Every marketer loves that feeling when their customers open their hearts on social media and sincerely share the positive experiences they had with a product. They might even tag specific people that they feel were responsible for the positive experience, praise them and recommend them to their network. Nothing could brighten a marketer’s day better.
You know from experience that positive customer reviews and recommendations are the most sublime form of content that could ever be shared on social media. Apart from making you a happy marketer, it makes your business look more trustworthy and increases the chances of people buying from you. Here are some stats to make your head spin:
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
- 93% of customers will read reviews of local businesses to determine their quality.
- When a product gets five reviews, the likelihood of it being purchased increases by 270%.
- 54% of consumers visit a local business’ website after reading a positive review.
The question remains: how to encourage positive reviews on social media without being too pushy? Here are some suggestions:
1- Ask for reviews
Let’s start with the most obvious way to encourage positive reviews: asking your customers to write positive reviews on social media. A lot of marketers shy away from asking sincerely for the fear of sounding over-confident or pushy.
Asking for reviews is a good way to have a steady stream of positive social proof. And the truth is your customers are happy to give you good ratings and positive reviews if they are truly happy with your product or service. Obviously, the focus here is on “if they are truly happy with your product or service”.
A great way to know how happy your customers are is using a net promoter score or (NPS). It’s basically a number between “-100 to +100 that gauges how likely your customers are to recommend you to others—a vital part of building your brand reputation.” Knowing this number allows you to:
- Reveal pain points for your customers
- Give you a chance to follow up with disappointed users
- Help you see what services are most valued
- Give you ideas for future product direction
Here’s what a NPS software dashboard looks like:
Customers with a high promoter score are likely to write positive reviews but I think it’s pretty much undeniable that if your customers are frustrated with your products, asking them for reviews would only backfire. They’ll probably use the opportunity to complain about a terrible experience they had with you. So before asking for reviews, make sure your main focus is on resolving customer issues and providing a great customer experience (more on this in the next part).
Also, before sending your review request emails asking bluntly for a few nice words about you on social media, you need to keep in mind two very important tips:
1- Ask for reviews after successful interactions:
People are more likely to leave positive reviews after they had a successful and positive interaction with you. Some examples include
- Successfully shipping your product
- Giving away discounts or gifts
- Resolving a technical issue through customer support
- Hosting an event: according to Airmeet, events could be considered successful interactions because of the trust, authority and impact they have on your audience.
Set up automation in your preferred email marketing software to send out a message after a successful interaction and ask your customers to share their experience on social media.
You can also use popups and forms on your website to encourage people to share positive reviews on social media. Abbey Claire Dela Cruz, the marketing manager of Poptin, explains how you should ask for reviews from your website visitors:
Visitors won’t visit your website because they want to leave feedback. If you ask for one, they’re doing you a big favour. That’s why it’s essential that you offer them something relevant to them, so they’d be more than willing to do the survey or write a review for you. In Poptin, we help businesses do it in a much simpler way through pop-ups. Knowing when to show it through behaviour-based targeting in strategic locations on your website would increase your chances of engaging with them. Add an enticing offer, such as a free eBook, exclusive coupons, or discounts, and you’ll be much closer to your goal.
2- Make it easy for people to leave reviews.
The process of leaving reviews might seem a little troublesome for some people: leaving whatever they’re doing and losing focus, signing in their social media accounts, and coming up with a line that seems clever to their audience alongside an image or screenshot to ramp up engagement. Some people are not that invested in your product to go through all this trouble. To increase the chances of getting positive, you need to make this process very easy.
A great way to do so is inserting a link (or better, a button with a clear call-to-action) that would lead to a social media platform offering a good template containing the necessary keywords and hashtags that could amplify the post. Your customers could simply click “send” or edit the copy before doing so. Here’s an example from MorningBrew.
2- Get better at customer experience management
If this little piece of advice sounds repetitive and a bit cliche to you, that’s because it’s the most important piece of advice anyone can give you in any area of business management. Improving the “customer journey” has proven to increase revenue up to 15% while also boosting customer satisfaction by around 20%. It’s also a great way to encourage people to share positive reviews on social media.
According to Ben Aston from CXLead, customer experience management is “a system companies use to track, oversee, and respond accordingly to all customer/business interactions, so companies exceed customer expectations to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”
The focus here is on “all customer/business interactions” so if you’re able to take control of how your customers experience working with you or your product, they’ll probably freak out and can’t stop extolling you everywhere including social media.
At the risk of sounding a little cheesy, I could say that customer experience management is like keeping a journal on a fledgeling love affair between you and your customers, right from the first moment they get to know you (awareness) till when they fall in love with you and believe that they can’t go on living without you (loyalty). Ninisha Pradhan from G2 argues that customer journey analytics is the best way to optimize your customer experience:
Customer journey analytics provides a more comprehensive and real-time view of the customer within the journey. This means that at any time and at any point in the journey, marketing teams can assess hundreds of customer interactions and interpret customer engagements instantly.
3- Improve engagement on social media
Engagement is probably the most coveted social media metric for marketers. Over the years, marketers have understood that the size of their social media following is not as important as the engagement they get to their posts. The success of your social media campaigns is determined by the buzz and engagement they create.
Having a high engagement with your posts is also a great way to encourage positive sentiments on social media. Address your audience’s pain point by sharing great content, take part in conversations in your niche, and respond to customer queries in a timely manner to improve engagement on social media.
As Mentionlytics explains, in order to increase engagement with your posts you need to follow the 20/80 rule where 80% of your content should be addressing your audience’s concern and 20% should be promotional.
It’s also important to respond to your reviews, especially the negative reviews. Make sure you’re hypervigilant when it comes to negative reviews. Read them carefully, investigate the issue, and respond as soon as you can. Here’s a good example of how you should respond to your customers’ reviews:
A top priority for improving engagement on social media is partnering with other marketers to amplify your reach. Get to know other marketers in your niche, reach out to them via social media or email to form partnerships with them, and engage with their posts. Check out Hunter’s email templates for partnership outreach templates to learn how to do so. Tony Restell from Social-hire.com explains:
“… the most important thing to know about engagement is that it’s reciprocal. That’s to say that only a small part of whether you get engagement on social media is down to what you post. It’s mostly driven by whether you have an army of people out there who want to engage with your posts – because you yourself have previously engaged with theirs, or they’ve seen you engaging with the posts of others in their feed.”
You can go a step further and collaborate on content creation with your partners, a practice that is sometimes referred to as “co-branding”. Apart from enabling you to use a new perspective in content creation, co-branded content is a great way to amplify your voice to a bigger audience. To manage your content creation process, you can use a suitable creative project management software.
Visuals have an undisputed power in increasing engagement on social media. It goes without saying that using visuals such as images (static or GIF), flipbooks and videos could increase your posts’ engagements. For example, Facebook posts with images are said to have a %120 more engagement than an average text post.
6 out 10 people prefer to watch online videos than TV. Results of a survey by Biteable shows that 60% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and 61% of marketers believe that video is a very important or extremely important part of their marketing strategy. Research also shows that people retain 65% of the visual information they encounter.
4- Reshare positive reviews:
If you currently have positive reviews from your customers, you can be proactive and republish them to get a new round of engagement. Republishing your current positive reviews could encourage other customers to post positive reviews or user-generated content.
Reshare reviews from other platforms:
You might have reviews on sites such as Yelp or Amazon. It’s a great idea to take advantage of these reviews and share them on social media where they could get more views and engagement. You can take a screenshot from the reviews and share them or you can share a link to them.
Encourage user-generated content:
Customer reviews are considered a form of user-generated content (UGC), which is itself known for authenticity and the great influence on people. 85% of consumers say they find UGC more influential than brand-created content. With this fact in mind, one could argue that positive UGC about your products could more or less have the same effect as customer reviews.
The basic idea behind a UGC campaign is encouraging people to showcase the use of your products in everyday life by posting pictures with the right hashtags and tags that could increase the posts’ reach.
A great way to encourage positive UGC is holding contests and giving away rewards to your most active customers. Select a theme around which users should create content, consider rewards and giveaways that your users value the most (it could be discounted or free products and subscriptions), and encourage your customers to share their creative content to get the most points. Engage with your users’ content and amplify them as much as you can to get the most exposure.
Mint encouraged users to post pictures of when their “life and finances aligned”. Participants were supposed to use the hashtag #MyMintMoment and mention how Mint has helped them achieve their financial goals. The winner of their $1000 reward was a post from a participant that was grateful for Mint’s help in managing finances when she was diagnosed with cancer.
To wrap it up:
Positive customer reviews are probably the most authentic and influential type of content you could have on social media. Encouraging customers to post them on social media takes a lot of time and effort. It’s true that providing a great customer experience is a good way to make sure your customers are happy to praise you on social media but still you need to be proactive and encourage them to share their positive experience with you. Asking for positive reviews, engaging with customers on social media, and resharing positive reviews are some great ways to encourage customers to share positive reviews on social media.