How to Turn Online Reviews into a Marketing Tool

With the rise of Yelp and other online rating systems, consumers now have the power to make or break a business. Their ability to share their experiences with the masses means that positive and negative feedback affects today’s modern businesses like never before. 

While there used to be little owners could do to recover from a one-star rating, a handful of new companies are turning the reviewing process into a powerful marketing tool. Here’s how you can turn the rating system into your most powerful marketing asset. 

Learning from the Numbers

There’s a common misconception that no one really reads or cares about reviews. Some business owners feel as though they leave little impact. However, Yelp showed the world that just a few sour patrons could destroy a restaurant’s reputation. 

If you think that the food industry is the only one to be affected, you might be surprised to learn that 84% of consumers turn to reviews before giving anyone their business. Within that majority, 91% range in age from 18 to 34, the demographic that drives changes in marketing tactics. 

It isn’t just their interest in reading what past customers have to say about your business, it’s how they interpret the reviews that impacts your revenue. Ratings on Google, Facebook, and more are the modern-day version of word of mouth marketing. 

Today’s consumer equates a local review to a friend’s recommendation. Whether it’s trying a new pizza shop or buying a new phone, your potential customer pool now relies on the opinions of various individuals. 

Forbes reports that a single negative comment can diminish your potential business by up to 22%. With four or more, you stand to lose roughly 70% of possibly interested consumers. For local businesses and corporate conglomerates alike, those numbers are staggering. 

Making the Switch

So, how can you take the power of reviews and make them work in your favor? The answer lies in a handful of new companies offering a set of tools that allows you to get ahead of negative feedback and encourage customers to share their experiences. 

With personalized templates, you can help consumers bond with your brand. Each one is sent after recent purchases or visits, encouraging them to leave their thoughts on high traffic sites like Google or Facebook. The more reviews you have, the less a single negative comment impacts your potential revenue. 

Even more vital to the success of your business is receiving notifications in real time when someone leaves a review or rating. This allows you to thank patrons for their kind words, but it also allows you to stay proactive about negative feedback. With an immediate chance to remedy the situation, your showing interested consumers that you care about their business. 

If you’re looking for proof of how successful these tactics are, check out these Schoenberg Family Law Group ratings. Bird Eye, a software company that specializes in review monitoring, boosted this Bay Area law firm to 4.6 stars with over 90% of reviews falling in the five-star category. 

If Schoenberg can use these tools to stand out from the competition in San Francisco, imagine what they could do for your business. Harnessing the power of online reviews isn’t a fantasy anymore. With the help of monitoring companies, you can turn your ratings into an invaluable marketing asset.