In the digital world, customer opinions spread faster than a wildfire. Traditionally most small businesses relied on word-of-mouth advertising to increase brand value, but the advent of social media and online reviews has completely changed the form that this takes. Instead of asking friends and family for recommendations, consumers turn to online opinions to aid their buying decisions. According to research, before using services or buying products 90% of consumers read such reviews. This and other data has been compiled by WebsiteBuilder.org for an extensive platform on online reviews and their impact.
One interesting fact uncovered is that more than 72% of the consumers will be willing to try a new local business when it has positive ratings on the internet. It is, therefore, important for businesses owners to encourage reviews of their products and services in order to generate new customers.
Furthermore, buyers who view user-generated content about a business online have a 133% higher conversion rate. Online shoppers don’t trust the product and service descriptions from manufacturers. Instead, they prefer online reviews from real users who have used the products or service. Reviews have to be seen as legitimate to have the best impact, so buying fake reviews is a risk not worth taking.
To increase brand value, businesses should seek online reviews from customers via their own site, social media, and specialized review sites. Even you get negative reviews consumers will value your brand more if you take the time to address grievances.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.