Attracting More Happy Customers Through Online Review Sites

An online review site is a website where opinions can be posted about individuals, companies, goods, or services. These sites can use Web 2.0 technology to gather comments from site visitors or can hire professional writers to write positive reviews on the subject of interest to the site. However, many online review sites simply use one-word descriptions of products or services and leave out any commentary.

Online Review Sites

These one-word descriptions are a great way for online review sites to draw more visitors and turn them into customers. Many consumers are quick to judge a business by the first negative review they read. With negative reviews, the chance for a business to grow decreases dramatically. Thus, a company that needs to attract more consumers needs to have an online review policy that manages the tone of the content it promotes while still providing informative content.

Many social media sites are used to connect people with local merchants and service providers. In addition, many online review sites use these social media outlets to promote their business. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter make it easy to share information about specific items. Reviewers who like a product recommend it to friends, followers, and other users on these social media channels, which means more potential business for the online review strategy.

Using Facebook and Twitter to share positive stories about a product can increase consumer awareness of a brand while also providing a venue for consumers to voice their opinion. In fact, a recent study showed that businesses that used Facebook and Twitter to promote positive stories about their products were more likely to retain customers. This evidence suggests that a well-developed online review site can be used as a viable marketing tool that extends the reach of a business. By providing the means for consumers to connect, online review sites can find a new venue for connecting with a larger audience.

A separate study by McKinsey revealed that almost half ( 47 percent ) of all consumers would rather purchase a product from a business that had one or more online business reviews. Further, online business reviews were far more trusted than reviews offered through traditional channels, such as newspapers, television, and radio. While these findings are encouraging for those interested in expanding their marketing efforts, there is still a need for additional research. As online review sites continue to expand their influence, they will need to determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks. This research could be an important factor in deciding how to structure the design of future online business reviews.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have provided consumers with a new venue to connect with local businesses. The creation of a business profile makes it easier for consumers to learn more about a local business, but it may not necessarily lead consumers to make a purchasing decision. Because social media allows people to communicate in a more personalized manner, it is important for online review sites to provide a mechanism for consumers to provide honest consumer feedback. While it may be possible to incorporate positive reviews into a local business profile, it may also be necessary to include negative reviews in order to provide a forum for consumers to voice their concerns.

It is important for online review sites to understand why people might be more likely to post positive reviews than to post negative reviews. Researchers suspect that people are more likely to post positive reviews if they feel that the review sites give them some kind of “reward.” In a recent study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University, people were asked to participate in an online survey in exchange for points they could use to purchase discounted merchandise. When they reached a certain number of points, they were allowed to enter a drawing for gift cards and/or other merchandise.

People were much more likely to participate in this type of online promotion if they felt they had received some kind of reward for doing so. Online review sites can help business owners maximize the benefits of promotional advertising by ensuring that satisfied customers provide positive ratings. However, business owners need to be careful about how much information they are releasing to their online review site. They should only post information that is necessary and should avoid publishing personal or sensitive information that could be used against their company. If business owners follow these tips, they will be able to attract more satisfied customers, which will benefit their overall image and profitability.