Remember when you were a kid and a parent or a school administrator exacted some form of justice? You’d nervously wonder aloud if you were going to get in trouble.
“If you haven’t done anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about!”
I don’t know – that advice never really worked for me. I figured that I’d get in trouble anyway – because I looked guilty, or because someone would pin the crime on me, or…
The ratings systems on sites such as Google+ Local, Yelp, Angie’s List and others are a bit like that.
We wonder – should we solicit reviews? What if the reviews are bad?
I’ve read a number of blogs on this subject that take this line of advice: Treat your customers well. Don’t do anything bad. You’ll get good reviews.
While this advice is fine and follows the logic of our elders above, there’s a bit more.
Your social media strategy must take such review sites into account. You must actively solicit reviews.
Think back to your own behavior when deciding on a restaurant or a new book – if you’re like me, you Google it and check out reviews.
And, if you’re like me, you may notice bad reviews, but if they are heavily outweighed by good ones, they don’t sway your decision.
Your customers act like you.
If your business isn’t reviewed on these sites – it’s like you don’t exist to the very customers that are searching for you – actively. Right now.
Don’t let fear of a few bad reviews keep you out of this market of people who are right now looking for you.
Instead, promote promote promote these sites. Ask customers to review you there. Most businesses require word of mouth as an active promotion channel. These sites allow your word of mouth referral engine to get super-charged. Use them!