Reviews are kingmakers.
You know it, I know it. Share online reviews on the right platforms and you attract an enormous wave of attention. Get customers to promote your reviews within their sphere of influence and you extend your reach exponentially.
By sharing your online reviews with customers! There’s more to it than that, however.
Sharing allows you to hijack context
The word “hijack” sounds yucky.
That’s because reviews are often treated as window dressing or used as an ambush tool. When it’s used to ambush, it’s sleazy and gross. As window dressing it’s easy to ignore. Either case minimizes the impact a potential review can have.
What’s the cause?
Reviews are often reactive. We count on customers to seek out the reviews they want to see. What if we didn’t? What if we brought reviews to customers at a relevant and contextually appropriate time?
The results could be phenomenal.
Here’s the thing though. When we hijack context we’re not taking away a reviewer or customer’s ability to choose. We’re not badgering people with our reviews. We’re also not behaving unethically.
We’re using relevance to provide more options.
Relevance protects you from unexpected backlash
Relevance is a lot like a traffic light.
It tells you when to approach customers with your pitch, how to present your reviews and when to be quiet. It’s as simple as matching their situation to your review.
· Are customers asking for help? Confirm their problem, share your solution, then present your relevant reviews.
· Looking to reach out to past visitors? Use tweets, status updates or messages as a platform to share recent reviews.
· Have customers raised legitimate objections? Use specific reviews, that are relevant to their situation, to defuse objections permanently.
It’s a bit different.
It’s not really all that common to see reviews used proactively, which is why social media sharing is so important. When you proactively share online reviews with your customers you’re able to:
· Initiate or spark online discussion. A positive review can spark discussions where customers swap stories with each other about their experiences with your organization.
· Preemptively defuse objections, reduce risk and decrease customer fear. Seeding conversations with positive (and sometimes negative) reviews at an appropriate time gives you a chance to defuse objections before they become a problem.
· Drive traffic, leads and sales. Most customers are lurkers. Sharing your online reviews with potential customers gives them an opportunity to assess your business discreetly.
· Increase conversion rates. Research consistently shows online reviews have a dramatic effect on your conversion rates. The lift from online reviews can increase conversion rates by as much as 270 percent!
· Cultivate review virality. Social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook have virality built-in. When you like a status update, add comments, share photos and videos, your friends see your activity in their feed. Cross pollinating reviews (i.e. sharing Facebook reviews on LinkedIn) gives you an opportunity to attract a consistent stream of attention.
· Identify and segment customer evangelists. Sharing your online reviews gives your customers the chance to chime in with additional thoughts and feedback. It gives you another opportunity to express your gratitude and thanks. Most importantly, it gives your very best customers a chance to self-identify.
If you’re looking to generate more revenue, sharing online reviews is an important and valuable strategy.
Which social media sites allow you to share your customer reviews? More importantly, what’s the best way to share online reviews with customers?