Getting the Conversation Started – Jumpstart Your Local Reviews
Getting the conversation started always takes the largest amount of initial effort with any online directory or review website. First you need to create the content, find the audience and somehow, begin the conversation.
We all know that with the hundreds of things demanding our attention it takes just enough little extra effort to write that one online business review that – WE SIMPLY DON’T DO IT!
Then for those who do choose to write a review, our immediate question and concern becomes: – WHAT DID THEY WRITE?
You know that old adage which says the “One Rotten Apple Spoils The Batch” well the same is true with any online business reviews. It just takes that one a**hole or idiot to say something that is both negative and damaging to your business.
Now, chances are you didn’t deserve it… and the truth of the matter is that there is very little recourse you have to removing some of these idiot reviews. This can both be timely and costly on the nerves.
So, how do you go about creating positive conversations, building collections of positive and constructive reviews?
Well the first thing you need to do is set guidelines into your online directory or review site which directly state: constructive & respectful criticism only!
But… beyond the negative.. how do you Get the Conversation Started with the Positive.
Here is one technique we have implemented which has been quite successful.
I call it – Testimonial Building.
But First for a Question … What’s the biggest issue with getting people to write reviews?
Answer: Getting them to do it!
So how do you solve this… one solution is that you get the owners of the directory to collect and share positive testimonials with you. I do this with my my newspapers in which advertisers of the paper are encouraged to share 3-5 personal testimonials.
These are testimonials which have been said about the owners business and that they have collected.
We then seed these testimonials through out the newspaper in strategic locations. Thus giving the advertisers a little more bang for their buck, and also adding some positive needed social proof as to the viability of the biz with out… having to wait months to get a review.
So, with this in mind… encourage your listing owners to provide you with strategic testimonials. Then build these into your directory.
This accomplishes a few other things as well:
- Makes the Business Owner Feel Good
- Makes the Business Owner Looks Good
- Make the Business Owner Value Their Services With You More
- Shows the testimonial owner that what they had to say was important
- Provides Valuable Social Proof To Online Visitors
- Demonstrates that you are working with winners
*If you wanted to go above and beyond you could create accounts and enter the testimonials as reviews. Ethically I do not have any problem with this… because afterall it is a testimonial and this is what it was intended to be used for.
Last but not least remember to ask.
Get the business owner to ask permission that these can be used online.
Here are a few plugins you can use to add testimonials into an existing wordpress blog or online directory.
Getting the conversation started is always the first step!!