Imagine you’re a server.
A table at your restaurant is having a great time. They love you, give you compliments, know you by name. So you decide to pop the question.
You approach the table. Four faces turn to you.
“We’re looking for reviews on Yelp. I have a laptop in the back. Would you like to help?”
Four blank stares. Shameless self-promotion, you think.
When you want to request reviews, let’s take for an example: best baby infant car seat, don’t ask. When you ask for reviews not only do you create awkward moments, you make reviews bias.
So, how can you create organic reviews? Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Put stickers on your window and front counter.
Marketing effectively implies marketing subtly. In other words, not bam-in-your-face-marketing, but smooth-hey-you-should-check-this-out kind of marketing.
And for the latter, stickers work well.
According to most small businesses, sticking “People love us on Yelp” stickers on your windows and front counters gather reviews like a rake gathers leaves. Want a sticker? Fill out this form.
2. Ask rather than solicit.
Most of the time it’s not what you say but how you say it. Instead of asking “Can you review us on TripAdvisor?” say “You can find us on Yelp.” When you say this to all your customers, the ones you make an impression on will review you.
3. Put badges, links, or widgets on your website.
If your customers discover your social media presence in store, and they plan to review your business, they will most likely review you from their handhelds.
Thus, whether its Yelp, CitySearch, Google+Local, or TripAdvisor, add corresponding links to your website. This simplifies the process for your customers.
Simplifying your online discovery leads me into another important point…
4. Optimize your profiles.
By far, offensive tactics (stickers and web links) yield quicker results. In addition, you’ll want to strengthen your defensive tactics, that is, make your website, social media accounts, and review sites easily discoverable in search engines.
To do this, ensure each platform has the correct NAT (name, address, and telephone number). Though this may seem obvious, do keep in mind that 60% of business websites don’t have a phone number for the business. In our digital era, that’s dangerous.
5. Keep working at it.
As John Maxwell says, “champions aren’t made champions in the ring; they’re merely recognized there.” In other words, you must work everyday to get better reviews.
Don’t give up. Keep raising awareness. Keep telling customers. Put stickers on your windows, your car, all your cars, your bike, whatever. Eventually, you will see reviews.
6. A poor review is not a bad thing.
Though, surely, you want good reviews, poor reviews tell you what you can do better.
When you do get a poor review, you definitely need to answer it. To answer it, however, you should keep a few things in mind. And that, my friend, is the subject of next week’s article.