthly random prize draw.

You are no longer in charge of the brand of your business, the public is, of course with the right strategy, this does not mean you can’t direct the public in a favorable way for your business.


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