The Three R’s of Social Media
Everyone know’s the three r’s: reading, ’riting (writing), and ’rithmetic (arithmetic) or reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Now, there’s one more – ratings, reviews, and recommendations.
These are three important aspects for marketers looking to make their products, content, or brand more enticing to consumers.
Ratings: The Community Filter
The first step is understanding the importance of ratings. Consumers continually rate everything they do. They’re used to rating music on iTunes, products on Amazon, and restaurants on Yelp.
The simple action helps us filter the good from the bad and helps users save time when making decisions. Consumers look to the crowd for their quick advice before committing their money. They sort by ratings, look at the number stars, and trust the active crowd to help make guide their decisions.
Ratings can make or break a business. The power of a five star rating evokes memories of five star hotels, while a one star rating puts you in the world of trashy motels. Of utmost importance is ensuring your business doesn’t get too many low ratings.
Understand that interactions or lack of interactions between your employees and consumers will mold your business’ online ratings. Making sure customers are happy leads to good ratings. Businesses must be proactive to keep from getting bad reviews.
Grow your positive ratings by closing customer service inquiries or emails asking consumers to rate your business. For example, a restaurant might put on their receipts a cue reminding people to go on Yelp to rate their evening.
Reviews: What People Think
Similar to their dependence on ratings, consumers look to reviews when choosing between products. They look to others for in-depth advice, hoping someone experienced what they are. Unlike ratings, reviews are not a quick indicator of a product or brand, they tend to outline exactly what went wrong or why someone liked a product.
Reviews can be extremely influential, especially for high priced goods, expensive restaurants, or with unsure customers. Many consumers look to reviews when making their final decision and will scan the text looking for potential pitfalls.
Although a few bad reviews is natural (you won’t please everyone), bad reviews that touch on the same thing highlight a potential problem. People are more likely to be motivated to leave reviews when something bad happened; consumers use reviews as a venting mechanism.
To build positive reviews, brands must do something exceptional. It’s here that company culture stands out. Companies dedicated to customer service and work to ensure consumers are always happy, will build positive reviews over time and minimize negative reviews by removing negative experiences.
Remember that every customer needs to be treated as a potential journalist. Reviews afford them disgruntled customers the power to disrupt consumer sentiment as potential customers come down your sales funnel.
Recommendations: Share With Friends
Recommendations are just as effective as ratings and reviews for getting someone to buy your product. Few things carry the same influence as a friend recommending a brand to another friend.
This idea of sharing makes the social web so exciting. Businesses can increase their reach from their current consumers, to their friends; creating a second degree of sharing. Maximizing the effect of recommendations, means going beyond traditional word of mouth marketing and using technology to facilitate conversations online.
Businesses need something that they can ask consumers to recommend online, before any actions can take place. Invest in an aesthetically pleasing website and build a digital presence.
Give people incentives to recommend the brand. Offer star customers or repeat buyers, coupons for bringing a friend. Create a newsletter that consumers can sign up for to get updates, discounts, and coupons. People are accustomed to using the forward button, especially if when asked.
Online recommendations come down to two basic ideas. There needs to be something to share and a reason to share it.
Just The Basics
Rating, reviews, and recommendations are the basics to social media marketing. Yet as simple it is to remember the three r’s, they’re the most powerful aspects of social media. The idea of social proof convinces consumers to buy product: good reviews can move mountains, bad ratings can spell disaster.
How are you taking advantage of these three basic aspects of social media marketing? What are you doing to build positive reviews? How are you getting your customers to recommend you online?