How to Implement a Review Acquisition Strategy
Now that you’ve taken a look at the big picture of reviews and created your list of the most important review sites for your business, it’s time to get down to brass tacks: creating a strategy for getting local business reviews.This is where your ingenuity, perseverance, and creativity all come into play, developing the internet reputation you need to earn to instill trust in consumers while simultaneously influencing your business’s visibility.
Different strategies work well for different business models, and while this article can’t cover every possible scenario, we can outline universal warnings for things you should never do to acquire reviews, and then share a treasure trove of tips for getting reviews that you can pick and choose from to discover what works best for your business. Let’s dive in!
Review Acquisition Don’ts
Any business that values its reputation, rankings, and revenue should avoid these mistakes:
- Don’t pay for reviews. Don’t pay customers for reviews, and don’t pay marketers who pay consumers to post reviews.
- Don’t pay anyone to post reviews while posing as customers. Customers should always post their own reviews directly on all third-party platforms. Neither you nor your marketers should post reviews on their behalf.
- Don’t review your own business or prompt your staff to review it. All reviews for your business should come directly from your customers.
- Don’t set up a review kiosk in your place of business to ask for reviews. A single IP address being shared amongst multiple reviews on a given platform can lead to those reviews being flagged and removed. Sometimes even reviews that come from the same wireless network can cause review filtering, but there’s not much you can do to control customers reviewing you this way.
- Don’t negatively review your competitors. It’s unethical and against the guidelines of most review platforms to post reviews of your competitors, negative or otherwise.
- Don’t engage in forms of marketing that result in a sudden influx of reviews on a single platform. This can trigger filters that may result in the reviews being lost or considered spam.
- Don’t narrow your focus to a single platform. Diversity in where your business has reviews posted is insurance against reputation loss should something happen to your reviews on any one of the platforms.
- Don’t harm your reputation with unprofessional owner responses to negative reviews. Always respond to negative reviews in a way you feel will assure future customers of your professionalism, honesty, and excellent customer care.
- Don’t ignore the guidelines of specific review platforms. Neglecting to play by the rules of the most stringent review sites can lead to review takedowns, public shaming messages on your profile, and in some cases, litigation. For example, Yelp’s guidelines specifically prohibit business owners from directly asking customers for reviews.
- Don’t forget about your own website. It’s a very important platform for featuring honest reviews and testimonials.
That may seem like a lot of dont’s, but once you’ve mastered avoiding these potentially disastrous pitfalls, you’re ready to start experimenting with a variety of techniques for encouraging consumers to review your business. With a little trial and error, you can hit paydirt with the right combination of these efforts: