Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Reviews and Reputation Management

Monitoring social networks for customer reviews enables your business to develop customer relationships, which can enhance your business’s reputation and value. Customer reviews require an immediate need to respond, particularly when working toward preventing negative reviews from influencing potential customers.

To monitor and identify customer reviews, the use of a review monitoring tool that enables you to acknowledge positive reviewers and perform conflict resolution for negative reviews is a worthwhile expenditure. When a customer posts a review, that review has the potential to spread to a larger audience. There are services including Bazaar Voice and Yelp that help with monitoring customer reviews. You should use these review monitoring tools for proactive crisis management and conflict resolution for negative reviews, and to acknowledge and share positive reviews.

Reputation Management

Reputation management is an essential aspect of marketing, and the posted opinions of your customers on social media, and how your business connects with those customers, aids in generating brand awareness and marketing success. You cannot control customer reviews. Consequently, it is imperative that you continually monitor and manage social networks. To help maintain the reputation of your business, an automated system can be used to e-mail noted positive reviewers and request that they post reviews on multiple social media networks to increase the exposure of these positive reviews. You should also consider offering special status, VIP sales, unique merchandising promos, or other perks to these select individuals to retain their interest in championing your business within their social sphere.

In response to determining the management of customer reviews, you should not ignore the opinions of customers. Reviews are free pathways for gaining insights into customers’ perspectives compared to incentives, surveys, and focus groups. Unlike positive reviews, negative reviews have a greater likelihood of generating negative emotions and business perceptions. Reputation managers should have crisis management training for comprehending the proper steps for knowing how to de-escalate emotional situations that drive to the heart of the customer’s issues without the manager being emotionally invested. No matter the ranking or quality of the review, you should listen to the concerns of the reviewer, address the issues, and prevent customer dissatisfaction from happening in the future. When customers write reviews, particularly negative reviews, they expect a response from your business. Acknowledging customer reviews could benefit your marketing strategy by gaining insights into unforeseen problems within your business.

Social Media Reviews

Online networking is a gathering of internet-based applications built on the foundation of ideology and technical specifications of web 2.0, which allows for the development and exchange of user-generated content. Social media is a critical area of enthusiasm for marketing managers and practitioners seeking to evaluate and influence customers’ perceptions. Researchers found that 88% of marketers used social media and spent over $60 billion per year consistently on social media marketing. The most valuable social media tools for gathering marketing data are LinkedIn®, Twitter, Facebook, and online blogging.[1] The essential marketing applications of social media include content marketing, market research, and business networking.

Your business should use social media for presenting marketing endeavors and building relationships with customers. Having an influential social presence is critical to propelling your marketing and brand development strategies. Increasing knowledge, implementing social media strategies, and brand showcasing can benefit your business by exploiting the opportunities that social networks present. In conducting a study consisting of 236 social media users’ online interactions to evaluate predictors relating to social media sites, it was found that online networking had a significant effect on customers’ perceptions of online marketing and advertisements.[2]

In a large-scale field experiment comprising of 45,000 participants of an online mall, researchers found that both financial and value incentives were significant forces in generating brand awareness through social members.[3] If you grasp how to capitalize from online discussions, you can develop strategies that enhance your business’s reputation, profits, and brand awareness. Social influence is characterized as a propensity to accept data as evidence about reality. For instance, with online movie ratings, customers frequently rate movies based on previous ratings by other customers. This happens because customers using social media have a significant influence on the actions and suppositions of their peer groups.

The advantage of using social media for your business is to connect with those customers who can decidedly influence your brand’s notoriety and awareness. For an individual to be influential on social media, they need to present relevant substance within their reviews and have a reasonable social following. You could gain influential power by identifying, reaching, and bargaining with customers online. To develop these relationships of power, you should solicit influential customers and provide product samples and ask that they share their evaluations and feedback on social networks.

 

[1] Whiting, A., & Williams, D. (2013). Why people use social media: A uses and gratifications approach. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 16, 362-369. doi:10.1108/qmr-06-2013-0041

[2] Vinerean, S., Cetina, I., Dumitrescu, L., & Tichindelean, M. (2013). The effects of social media marketing on online consumer behavior. International Journal of Business and Management, 8, 66. doi:10.5539/ijbm.v8n14p66

[3] Ahrens, J., Coyle, J. R., & Strahilevitz, M. A. (2013). Electronic word of mouth: The effects of incentives on e-referrals by senders and receivers. European Journal of Marketing, 47, 1034-1051. doi:10.1108/03090561311324192

Electronic Word-of-Mouth

Customers often use social media channels when purchasing products or services. Social media channels including Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp are greater influences than electronic word-of-mouth communication on business websites and testimonials. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has a significant influence on the success of your business, and has become a major factor in customer decision-making processes.

The main contrast between traditional word-of-mouth and eWOM is that eWOM has a greater reach and accelerated interaction. Considering the simplicity of accessing eWOM reviews, your business should progressively seek to analyze related factors and outcomes influencing eWOM. Electronic word-of-mouth goes far beyond traditional word-of-mouth to include online communication and networking through social forums, review sites, and news sites. Therefore, your sales are highly dependent on eWOM influences. Moreover, eWOM affects the trust and perception of your business, and the products you offer. When there is a large number of positive eWOM referrals, sales and business profits are likely to increase.

Impact of Reviews on Marketing Objective

Customer engagement is critical when working to develop brand awareness and increase sales. Negative customer reviews affect small businesses significantly more than larger businesses. Consequently, depending upon your business size, customer reviews may not always have a significant influence on your profitability. Additionally, reviews, whether positive or negative, do not have a significant influence on customers familiar with your business. Similar to a tree in the forest, a review alone is not going to gain or lose new business for a client, but can help to sway a potential customer to make a decision either way. Engaging with customers is a strategy recommended by marketing agencies to create a competitive advantage by building relationships with customers. If the objective of your business is customer acquisition, retention, or brand awareness, then customer reviews can affect your marketing strategy development.

Because of social media, customer feedback and reviews can quickly reach a broad audience and have an immediate effect on the success of your business’s marketing efforts. Due to the popularity of the internet, you can analyze and predict customer behaviors by using social networks and review-based websites. Your business should spend marketing dollars wisely, so gaining more reviews is not always as important as generating brand awareness through other reliable methods of marketing. Your marketing strategies should focus on relationship building with customers to better develop successful strategies for increasing customer loyalty and sales. However, you are likely not effectively accomplishing your marketing objective if you are receiving a significant amount of negative reviews.

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