In this episode’s news segment, let’s start with some very interesting information from Facebook: The company is moving ahead with its search ads in a rapid expansion. That’s right, Facebook is now embracing search ads, which act a little bit like sponsored posts, but show up when people search on Facebook, based on their search terms. Currently there’s no way to target audiences with these keywords, but we suspect Facebook isn’t finished yet.
We also noted that Coors Light is aiming a new campaign specifically at millennials in a widespread rebranding attempt to help improve sales. They are launching a campaign about drinking beer at unordinary times (shower beers, and uh, Saturday morning beers?). We don’t know any millennials who drink Coors Light at all, so it will be interesting to see if this rebranding has a notable effect!
But onto our main discussions: Today we’re talking with the Podium team about who they are, what they do, and how to get great online reviews.
Podium offers software solutions to manage social media and related marketing conversations. As brand juggles multiple social media platforms, keeping track of individual conversations with people can be difficult if not impossible, especially when everyone is already busy in other roles. Podium’s solutions aim to fix that problem by combining social media notifications and responses on a single nimble platform that makes it easy to see everything and respond immediately
These solutions are generally broken into three parts: Leads, customers and teams. These three groups tend to communicate and respond in different ways, and businesses may have different goals for each group, which make it easy to break down what’s needed. Leads tend to require information-based responses from chats, phone contact, and posted comments. Customers leave feedback and reviews. Teams collaborate and make sure everyone is on the same page. Podium helps you do it all. But we’re going to talk specifically about reviews in this episode!
Why Online Reviews are So Important
There are two key reasons to start focusing more on online reviews, one of Podium’s specialties. The first, of course, is that online reviews work! More and more leads are relying on online reviews from their favorite platforms to pick out a list of top companies and choose which company to contact first for their needs. It’s a powerful form of “social proof” or the proof that people look for outside of marketing content, that a brand is really trustworthy and worth their time. Leads trust social proof much more than they trust marketing content, so it’s a great way to pick up new customers over time (and as an added bonus, you don’t actually have to create reviews yourself, so your customers are doing most of the work on their own).
The second big reason to focus on online reviews is that they naturally help your SEO. Google is watching those reviews, which are almost always sure to mention your company, products, and process – this is especially true for Google’s own review system, but seems to pertain to online reviews from many sources. This can make it more likely that Google recommends your company in response to local searches, and may give you overall ranking boosts, too. The number of reviews, what the reviews say, and how frequent reviews show up can all matter.
Getting Good Reviews on Multiple Platforms
Okay, we’ve established how important online reviews are – and in our experience, Podium and 21 Handshake have both seen that many companies, especially small and growing businesses, may not realize this right away when managing social media. Now all of you reading know! But where do you go from here? What online reviews, specifically, should you try to get?
Some of this is generational: Millennials may be more likely to hop on Facebook and look at their reviews, while older generations may stick with what they find on a Google search. Professionals, meanwhile, may see what LinkedIn has to say. There are a lot of review sites, and it’s important to focus on the ones that matter to your business and your industry (the Yellow Pages website, for example, is still quite relevant).
The Advantage of Using Review Management Software
Let’s sum up by talking about three big advantages to using Podium to manage reviews and review requests:
Avoid tag: Neither customers nor sales teams like the tag game of trading phone calls or emails to try and reach someone, but just missing them due to timing issues. Centralized software makes it easy to see all messages as they occur and reach back immediately on the right channel.
Capitalize on opportunities: Podium’s software also makes it easy to create the right touch points for your business, and to do it without wasting time! For example, if you find it easy to get customer phone numbers, you can start asking customers if they are willing to get a text about leaving an online review. That text can then link them to a review of your choice so that customers have simple, immediate way to create feedback (email and other channels also work great here). Otherwise, businesses may not be able to reach these customers at all.
Encourage frequency: Centralizing touch points also helps create more reviews, more reliably. Remember, this is one of the things that impacts SEO – and it also really helps with customer decisions. People are more likely to start with a company that has a large number of reviews compared to its competitors.
Thanks Podium team! But we’d also like to hear from you, listener. Does your business actively monitor your online reviews? How do you do it? What have the results been like? Reach out to us on social media @21Handshake and let’s start a conversation!
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