The only thing worse than a bad review is no review at all.

In the past we based our decision to buy a product or service on advertisements and what our friends and family told us we should buy. Today, advertising has dramatically declined in influence and the power of word of mouth from our immediate connections is followed closely by what strangers have to say about products or services online.

Just yesterday I pointed out to one of my clients that when I do a Google Search for their business Google autocomplete shows me that the second most searched phrase is “their business name + reviews”.

I then discovered that there was not one review on the first 2 pages of search results. In other words, people are searching for what others have to say about my client’s business only to find nothing which is a lost opportunity to gain a new customer.

In a 2010 study conducted by social networking site myYearbook, 81 percent of respondents said they’d received advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a search on Google; 74 percent of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their buying decision.

For mass brands, getting someone to write a review about your products or services is simple. Just exist. Small to medium sized businesses need to have a strategy. Laying dormant online is not an option anymore.

What are you doing to get people to talk about you online?

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