As a small business owner, you’re the beating heart of the community. Maybe you run the local salon or tend to the district’s pets in your veterinary practice.
Whatever your trade, keeping connected and keeping up momentum is the key to your success.
Even for the smallest independent business, digital marketing is a crucial tool for your continued growth. Used correctly, a single link could be your key to success.
Yet, as mostly brick-and-mortar businesses, we sometimes feel cut-off from the world of e-commerce and online reviews. But this need not be the case.
If you’re a small business owner feeling left behind by technology, listen up.
The missing link
Did you know that the missing link in your business could actually be… A link?
It’s true. If you’ve been wondering why your business isn’t getting the glowing reviews it surely deserves, there might just be a very simple answer.
You’re not asking for them in the right way — or even at all!
Asking for reviews outright might sound a bit strange. But hear me out.
Happy customers like leaving positive reviews to support their favourite local businesses — most of the time they just don’t know how to, or they forget. They just need you to give them a friendly nudge.
The very best way to get more reviews is to make it as straightforward as possible for your customers. And there’s nothing more straightforward than a direct link. It is such a simple step you can take, yet the results can be seriously worthwhile.
Did you know that 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product? So, more reviews mean more customers through the door.
In fact, a single review can lift a business's conversions by up to 10%.
Providing a direct link to your review portal (such as Facebook, Google, Yelp or Tripadvisor) removes all obstacles for your consumer, making them more likely to leave a product review.
It’s a no brainer!
How to create a link
Facebook Vs. Google
Two of the most popular small business review platforms are Facebook and Google. So, first things first, you’ll need to decide where you want to host your reviews.
With over 2 billion users and 40 million small business pages, Facebook is a great choice. But think about your own customer base - if your target persona is of the older generation (65+) or generation Z (under 17), perhaps a social media platform isn’t the best option for you.
Google, on the other hand, is the biggest search engine on the globe. Performing well in Google reviews can boost your business’ website up the search rankings, unlike Facebook reviews.
Creating reviews on Google is pretty easy. But first things first, you’ll need a Google+ MyBusiness account.
Once that’s all up and running, all you have to do is sign in, set your business location (or locations) and copy your review URL, which is listed under the ‘get more reviews’ card.
Another super simple process. Once you’ve created your own Facebook business page, all you have to do is set your profile to ‘allow reviews and feedback’ and away you go.
Find your review link under the settings bar and start sharing your own unique Facebook URL with your customers - just like that.
Share that link
At the end of the day, whether you choose Google or Facebook as your customer review platform, the most important thing is that you share out that link far and wide.
How to supply a link to your review platform
So, we know that linking makes people more inclined to leave reviews. And we know that more reviews mean more business.
But how can we reach our customer base?
It’s time to get creative. Providing access to your review link in different, and exciting, ways is key to more clicks.
Some of our favourite methods include:
Placing QR codes on product packaging (or receipts if you’re a service-based business) is a great way to encourage customer participation. More people today own a cell phone than a toothbrush. So, take advantage of every feature.
QR codes do most of the work for you. Your clients won’t even have to navigate to a website. Instead, they’ll be taken straight to your review platform in one swift click.
You can also request reviews via email. Not only is this a super-easy way to publish your link, but it also gives you the opportunity to include a personalised message to the customer (thanking them for their recent purchase, for example).
Personalisation is key to contemporary customer service expectations, with 70% of Millennials admitting that they feel frustrated when brands send generic email marketing. So why not kill two birds with one stone?
Another option is to send text links to your customers. Again, this is super direct and Smartphone users will then be able to access your review page with a click.
Customers are far more likely to open a text and take the requested action. This is because everyone anticipates a text to be short, direct, and easy to read. When used correctly, SMS marketing can be one of the most effective ways to get your customers to review you.
If your business has a social media presence, then you can use your platform to occasionally remind customers to leave a review.
Keep content relevant, timely, and friendly to encourage lots of clicks. Remember that not all of your followers will have used your services, so you should only push review requests once in a while.
There are so many tools at our disposal as small business owners today. Getting positive reviews has never been easier. But sometimes we just forget to put ourselves in our customer's shoes and make it easy for them. So why not start sharing those links today and watch as those stars start rolling in?
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