Regional mid-market companies can’t ignore review sites. It’s local criticism that could cost them dearly!
Social media is the top focus for many regional companies. With $19.3 billion dollars being spent in the US during 2018 (an increase of about 56% since 2015, according to Statista), this clearly isn’t a fad.
While most mid-market companies have a social presence, investing both time and money to “post” on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others, many of them have forgotten to recognize the importance and direct impact review sites can have on their business.
Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Trip Adviser, Angie’s List, Open Table and so many others are just as “social” as Facebook and Twitter. People comment, share and rate businesses on these sites also. So, why are so many regional businesses not taking advantage of the engagement that these sites offer?
According to RevLocal, 92% of consumers look to reviews before making a purchasing decision and according to a 2018 Review Trackers’ survey 53.3% of customers expect businesses to respond to their online review within 7 days. With those numbers regional companies need to shift some attention towards social conversations on their review websites.
Reviews can be daunting and even a bit scary at times to deal with. Many businesses are truly uncomfortable dealing with negative feedback or a single star rating. However, reviews are opportunities to thank those that share positive experiences and gather insight from those less favorable.
They should always thank those consumers that leave kind reviews and offer a sincere apology to those that don’t. After all, these are absolutely your customers. That, there is no doubt! Make a public apology for all to see and then take the negative discussion off-line by asking a negative reviewer to contact you directly via DM or email.
Show everyone else that searches for reviews on your company that you are an engaged even when things aren’t going your way. Remember, we all make mistakes but it’s how you fix them that speaks the loudest!
Stay abreast of your business’s reputation. Your customers are priority one and you can learn much from them, if you are willing to listen. It’s critical in growing your business.
Negative reviews deserve a response and it offers the business a chance to rectify a bad situation and an opportunity to show everyone that the people behind the business care. Review Trackers’ states that 45% of consumers are more likely to visit a business and make their own decision, if it responds to negative reviews. Ignoring a negative review tells perspective customers to steer clear.
Remember many of these sites are locally oriented and a local brand reputation no matter the company size is crucial to every business and has a direct coloration to sales. Regional companies need to increase their social presence and up their game by paying better attention to these sites.
Posting funny tweets on Twitter and sharing product pics on Instagram are good, but don’t become a victim of your lack of social engagement on review sites.