In essence, being a modern entrepreneur means using the most advanced tools and methods for promoting your brand. Digital transformation is making things easier for people to reach out to prospects and nurture existing relationships.
On the other hand, modern tools have also made it easier for people to vet for the products or services they want to acquire. Of course, social media platforms like Instagram have prompted businesses to enlarge their reach, get more follows, and, more importantly, build their reputations.
By publishing online reviews, people can either support a company’s growth or run the business to the ground. Reputations have become fragile, so much so that companies seeking to expand their operations or grow their influence can’t afford a negative review or two.
But while you can’t force customers to give you a five-star review, there are other ways you can improve your online reputation.
- Highlight the best ones
About 34.4% of small businesses say that reviews matter very much. When you consider that a single positive review can snowball into an avalanche of praise, it makes sense that business owners value them. Your credibility will depend on how other people perceive the review so a long and well-structured review is something you should highlight. You could share the review as a “highlight of the day”, thereby adding social credibility to your marketing efforts.
- Respond and interact
People make reviews for two reasons: to objectively say something about your business or to vent about your shortcomings. Either way, responding to reviews gives you the opportunity to reach out to your market. You will show that you appreciate positive feedback and that you’re open to learning about the negative aspects of your business. What’s more, interacting with reviewers also serves as a way of gathering marketing intelligence from the sentiments that people share.
- Be careful when writing responses
Coming up with an appropriate response to a bad review is like walking through a minefield. One wrong step, and you’ll blow your business up! That said, it’s important to be cautious when submitting a reply to someone who has had a bad experience with your product or service. Emotions can run high, but they shouldn’t get the better of you. Be gracious and show empathy with what the reviewer went through so you won’t make things worse when it comes to maintaining a good reputation in your market.
- Provide rewards
Whether you have a large trove of reviews or just a few positive comments on your social media page, it helps if you are able to reward people who found the time to write something good. You might want to consider giving back in the form of coupons, discounts, and freebies. It’s these little things that separates a business that cares about what it does to its patrons and a business that cares only for the cash it receives.
- Give shoutouts!
Acknowledge the people who have helped you build a good image within your niche. These people deserve a gesture of appreciation and featuring them (with permission, of course) on Instagram and other social media platforms can add another level of credibility to your business. So, be sure to feature those who have posted very compelling reviews; this can be a great way to drive more social engagement.
- Personalize your responses
Getting a positive comment via Instagram can be very flattering, especially if someone has really made the effort to write a heartwarming message as a tribute to the services you have provided. That being said, you should show the same enthusiasm by making heartfelt responses. It’s exhausting to respond to every query you receive, but writing one from scratch goes a long way when you are set on building rapport with your audience. That said, make sure to mention a person’s name and respond to what they wrote you. Don’t leave a simple “Thank you message.” You should also ask how the person’s day was and offer to help them again in the future.
- Respond to @ posts
If someone mentions you in a post using @, then a response is definitely in order. You know your brand has taken on such an identity that people, especially social media influencers, begin to mention you in their posts or in their responses to other people’s posts. This gives you the opportunity to raise brand awareness. By responding to mentions, people will really know that your brand exists and will be curious to see what you offer.
Reviews can serve to improve your social clout if you know how to use them well. Use them wisely and strategically so you can get the opportunities you need for your business to grow!