How to get
more online reviews
(and why people
leave them)

Online reviews are like the digital version of your neighbor telling you to check out that new restaurant in town, or expressing their excitement that this new massage salon is superb. They're super important in helping us decide what to buy and where to buy it from.

But have you ever stopped to think about why people even bother leaving reviews? Well, it's a mix of things, really. Some folks like to help others out, some want to give a virtual high-five or thumbs-down to the company, and some can't resist the chance to share their two cents. Who doesn't love a good discount or reward for sharing their opinion? In this article, we will dive into why people leave online reviews and how to get more yourself.

Why people leave reviews

First. A few reasons why people leave online reviews to begin with:

1) Social Proof. People often feel the need to share their experiences with others. This is a form of social proof, which is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation.

2) Reciprocity. If a customer has a particularly good (or bad) experience with a product or service, they may feel compelled to share their experience to give back (or warn others). This is tied to the principle of reciprocity, a social norm where if someone does something for you, you naturally will want to do something for them.

3) Vented Frustration or Satisfaction. Reviews provide an outlet for customers to express their satisfaction or frustration. A very positive or negative experience can elicit strong emotions that people want to share.

4) Helping Others. Many people leave reviews to help others make informed decisions. They may have found other reviews helpful in their decision-making process and want to contribute their experiences.

5) Influence. Some people leave reviews because they want to influence the company or other customers. They may want to reward a company for a good product or punish it for a bad one.

6) Identity Expression. Leaving a review can also be a way for people to express their identity. For example, they may want to be seen as an expert in a certain area or to align themselves with a certain brand or product.

7) Incentives. Some platforms and companies incentivize reviews, offering discounts, rewards, or contest entries in exchange for a review. This can be a powerful motivator for some people to leave a review.

Get more reviews

Ask for Reviews - It might seem simple, but one of the most effective ways to get more reviews is to ask simply! Aim to do this when the customer interaction is fresh, perhaps immediately after a purchase or service. Ensure the process is straightforward. Personalized emails or text messages can be powerful tools, but don't hesitate to ask in person, especially if the rapport is strong. Remember, it's not about pressuring your customers but providing them with a platform to share their experiences.

Optimize Your Website for Reviews - Make the reviewing process seamless. Consider including a dedicated 'Review Us' page on your website where customers can share their experiences. If you don't have a website, just make sure it's clear where people can/should leave a review, for example, on Google Maps.

Engage in Local Community Events - Use your physical presence to amplify your digital one. Participate in local events, fairs, or festivals, and use this as an opportunity to interact with your customers in person. It's a great way to strengthen your bond with the community and gently encourage people to leave a review. Remember, your business isn't just about sales or services—it's about relationships too.

Review Incentives - While staying ethical (avoid buying reviews or offering incentives for positive reviews specifically) is essential, you can still use incentives to encourage customers to leave a review. Offer a small thank-you in the form of a discount on a future purchase, a small freebie, or even entry into a draw. Clearly, the incentive is for any review, not just a positive one.

Leveraging Social Media for Reviews - Social media platforms are treasure troves of customer feedback. Encourage your followers to leave reviews on platforms like Facebook, Google, and Yelp by sharing a link to your business profile. You can also use your social media pages to highlight positive reviews you've received. This not only shows appreciation to the reviewer but also shows potential reviewers that you value their feedback. Be sure to monitor these platforms and respond to the reviews to foster a two-way communication. Remember, every review is an opportunity to connect more deeply with your audience and build your online reputation.

The key here is to make leaving a review as easy, enjoyable, and rewarding as possible for your customers. By implementing these strategies, you can increase the number of reviews your business receives, and ultimately boost your online presence.

Pick a platform

Vev recommends using Google Maps to gather reviews for your local business. Reason being that its a free platform, but also what most consumers use when researching local businesses. They might Google: “plumber near me”, or “great hair salon”. Google understands from which city (or neighborhood) the search query is coming and will show results near them. This way, you might pop up higher in the search results if you have an active Google Maps listing. You can add your business to the Google My Business page.

In addition to Google Maps, we advise you to gather reviews on big social media platforms such as Facebook.

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