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HOW TO: Get Your Facebook Community to Leave You Positive Reviews

Growing your Facebook community is a worthy goal for 2013 considering social commerce is projected to grow into a 14 billion dollar industry in just two years.

Why You Need Positive Reviews on Facebook:

While some companies are still struggling to establish an ROI from their social marketing campaigns, others are successfully ensuring they are part of the social commerce growth trend.

Industry statistics tell us:

  • 51% of people who “like” brands on Facebook say they’re likely to buy a product after “liking” them, Vocus
  • 68% of consumers go to social networking sites to read product reviews, Nielson
  • 59% of consumers say user-generated product reviews have a significant or good impact on their buying behavior, Monetate
  • Consumers who followed a link to a retail site from Facebook spent spend an average of $102.59, HubSpot

It stands to reason then that encouraging your Facebook users to leave you positive reviews on your business page may lead to more sales – both today and in the future.

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So, how do you get your customers to leave a review? Well, you could come right out and ask. If you have taken the time to build up a very loyal fan base, it’s likely a good percentage of your customers will leave you a review with just a little bit of prompting. If the number of people who “like” your page is very high, even a small percentage could yield a lot of positive reviews.

If your Facebook page is fairly new, doesn’t yet have a lot of likes or isn’t very engaging there is another way to get more positive reviews: incentives!

Here’s a step-by-step guide for how I would go about obtaining positive customer reviews for my Facebook page:

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Reviewed:

Step 1: Create a Custom Facebook Tab with Unique Offer.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a custom Facebook tab/app for your Facebook page that includes a unique and compelling offer. On the tab explain that customers who use a particular promo code at checkout will receive the offer.

Step 2: Track the Use of the Promo Code on Your Site.

Be sure to track how many people take advantage of the promo code, the average order value, percentage of first-time orders and all other marketing and sales metrics that are important to your company – that are related specifically to this promo. This will help you understand if the ROI is worth it to run a similar campaign in the future.

Step 3: Send a Custom Thank You Email to Customers Who Used the Code.

After you know a customer’s order has arrived (this might be immediately if your product is delivered electronically or after a week if it has to be shipped), send them a follow up email. In this email thank the customer for their order and ask for a review to be left on the Facebook page.

To ensure a timely response to your email, try a message like this:

Hi NAME, thank you for your recent purchase. Would you mind taking a minute to leave us a review/comment on Facebook? Once we receive INSERT NUMBER positive reviews we’ll unlock a special promo code just our Facebook community!

Any questions? Hit reply on this email. Thank you!

By providing an incentive and a timeframe (reaching X number of positive reviews) you increase urgency compelling your customer to leave the review right away.

Step 4 (optional): Use Facebook Ads to Drive New Traffic to the Tab.

If you find that the campaign is very successful and you want more people to use the promo code and leave you reviews, consider running a Facebook ad campaign that lands visitors on the tab that has your promo code.

Facebook ad campaigns are relatively low-cost and provide enough targeting options that you can be sure to reach your ideal customer base.

Don’t Leave this on the Backburner!

With over 60% of consumers going to social networking sites to check for product reviews, there is little reason to not consider a campaign like this today. You can be sure your socially savvy competitors will be doing what they can to increase their number of positive (and authentic) customer reviews – don’t lose out on sales by leaving this type of campaign on the backburner!

What else will you do this year to increase your number of positive and authentic reviews on social media sites? Leave a comment below!

Comments on this Article: 10

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  1. JC Veritas says:

    Don’t offer payments for positive reviews. That’s a terrible tactic to suggest, and borders of sleazy. Paid positive reviews are rightfully and soundly rejected by savvy consumers, web site rating services, and smart shopping software. You get positive reviews by having a site or a service that merits them, not by gaming the public.

    • Hi JC, I did not suggest offering payment for positive reviews. I agree that paid reviews are unethical and would be gaming the public. My post suggests that you ask your real customers if they would be interested in leaving you a review. If they do that they may be reward with a promo code in the future.

      Again, at no point did I suggest paying anyone for a review.

      Best,
      Kristina

  2. Natalia Morais says:

    I’m sorry Kristina, but that is not a good strategy at all. And for many reasons. First, if you are tricking your customers into writing positive reviews, they are not authentic; you are bribing them – not very ethical. Second, it is a lot of work for the business owner to do (time consuming!) and the ROI will probably be very low (I don’t think customers will take the time to write you a review just because they can get another promo code). Third, most of customers don’t go to Facebook for reviews, they go Yelp, Google+ Local, TripAdvisor, Amazon, etc – and bribing customers to get reviews goes against the guidelines of all review websites.

    That said, if a business owner wants to get more reviews, they should let customers know that they are online and they’d appreciate if they could leave reviews. One idea is to post links to their pages on Facebook and ask fans to leave reviews. If customers are really happy with the service/product, they’ll take the time to do it. There’s not much else you can do to get reviews without breaking the rules.

    • Hi Natalia,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Please note that at no point did I suggest tricking customers into writing positive reviews.

      My post suggests that you ask your real customers if they would be interested in leaving you a review. If they do that they may be rewarded with a promo code in the future.

      I am aware of the FTC guidelines on reviews and the outline in my post does not violate them.

      Best,
      Kristina

  3. Robert Brecker says:

    Hi, Christina.
    I agree with Ms. Morais, and JC Veritas, and feel that from an ethical stance your way seems somewhat corrupt. Secondly, it is against all guidelines for the Review sites. This is dangerous advice. Readers be warned. Who proofreads this stuff?

    • Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your warning, however, I am aware of the FTC Guidelines and what I outlined in my post does not violate them.

      Please understand that I suggested you ask your real customers to leave you a positive review. If they do so they may be rewarded with a promo code in the future.

      Best,
      Kristina (with a K)

  4. Hi JC, Natalia and Robert,

    Thank you for your comments. I certainly undersand your points and agree with you to an extent. I would never suggest paying a customer for a review. I definitely find that unethical. However, there is a difference between monetary compensation (or free products) in exchange for a review and simply providing an reward incentive for gaining reviews.

    There is no trickery involved in the strategy I suggested above. The task is simple: if we receive X number of reviews in a certain amount of time we will release a promo code.

    I am completely aware of the FTC guidelines around paying for reviews (and writing fake reviews) and what I wrote does not violate those guidelines.

    -Kristina

  5. Rene says:

    Kristina, for me this is not about FTC or any other guidelines and if customers prefer review websites over facebook (which they do), but about ethical marketing. Don’t you realize that you are paying customers for their reviews by bribing them with a “community promo code”? This is unethical and cheapening your brand or service. It’s wrong. But you cannot admit this simple fact as your defensive responses to previous comments proof. What a pity…

  6. Donald says:

    Kristina,

    Here is what just happened, you ran into the holier than thou crowd that believes that the world is a wonderful happy place where no one should bend the rules a little –

    Offering a customer and incentive to say nice things about you is as old as marketing itself. If people want to question the ethics of it, just because it is on Facebook they obviously live in a cave. The world of SEO has changed to be very in tune with social signals and the “like” button on Facebook has gotten a whole new set of muscles. If you want to drive traffic – if you want a loyal fan base that has good things about you, make it worth their while, throw in an incentive or two. People who don’t like it don’t have to do it –

    It’s a good tip – stick with it.

  7. Hi Kristina,
    Thanks for mentioning the stat from Vocus in your post. I’d like to add something positive to this comment stream…and that’s that I agree with asking for reviews, because sometimes you have to ask in order to get something delivered. Incentivizing is great but of course there’s the chance that it may skew your responses. We battle that by asking for reviews, and then featuring customers on our site in return to say thanks – because people who submit real reviews are happy to be in the limelight – those who create fake reviews won’t be able to back up claims in a case study or highlight on a website ;) It’s also worth noting that asking for reviews doesn’t always mean that the reviews you receive will be positive – and stating that you’re open to *all* feedback makes your brand transparent and more open.

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