Jay Baer of Convince & Convert just announced a great new piece of research is heading our way – The Social Habit. Brand research maven Susan Baier is involved, so I know it will be a winner. The teaser Jay posted fired up my brain, so I had to post some thoughts of my own…
Facebook is great! Pinterest is fun! Twitter is insanely fantastic for reaching/pitching journalists! LinkedIn is the place to be for networking! I think we all agree the top four social media sites have value. But what we DON’T think about often enough is the big picture of social media. It is so much more than the sites that everyone is focused on. If it encourages conversation, it’s social.
Social Media ROI
Marketing is all about ROI – what sells product, brings eyeballs to your product/service, what retains customers. The industry touts great statistics and impressive numbers about how Facebook is so wonderful, but I don’t think it is all that honest. Does it bring new business in the door? Or is it just an effective retention/loyalty tool… That gets my vote.
So what DOES bring new business in the door?
If you are a retailer, it’s reviews. Customer reviews. Yet how many companies put a premium on referral programs, and encouraging customers to post reviews? FAR TOO FEW.
As outlined so well in Google’s Zero Moment of Truth whitepaper, most consumers do quite a bit of online sleuthing before they buy. They want to read reviews and ratings – what other people think about the product, and the experiences they’ve had.
It’s an integral part of the customer purchase decision, and what’s more social than people talking about what they buy?
Google reviews, yelp, Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, Barnes & Noble – virtually EVERY SINGLE major retail website invites customer reviews.
Yet how few companies actually invite their customers to post reviews, or ask for them in any way? It’s crazy to ignore it, when it is so easy. And so valuable!
IT’S ALL ABOUT ONE LITTLE WORD. “ASK.”
If you put a little creativity towards how you can encourage customers to post online reviews, they happen. Just ask. How easy is it to offer a small discount to anyone that posts a review? Or to simply thank those who do? Or to showcase them on your Facebook page and share a little love right back?
So marketing professionals and agencies, I challenge you to put those thinking caps on and fire up your brains. What can YOU do – right now, today – to build up online reviews for your business or clients?