A recommendation is a powerful tool for influencing consumer behavior.
It’s a simple concept, right? If someone recommends a product or service, then you will be ‘nudged’ in the direction of making that choice as well.
What you might not realize is just how much control businesses have over this process. For example, a local tradesperson might actively encourage word-of-mouth advertising amongst their clients to create a positive brand image.
Why? Well, good reviews confer trust. They quell the nerves of potential clients by providing answers to their concerns and aren’t coming from someone actively trying to market to them.
To really make the most of this feedback, it’s worth integrating it into content for your website and marketing campaigns. This article will specifically focus on how you can harness your customers’ feedback for advertising purposes.
We will cover where you can find this feedback, how you can transform it into social media content, as well as top tips for the process.
Table Of Contents:
- Is Customer Feedback Really That Important?
- Types Of Customer Feedback
- Where Are Customers Leaving Public Feedback?
- How To Create Effective Social Media Content From Feedback?
- How To Attract More Positive Customer Feedback?
- Tips For Making The Most Of Your Customer Feedback
- Summing Up!
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
Is Customer Feedback Really That Important?
The simple answer to that question is – yes, absolutely!
Review websites are often the first port of call for new customers to check out your credibility. In fact, BrightLocal’s 2022 Consumer Reviewer Survey found that 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read reviews when browsing for local businesses.
This illustrates the importance of cultivating positive online reviews for your business. Once you have achieved this, you can reference those glowing reviews in your marketing material.
Types Of Customer Feedback
Customer feedback can be broadly categorized into two main groups: public and private.
Private Customer Feedback
This is when customer feedback is relayed directly to your organization, for example, via a conversation with a staff member, written feedback slip, or digital tool. It is written for the purpose of providing feedback to the business, and it usually focuses on the individual opinions or grievances of that customer’s experience.
Public Customer Feedback
As you might guess, this is when customer feedback is left on a public website for all to see. It is written to provide feedback not only to the business but also to other customers. Due to this, it focuses on the experience of others as well as the individual - for instance, “We loved the food, although vegetarians may be put off by the limited menu options."
Where Are Customers Leaving Public Feedback?
You may want to use both private and public customer feedback in your marketing campaigns. However, most of your attention will likely be drawn to the public realm, given that this is what people will find when they search for your business online.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of the most popular sources of online customer feedback:
The world’s most popular search engine has an integrated feature called ‘Google My Business.' This is shown as a banner on the right of the screen when you search for the name of a business.
Several features are included, such as your business’s opening hours, location, and contact details. In addition to the basic details, business owners and customers may share visual assets of their products and premises.
What’s key here is the ‘review’ section. This shows an aggregate rating out of 5 stars from the many reviews that customers have left. If you scroll down, you can see the best and worst reviews from previous customers.
Encouraging positive Google reviews is particularly helpful for your business as it is often the first review page potential customers will stumble across.
Beyond Google, there are several dedicated review websites where customers can leave feedback on your business.
Amongst these, Yelp is certainly a top contender. It has a reputation for being a trustworthy review site, as contributors must make an account before posting their thoughts on your business. That means that it is less likely to be manipulated by anonymous trolls, insiders, or bots.
Another popular review site is Trustpilot. This platform allows customers to assign a ‘trust rating’ to businesses. It’s primarily used for online businesses associated with a domain (website name). In fact, you’ll find reviews of over 714,000 websites on their platform.
If you’re looking to level up your digital presence, Trustpilot is an important site to pay attention to.
Social Media Channels
The easiest source of public feedback for you to find will be the comments and reviews left on your social media. Customers find these pages either by searching you up or by clicking on them through your website. They might also just mention you by name, allowing others to see their posts when they search themselves.
Remember that critics often drown out fans in online spaces. However, with the right techniques, you can cultivate a positive online space for your business.
How To Create Effective Social Media Content From Feedback?
The great thing about receiving customer feedback is that it allows you to see your customers’ points of view. And, when this is a positive view, you can encourage others to see it too! Let’s take a look at some ways to work them into your marketing strategy.
Showcase Your Best Reviews
Nothing beats a well-written review. If you find one that captures the essence of your business, don’t leave it on the 2nd page of TripAdvisor – promote it as much as you can!
Having weekly ‘customer appreciation’ posts on social media is a great way to engage with your local community and promote positive voices to the top of the pile.
Just remember that reviews from some customers will be more valuable than others. For example, the opinion of a local journalist or travel guide might be worth more to some customers who see them as an expert.
Many review sites now designate their top contributors as ‘Local Guides.' On Google My Business, these reviewers unlock a badge at 25 reviews that is displayed next to their name. You might want to repost their comments to your socials to add another layer of credibility. If you’re wondering who your audience is likely to value, consider collecting customer segmentation data to learn more about who your customers are and what they want from your business.
Image Source: Little Things Toys
Showcase Your Best Images
You don’t need to invest in an expensive camera to show off HD images of your business, products, and services. Nor do you need to hire a professional photographer. Rather, you can search online for the pictures that customers themselves have taken.
Of course, you should always ask the original poster for permission before using their photos. You can use a DocuSign free plan to gather the necessary e-signatures for this process. Alternatively, let customers upload their own photos.
You never know; a beautiful gallery of photos might just be what entices a customer to come and check your business out!
Acknowledge When You Take Feedback Onboard
“You asked, we listened” is a particularly catchy phrase that is used by businesses when they change strategy. That’s not necessarily because the business did something wrong, but rather that they have taken feedback onboard and improved their services.
Consider your language when creating social media campaigns. It’s important that it sounds like you are truly interested in what it is your customers have to say (and you really should be!)
For example, perhaps a reviewer named Jane tweeted at you complaining that your menu had dropped her favorite halloumi fritters. You would want to quote-tweet and add on a comment such as: “Jane, we hear you, halloumi fritters belong on our menu! That’s why we’re adding them back on! 💖”
You can then create social media content advertising the return of the requested items or services “owing to popular demand.”
Democratize The Process
Not sure about the correct response to customer feedback? That’s fine – you can ask them directly.
Compiling lists of customer opinions and pitting the opposing sides against each other in a Twitter or Instagram poll is a great tactic. Not only does it show that you are listening with open ears to your customer base, but it also boosts engagement on your socials.
However, you must make sure that you execute this process to a high standard. Don’t promise things that you can’t follow through on! You may want to integrate proposal management software to keep track of the various upcoming changes to your product lines and business partners.
Encourage Content From Your Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
Another approach is to seek specialist recommendations that will bring credibility or exposure to your brand. That might be from an expert in the field, or in many cases these days, from an influencer marketer.
These recommendations work well in the technology and healthcare sectors, where consumers are less knowledgeable about the service or product. Often, having a friendly face talk about the subject will help to break down the attention barrier of digital audiences.
That’s why you should ask your affiliate marketers or influencer partners to create short clips explaining why they use your products or services. You can then share these on social media platforms to stand out from the crowd.
Businesses interested in this angle should consider using an affiliate marketing template to standardize this process.
How To Attract More Positive Customer Feedback?
Of course, to do any of the above you will actually need to have public customer reviews to construct content from in the first place.
It might seem obvious, but simply reminding your customers to leave a review will help your cause. This can be as simple as a sign that reads “Please leave us a review on Twitter, your feedback means a lot to us!”
You should emphasize that these reviews merely take a couple of minutes to write, and that it helps your business and other customers. You will find that most people are happy to engage.
Alternatively, you could make a commercial proposal to a local media outlet to write a positive piece on your business.
Another tactic is to offer an incentive for customers to leave feedback. For example, they could get a free hot drink or 10% off their next order once they have left an honest review.
This sort of promotion can work especially well for new businesses that want to establish their online presence rapidly. However, you need to avoid asking for ‘positive reviews’ in return for a promotion. This can make you look deceitful (plus, it’s often against the terms of service on review sites).
Link To Your Review Pages And Social Media Channels
This is simple stuff, but make sure your business website links to your social media channels, as well as the relevant pages on review platforms.
Keeping your online sphere connected is fantastic for SEO purposes, as search engines will notice the natural traffic between those pages.
You may even want to show a banner or pop-up on your website, kindly asking customers to leave a review on one of the aforementioned platforms. You can use customer data to create dynamic content in this regard, for example, by prompting mobile users toward apps like Instagram and PC users toward sites like Trustpilot.
Tips For Making The Most Of Your Customer Feedback
Use The ‘Reply’ Function
Social media is all about conversation - so have one! When customers talk to (or even about) you, respond to them,
On the other hand, writing a thoughtful and well-reasoned reply to each negative comment will make your business look professional. You never know; it might even persuade that negative reviewer to give you another chance!
Focus On Recent Reviews
Time moves fast in the world of business. What may have been important to customers one month might take a backseat in the next. One thing remains constant though: old reviews mean less than recent reviews.
When promoting customer feedback into social media content, you will want to select the most recent reviews you can find. This proves that your business gets regular positive feedback from customers, not just the one-off comment from 2014.
Don’t Argue With Your Customers!
This goes without saying, but arguing with customers on public review sites is a big no-no. It sends the worst possible message to potential customers (even if you were in the right).
Rather, pass on contact details and ask for them to reach out via a private line of communication. You may consider using a ticketing system to handle these customer service inquiries.
To conclude, customer feedback is a powerful tool for businesses to create social media campaigns around. By now, you should have a good idea of how to cultivate a positive digital sphere for your business, which you will certainly want to do.
As your review pages gain traction, you will find that good content appears often enough to make regular social media posts. Through trial and error, you will no doubt find a system that works well for you and encourages local customers to give your business a try.
If you find yourself stumbling at the technical hurdles listed in this article, there are several crowdtesting platforms that can help streamline the development process.