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.

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!