Turn those reviews and comments into marketing gold

z130The one major area that most small businesses drop the ball on with regard to their SEO marketing and social media strategy is responding to comments and reviews. Most make the initial mistake of not hiring a professional firm to handle their SEO and social media marketing as the majority continue to try and do it themselves. What most are finding, however, is that social media is a complex situation that needs a team approach to be successful. This is especially true when trying to turn reviews and comments into raving fans and conversions.

  • So many small business owners leave their social media to people who have no idea what they are doing. They are interns who are working for free or they are the business owner’s teenage niece or it is the business owner themselves. They fail to recognize the critical importance of their SEO and social media marketing and have no plan at all particularly when it comes to responding to comments and reviews regardless of their nature.
  • Your response to any comments and reviews must be swift and immediate. This is why you need a professional firm doing it or you need to hire a competent team. Sadly, most small business owners think that managing and responding to comments is simply a matter of getting people to write them great reviews or they have to spend some money acquiring positive feedback from the review factories.
  • Your sites must be professionally established and managed and the voice of your brand must be consistent across all platforms. You must regularly update your content and find someone capable to manage your social media marketing for you.
  • Your responses are about engaging and establishing a rapport through conversation. It is not about becoming enraged and defensive over a negative review or about giving the hard sell. Sure, your social media marketing strategy needs to turn around those negative reviews and turn those people into rabid fans but too many simply ignore the nice reviews they get. Those can’t be ignored and must be responded to immediately also. Ignore them and their next review may end up being a bit on the nasty side.
  • Always solicit reviews and comment from your visitors and set up a simple system for doing so. Try and provide some manner of incentive for the visitor to place a review with you. Perhaps a coupon or special discount?
  • Avoid creating your own review factory reviews. People can tell and it makes you look bad. Establish some sort of authentication system where you can verify everyone as a genuine user of your products or services and that all reviews, good or bad, are actually from real people. This boosts your credibility and stimulates positive word of mouth.
  • In the end, it is all about making that special connection with someone. It is about building your reputation one conversation at a time. It is an investment, sure, but an investment that will pay off tenfold for you in the long run.


– Written by Kevin Sawyer