All businesses have what is known as a brand. This is another way of saying what consumers think about the company and the products it has to offer. In the days before the Internet, brands were built through word of mouth, print advertising, and other forms of marketing. Today, online reviews play a major role in shaping what others think about a brand. Here are some of the ways that those review sites and paying attention to them must be part of the strategy for Local Brand Management.
Everyone Gets to Participate
The more popular review sites encourage anyone who has done business with a company to share their perceptions. This is one reason review sites have tools that make it possible to rate a company on several key aspects as well as leave more detailed remarks. The thing to remember is that some people are slow to let others know when they have a positive experience, but quick to post a scathing review when things don’t go well. Choosing to monitor those reviews and respond in a professional manner can be helpful in providing more balance and giving readers a little more to think about.
What’s Working and What’s Not
There is a lot of helpful information to obtain from those online reviews. A savvy business owner will be interested in feedback that has constructive criticism and suggestions as well as reading glowing reviews. In many cases, the content of those reviews can help an owner know when a product really doesn’t seem to work for a significant number of consumers, or when something needs to be done to improve the customer service efforts. Taking those comments seriously, especially when a number of people have the same opinion, has the potential to help the company grow.
Measuring the Reach
Do the reviews indicate that people are coming from out of town to try the restaurant or visit the store because of what they read in those reviews? If so, that means the positive reach of the reviews is working much the way word-of-mouth did in times past. Build on that by including more of what seems to capturing attention and spotlight that on the website and the social media accounts.
Never underestimate reviews as part of the brand management process. Put the data to good use and the business will be stronger than ever.