Without a doubt, your loyal customers have good things to say about your company — so why not use those glowing reviews to showcase your business?
If you’re a proud small business owner, you work hard to provide top-quality products and professional service. Here’s why you should capitalize on customer reviews, as well as a quick and easy guide to making the most out of your review-based marketing:
Understand the value of customer reviews
In a world saturated with commercials, shoppers have become cynical and skeptical of advertisements. However, according to Entrepreneur magazine contributor Chris Campbell, genuine testimonials written by customers offer social proof and valuable insight for potential patrons. Modern shoppers and diners rarely visit a business without consulting Yelp, Amazon, Trip Advisor or Google Reviews. A study by YouGov reveals that 87 percent of shoppers give online consumer testimonials just as much weight as recommendations from friends and family.
Showcase terrific testimonials on your website
Consumer reviews are a powerful tool — and luckily, it’s not difficult to feature them on your company’s website. Spectoos is a tool that allows you to collect and display authenticated customer testimonials, as well as monitor the click-through and conversion rates of these recommendations. Reputation Desk also allows you to gather and feature reviews with a website widget, as well as offering tools for reputation monitoring and management. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for many review, collecting, and displaying services. Furthermore, you may consider giving your customers some form of compensation for a review. However, you’ll have to disclose this compensation if you use their endorsement for advertising. If you’d like to take the free route, some review platforms, such as Yelp, allow you to embed testimonials from the site onto your page by simply copying a few lines of code. However, be sure to thoroughly read the terms of service on any review site before decking out your company’s page with reviews.
Utilize social media
There are numerous ways to share customer testimonials outside of your business’s main page. You can also share consumer reviews in emails and on your business’s social media pages. Blake Morgan, a contributor to Forbes, explains that your company’s social media pages provide an excellent platform to collect reviews, manage your online reputation and build trust with your customers. These reviews can drive shares, likes and comments, which can help turn your page’s followers into willing brand ambassadors.
Know the laws
There are laws surrounding the proper usage of testimonials in advertising. The FTC oversees the usage of endorsements in advertising, whether those recommendations come from celebrity influencers or your friendly neighborhood patrons. Featured testimonials have to be true and verifiable, and contain evidence that supports their claim. For instance, you can’t showcase a review that claims your bakery’s cupcakes can cure diseases. You will be held accountable for statements you can’t prove. Furthermore, the endorsements need to reflect the typical customer’s experience, not just the extremely positive outliers. Also, be sure to disclose if you’ve paid an influencer to review your product — even if you’ve only provided samples of your product.
By showcasing customer endorsements, you can increase your conversion rates, build consumer trust, and grow your company. But before adding reviews and widgets to your website, consult with a legal expert who can help walk you through the ins and outs of FTC-compliant advertising.