3 Online Review Tips for 2017

Erik Bernstein crisis management, reputation management Leave a Comment

Looking for a new year’s resolution? How about getting that reputation in gear?

As the year winds down we’re seeing a big bump in the number of calls asking for help with online reviews. Yelp and Google are the most impactful of course, followed by Facebook and then a pile

of lesser-used pages (all of which can wind up in search results for your name!). With 2017 rolling in, it’s time you claimed those review site profiles and started making online reputation work for you. To help, here are 3 quick tips for responding to online reviews.

  1. Do you need to respond at all? While it always feels hurtful to receive a negative review, not every post calls for a response. For example, if your reviews are largely positive and a one-star appears accompanied by a wild rant that nobody in their right mind would believe, you’re probably safe leaving that post to discredit itself. Another common situation is when a negative review lands itself in Yelp’s “Not Recommended” section. A reply happy-new-year-annie-spratt blog cropcould actually bump that puppy out into public view!
  2. Remember your audience. In the vast majority of cases you’re not replying to a review to win back the angry poster. Your actual audience is everyone else who might search your name – potential customers, investors, business partners, etc. The goal of responding to negative reviews is to demonstrate that A) you care B) you’re a responsible organization, and C) you’re willing to work problems out.
  3. Don’t overdo it. Past wisdom was that every single review should get a reply, including all positives. While the majority of negative reviews definitely call for response, did you know responding to too many positives could actually hurt your bottom line? A 2016 Cornell study on the hotel industry and social engagement found that responding to more than 40% of reviews could actually be detrimental. This number should leave plenty of room to respond to negatives as needed along with the positives that really stand out. If it’s not, you have operational problems to address before reviews can be properly managed.

A single star improvement in ratings on review sites has been shown to increase revenue by as much as 39%. This is something you need to spend time on in 2017. Make it a habit now and reap the benefits all year long.

Erik Bernstein

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