Review sites have been around for a while, and there are lots of them, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, and heaps more. Engaging with reviews on a review site can take a bit of effort, but if done well you could see traffic to your website and possibly more business too. While planning an upcoming vacation, I was looking for a hotel in Florence, Italy. I was checking out TripAdvisor to get an idea of various destinations and fun things I could do once I arrived. Besides the obvious reviews, TripAdvisor has all kinds of info on their site that members can review and rate ranging from hotels, flights, activities, restaurants and more. During my search, I found Hotel Alessandra doing a bang up job interacting with the reviews on the site, so I took a few tips from them to share with you:
Complete your business info – First and foremost you need people to know where you are, what your hours are, and how to get in touch with your business. No matter what review site you’re using, you’ll need to do this and the sooner the better. You should see a link or button where you can claim the page as your business. And, make sure the description you write about your business is accurate, detailed and shows some personality. Hotel Alessandra has all the important contact info, amenities and a good description, including the fact that the building is 600 years old and has some stairs. Nice way to cover the details upfront.
Reply to reviews – Just like your Facebook Page, a review site is the place to show a little personality and engage with your customers or potential customers. You want to keep what you say professional, but also have fun and let your business’ personality come through. Remember, you want people to visit your business; if you enjoy yourself, your customers can relax and enjoy it too. This is the area where Hotel Alessandra shines. The responses to reviews (for a two star hotel they have amazing reviews!) are hilarious, humble and just fun. They also use the response area to encourage people to follow them on Facebook, where they are equally entertaining. Driving your customers/potential customers to your other social media sites makes sense. You can interact with them on a regular basis and share more photos or videos than you can on a review site. And don’t be afraid to reply to mediocre or bad reviews. You can address any issues people had win them back. It also shows potential customers that you handle problems and are accountable.
Encourage happy customers – Encourage your customers to review your business on any review sites you’re on. Post something at checkout, the cash register, on your website or even on your business card. If you do something special or different from your competitors, have your fans share pictures. Hotel Alessandra serves cappuccinos at breakfast with smiley faces on them. Hard to do? Nope, but I can tell you that there are a lot of happy coffee pictures shared on their page, and happy visitors creating glowing reviews.
The lesson to be learned from these examples? Seek out review sites that are good fits for business or industry and start building up positive reviews. With just a bit of effort and maybe a little humor, you can have another source for new and returning customers to learn more about your business.
And there’s a happy ending to this post… I booked a room with the Hotel Alessandra and look forward to my smiley cappuccino!
What other tips do you have for using a review site for your business? Let us know in the comments!