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6 online review sites your company should target

Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly technologically savvy. From determining which product to buy to which restaurant to try, consumers are relying more on online customer reviews to help make their purchasing and dining decisions. In fact, according to a survey by Search Engine Land, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So which review sites should your company pay attention to?

  1. Google My Business.

When consumers search for a local company on Google, reviews posted about that company show up in the search results. The reviews and star ratings help consumers decide whether that particular store or restaurant is worthy of their business. In 2014, Google began using the Pigeon update, which is an algorithm that uses the location and distance ranking parameters to improve search results. Google takes all the information from a company’s site as well as its reviews to produce more content, which makes the business appear more reputable.

If you want your business to show up in search results, you need to optimize your site. Set up accounts with local directories and online review sites, particularly with Google My Business. Your sales and the visitors to your site will increase as people post more comments, reviews and pictures of their experiences with your business.

  1. Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit site that examines several types of businesses, comparing their products or services with best business standards and depicting the customer satisfaction rate. The Better Business Bureau does not endorse a certain business or recommend it to the public as the best, but it provides people with information about businesses and if they meet with the site’s accreditation standards.  

The site evaluates both non-accredited and accredited businesses. A general Better Business Bureau profile of a company contains information about the business, its accreditation status, a list of complaints and reviews posted by customers and information on its dissolution. The Better Business Bureau rates businesses from A (highest) to F (lowest) based on the business’s complaint history; the type of business it is; how long the business has been open; how transparent it is; licensing and government issues; and known advertising issues.

  1. Yelp.

According to Yelp, Yelpers wrote more than 102 million reviews by the end of Q1 2016. Yelp allows people to rate a company and post reviews about their experiences, while allowing companies to respond. A company can create a Yelp profile, which includes its hours and location, and users can register to review the company for free. Companies can only respond to a certain number of reviews or messages each day.

Your business should work toward attaining positive reviews so that they appear at the top of your Yelp page. Having a profile on Yelp increases your company’s chance of showing up on Google’s search results.

  1. Yellow Pages.

Yellow Pages, a partner of Yelp, is a leading local marketing solutions provider in the U.S. Yellow Pages provides listings, coupons and reviews for millions of businesses. Yellow Pages uses an online reviews and ratings system so that customers can share their experiences with everyone else.

  1. Facebook.

Facebook provides users with the option to review a business by clicking on “Facebook Ratings & Reviews,” which users can find on the left-hand side of their pages. Users can choose to make their posts public to all, only to friends or only to them. People can also post a review on a business’s Facebook page, which automatically goes on its wall for all to see.

  1. TripAdvisor.

Businesses in the travel, tourism, entertainment, hotel and restaurant industry should check out TripAdvisor to see what people are saying about them. The site has more than 225 million opinions, pictures and reviews posted by consumers and customers. The review site offers information on airfares, rental listings, travel guides and advice forums. It’s useful for customers who are deciding where to visit and eat while they are traveling.

A great way to remain aware of what people are saying about your company online is by investing in an online reputation management software like ReviewMaxer. ReviewMaxer collects reviews from more than 500 review sites and puts them into one central database where you can respond to the reviews and share them on social media. 

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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Facebook does great things for marketers and businesses on its platform

Recently, Facebook launched new features that improve your business’s online presence.

It’s very easy to set up a Facebook business page, where you can give information about your company and the services or products you offer. Now, Facebook offers customers an opportunity to leave reviews and ratings for your business on your business page.

Check-in’s: A few years ago, Facebook began giving users the option to check in whenever they visit a particular area or business. With this new update, you receive an automatic notification on your business page when a customer “checks in” to one of your physical locations. Using this feature, you can take note of frequent customers and read comments on their experiences.

A full 24 hours after your customer visits your business, Facebook sends the customer a notification with the option to leave a review on your business’s Facebook page about his or her experience. Customers are more likely to provide reviews at this time because it’s so soon after their visit. It’s an easy, streamlined process all within the same app. The bonus for your business is that Facebook sends the requests for reviews, so it doesn’t seem as if you’re hounding your customers for their reviews.

Recommendations: Another new feature that Facebook recently launched is the option for users to leave recommendations for others. Facebook introduced this feature a few months ago, offering users a chance to ask for recommendations when updating a status. This is a great asset for businesses that have a positive online presence. When a Facebook user tags your business within the comments of the recommendation status, a box will appear as a preview to your business’s Facebook page showing its overall rating.

With the advancement of technology and social media platforms, creating a strong reputation online is extremely important for any business. It can be overwhelming trying to manage customer reviews, which is where ReviewMaxer can help! When you use software like ReviewMaxer to manage your reviews, it’s easy to protect and even improve your online reputation.

Watch this free demonstration today to see how ReviewMaxer software works.

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Amanda Murguido


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Hint: Don’t do this!

It’s no longer enough for an organization to create a basic website and call it a day. In today’s digital world, if your business isn’t active on social media, you’re missing an essential marketing component.

The same goes for customer reviews. In fact, according to a recent survey, while 35 percent of consumers say that one negative review can convince them not to purchase a product, an overwhelming 92 percent of consumers will hesitate to buy if there are no reviews at all. This means that having zero customer reviews is actually a much bigger problem than having one negative review among the positive ones.

Even the best companies receive negative reviews, and they know there’s a right way to go about addressing customer complaints. Lots of companies struggle with how to deal with negative feedback on Yelp, but that’s just one platform. Many companies now rely on their Facebook pages for business listings, ad promotion and customer reviews. Because it’s a social site that’s fraught with oversharing, you need to be especially attentive when dealing with unfavorable feedback. If you aren’t careful, you could easily be swept up in a commenting storm that has serious consequences for your brand’s reputation.

The most famous example: Amy’s Baking Company

After Scottsdale, Arizona, restaurant Amy’s Baking Company appeared on an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” the owners took to the company Facebook page to defend themselves from an onslaught of negative comments. On the show, Ramsay actually gave up on the couple and walked off for the first time in the history of the series, deeming them too difficult to work with. After the episode aired, the owners proved that they were not, in fact, victims of clever reality TV editing. Their social media updates quickly escalated to the point where they verbally attacked commenters, threatened legal action against them, and then – like so many social media cautionary tales before them – claimed their page had been hacked.

Amy’s Baking Company was already in trouble; it had garnered dozens of negative reviews on Yelp and Google and further unsavory details emerged about the couple after their “Kitchen Nightmares” episode aired. Their infamous Facebook meltdown pushed things over the edge. The company eventually closed its doors.

What happened with Amy’s Baking Company is an over-the-top example, and it certainly doesn’t represent the norm. But it’s a lesson every business should learn about how social media practices impact customer loyalty and brand image.

The number one rule of online reviews: You should always respond to negative Facebook posts, comments and reviews. By choosing to stay silent, you allow the consumer to have the last word and give the impression that you simply want the problem to go away. You should also fight the temptation to remove negative posts, which could actually backfire, as consumers will be suspicious if every review is overwhelmingly positive.

Use caution when responding

In the same way that you should never write an email while angry, you shouldn’t respond to a negative review if you’re feeling angry or hurt. If you need to, take a few hours to calm down before responding. Be respectful of the customer’s opinions and respond in a way that shows you want to make it right. When you respond to negative reviews with patience and sincerity, you send a clear signal to your other customers.

Dishonest reviews

What about the times when a customer is actually dishonest in a review? While your first instinct may be to aggressively defend your reputation, don’t. Apologize for the customer’s experience, point out any false details without addressing blame or becoming defensive and make every attempt to make it right. Even if there’s nothing you can do to change a customer’s mind in a particular circumstance, other customers will see how well you handled the situation.

Above all, you shouldn’t take personal offense to Facebook comments and reviews, but you should take them seriously. By responding in a prompt and thoughtful manner, you can turn a bad experience into a positive impression.

Consumers expect businesses to be active on social media, and they use customer comments and reviews to help them make buying decisions. Every business should take steps to generate customer reviews and carefully respond to negative reviews. (It’s a nice touch to respond to positive reviews – a simple “thank you” will do.) A reputation management tool can help you keep track of your online customer reviews and your all-important online reputation.

Watch this free demonstration video to see how ReviewMaxer software works and how it improves your online reputation.

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Matt Harding

Matt Harding is the founder and creative director at Fan & Fuel in Carlsbad, CA. The design and digital strategy group creates branding, e-commerce, social media and digital marketing solutions to connect audiences in the manufacturing, service, retail and lifestyle trend markets.


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