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  1. #1

    White-hat methods for encouraging reviews

    What are the best ways to encourage customers to post reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. I have it in my head that it's not a good idea to provide links, but that it might be OK to suggest that customers write reviews on appropriate sites. What's the latest, greatest advice on this, oh wise IMC members?

  2. #2

    If you have a Brick & Mortar store, it might be a good idea to put "Find us on Yelp!" or post a snippit of a good review. It's imperative to have balanced reviews on sites like Yelp, so future customers can get a good, unbiased grasp of the business. If there are bad reviews, though, it's the company's job to rectify the situation as that is always key to good customer service!

    ┬*

    As long as a company is active in their social media channels, in tune with review sites, and care about their customers to provide outstanding service...go for it and put these icons on your collateral. This will inadvertantly have interested customers go to these sites. If they had service that stood out to them, then they will want to post a review!

    ┬*

    Hope that helps.


  3. #3
    Thanks, Jacqueline. Good advice. I had it in my head that it's bad form to include links directly to review sites on Web material, but you're saying it's OK as long as the business pays attention to what's being said and responds appropriately.

    Jacqueline Jimenez said:

    If you have a Brick & Mortar store, it might be a good idea to put "Find us on Yelp!" or post a snippit of a good review. It's imperative to have balanced reviews on sites like Yelp, so future customers can get a good, unbiased grasp of the business. If there are bad reviews, though, it's the company's job to rectify the situation as that is always key to good customer service!

    ┬*

    As long as a company is active in their social media channels, in tune with review sites, and care about their customers to provide outstanding service...go for it and put these icons on your collateral. This will inadvertantly have interested customers go to these sites. If they had service that stood out to them, then they will want to post a review!

    ┬*

    Hope that helps.


  4. #4

    It depends on the type of service your business offers and where the customers are going to review. There isn't a clear cut answer per business, but it's always key to be in tune with your business's reputation online and your own. You can't control what other people say, but you can act quickly if you're already following mentions in different sites.

    ┬*

    It's not always bad form to include links directly to sites on web material. You do, though, want to claim yourself on popular sites like google.com/places, Facebook Places & Pages, Youtube, etc.┬*before it gets in the wrong hands :)


  5. #5

    Hi Mark,

    ┬*

    Recently a client and I decided to provide links to their google places page and to their yelp profile. The page is buried a bit as a sub page to a list of existing┬*reviews┬*from a wide range of other sites, so we feel that we are not clamoring for more reviews, just honestly asking for feedback that will help us to improve, and that only in a conversation with a customer that includes navigating through pages. We thought it would not be useful to put anything like this on a home page or in a prominent sidebar. ┬*You can see the page at┬*http://charlieskabobgrill.com/your-thoughts/.

    ┬*

    Would you consider this white hat or tinging to grey?

    ┬*

    Thanks.

    ┬*

    Ken

    ┬*


  6. #6

    Ken,

    ┬*

    Thanks a lot for sharing that. I think it's a great way to encourage reviews, and it looks "white" to me! I hope some other folks will weigh in on it, too. I say "well done!"

    ┬*

    Mark

    Kenneth Simons said:

    Hi Mark,

    ┬*

    Recently a client and I decided to provide links to their google places page and to their yelp profile. The page is buried a bit as a sub page to a list of existing┬*reviews┬*from a wide range of other sites, so we feel that we are not clamoring for more reviews, just honestly asking for feedback that will help us to improve, and that only in a conversation with a customer that includes navigating through pages. We thought it would not be useful to put anything like this on a home page or in a prominent sidebar. ┬*You can see the page at┬*http://charlieskabobgrill.com/your-thoughts/.

    ┬*

    Would you consider this white hat or tinging to grey?

    ┬*

    Thanks.

    ┬*

    Ken

    ┬*


  7. #7
    I agree. Looks good to me. Nice job, Ken!

  8. #8

    There was an interesting story on "The Today Show" this morning that talked about review sites like TripAdvisor.┬* They picked up a story from a blogger who found that a lot of marketing companies, hotels, etc.┬*are posting false reviews in order to boost their rating on travel review sites while at the same time posting negative reviews on their competitors.

    ┬*

    "Sleeper cells" of shills

    Nowhere was travel marketers' focus clearer than in the workshops on blogs and community media. I had hoped there would have been some interest in using them as a tool for learning about what consumers and travellers want. But no -- they were seen only as a channel that could be exploited to push top-down commercial messages.

    Elias Plishner, V.P. of the interactive division of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, boasted that, "We have an entire division in Singapore [where labor is cheaper than in the USA] devoted to seeding online forums and bulletin boards with targetted content" for our advertising clients. Worse, these people are paid to spend months, in between assignments, creating profiles and posting "neutral" messages to establish a credible online persona and background from which to post their secretly-paid advertising messages, such as to promote a newly-released movie.

    BootsNAll.com founder Sean Keener left the room livid: "They're spamming me!"┬*"Shilling" is a more precise term for it, but the anger is appropriate.

    ┬*

    Ken Leeder, Founder/CEO of travel blogging site RealTravel.com , and Founder/CEO J.R. Johnson of travel rating and review site VirtualTourist.com were equally outraged when I related Plishner's remarks to them the next day. "It makes me want to block every posting from a user in Singapore, although of course I wouldn't. How can I stop these guys?", Johnson asked. "They're sabotaging our credibility", said Leeder. "But what can I do?"

    source: http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/001182.html#shills


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