4 Tips on How to Get First Reviews as A Local Business

4 Tips on How to Get First Reviews as a Local Business

Getting your first reviews as a local business might seem impossible at times. With these 4 tips, be rest assured that you are set out on the right track to getting your first few reviews as a local business. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Why Should I Focus on Reviews?

There are many ways your business needs online reviews. To convince you here are just a select few statistics:

  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews just as much if not even more than personal recommendations.
  • 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up 81% compared to 2019.
  • 93% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, with 34% searching every day.

These statistics alone should set off fireworks since this shows that gaining positive reviews as a local business might be the difference between a consumer being your regulars or deadbeats. Reviews are also a critical factor in your brand’s credibility, with most people not knowing what your brand does and if it’s any good. Their primary source of fact-checking is through reviews. Without reviews, your brand isn’t credible and is deemed untrustworthy.

However, most companies focus more on advertising, R&D, equipment, etc. While all these departments are essential, gaining reviews is often overlooked and sometimes not labeled “essential.”  This is a big mistake since social proof is one of the best ways to get “free” advertising, and it also happens to be the most reliable one.

It is also important to see reviews as a marketing tool and an improvement tool. With that being said, let’s get started with the top 4 tips in gaining your first reviews as a local business.

Establish an Online Presence

An online presence means making yourself searchable online. Below is a list of options to establish an online presence and choose those that fit your business the most.

Company website/blog

A company website is the most important one to have and is required to establish an online presence. Having a company website means you have your own “turf”. There is no external party that creates the rules, which is not the case for social media platforms. It also adds to your credibility and branding. With a company website, you can customize everything, which makes branding easier. 

You might also want to consider having a blog page. A blog page’s purpose is to supply information and not necessarily draw in customers (sometimes this is true). For example, some customers might want to see how your products/services are made and the process. A blog post would be perfect for this! Keep in mind that a blog page is not for everyone, and careful thought should be put into this. Once you establish your company website, it’s time to move on to socials!

Social media platforms

Nowadays, social media business accounts are a must if you want to succeed. The most popular social media platforms for businesses are:

Having multiple accounts across these platforms is recommended since you can cover more ground that way. However, if you are limited on time, Facebook and Instagram should be your primary focus since they bring in the most traffic and are generally appealing to most customers.

Email newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to convert your traffic from your company website and social media platforms and turn them into your audience. The great thing about newsletters is that it is direct communication to your customers, similar to your company website. It is easier to personalize the content you want to send depending on your email newsletter provider. 

Note that there are numerous approaches to build your online presence; However, these three are the most recommended.

Offer Incentives

Incentives are a great way to motivate your customers to give reviews. Below is a list of incentives you can try out with your customers. 

  • Giving discounts for reviews. 
  • Giving freebies for reviews.
  • Giving benefits for reviews. (early reservation, early access, etc.)

Although incentives are good, make sure to give them at the correct times and not excessively. This is because sometimes customers will be positively biased to get the incentive.

Research Your Customers

Learning what your customers want, don’t want, and preferences is crucial to gaining your first reviews as a local business. Without good research, you are doing guesswork instead of being confident. Below is a list of what to focus on:

Research their preferences on giving reviews:

  • Yelp
  • Google Local
  • LinkedIn
  • Testimonials
  • Email
  • Trip Advisor

Customer age: 

  • This might affect where they give reviews; For example, the elderly are more likely to provide reviews in a paper while millennials prefer to share it online.

Customer behavior:

  • Research how your audience acts on your website and newsletters. 
  • Take note of the statistics social media platforms give you.
  • Website views
  • Website engagement
  • Website impressions

Competition:

Researching your competition is vital whether you like it or not. You can learn a lot from seeing what tactics they are trying. 

  • What are they doing that you are not?
  • What incentives are they giving out?
  • What platforms are they on that you are not?

Respond to Every Review

Getting your first reviews as a local business can be really exciting. However, you also have to face the reality of receiving negative reviews. When this happens, don’t be let down, instead view it as an opportunity to learn and improve your business.

Take the frustrations of the customer and turn that into learning points. Take this feedback and implement a plan to change your business for the better. Make sure to also respond to every review, including the negative ones. Responding to reviews creates a sense of connection for the customer and builds long-term trust. 

When responding to a positive review, respond with praise and appreciation that this customer is taking time out of their day to write the review. When responding to a negative review, respond with an apology and a plan to fix the issue to better your future customer’s experiences. Maybe even respond with a discount or a freebie.

As a local business, there are a lot of things you have to worry about. But gaining customer reviews can be one of the most important contributors to a successful business. As mentioned, 85% of consumers trust online reviews just as much if not even more than personal recommendations. You can start earning more local reviews for your business with our Get Reviews platform, get started today!

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