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In My Opinion…

February 3rd, 2010 by | 7 Comments

Photo by Thomas Hawk

So it turns out everyone is listening to their friends (duh!) and now everyone is also listening to strangers. A recent poll indicated that 90% of consumers trust the opinions of friends and 70% will trust the opinions of online reviews. Check out the beginning of this video from a segment featured on Good Morning America.

So what does that mean for you and your business? It means you better get listed on those rate and review sites and be sure you are taking advantage of your business presence.

Rate and review sites such as Yelp.com are excellent for judging what people are saying about your company, your brand, your services and your products. It provides free sentiment reports and the chance to say you are listening and ready to make positive changes. It makes sense to drive your clients and customers to these sites and encourage feedback–both positive and negative. You can attempt to solicit the same type of feedback on your Facebook page, but the reviews have a greater chance of being considered during decision-making if the opinions are on these sites.

Another reason to get involved on these sites is to use it for free advertising. Because anyone can list a business, it is important to ensure your business representation on these sites is accurate and appropriate. Add links and photos where possible and create the best experience in addition to a user reading the reviews. Also, provide a valid email address in case any reviewer would like to contact your business directly as opposed to publicly.

There are also a lot of industry-specific review sites, which might make sense for your company. Sites such as CitySearch.com target businesses by geography and OpenTable.com focuses on the restaurant industry.

So how do you manage this social media initiative? Check all rate and review sites to see if you current business is listed. If not, set up your page and add all your pertinent information. Frequent the pages about once a week to check for review entries. Review all positive and negative remarks and be sure to take action when necessary. This might mean that if someone posts something negative, you might have to look into the issue or address the person directly and attempt a resolution.

Overall, these sites can be an important part of a social media campaign and can leave a lasting impression on your current or prospective clients/consumers.

Jen Cohen is a social media and marketing maven knocked down many times in 26 yrs. Something Creative http://somethingcreativemarketing.com


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