Review Management Software

Review Management Software

The internet has taken over every part of our lives. It helps us connect with friends and family while providing information, access and entertainment. But one surprising thing that has happened in the past several years is the aggregated knowledge and wisdom that are review sites.

Yes, a lot of us ask a friend here and there what kind of vacuum to buy or who is the best dentist, but now it’s just as easy to Google the BEST vacuum, dentist, restaurant, or car dealership local to you. It’s true: we trust the internet like an old and dear friend, so it’s no wonder that we as consumers are putting our lives in the hand of ratings and reviews online.

Look Who’s Talking Now

If we as consumers are influenced by reviews online, we as business owners are directly affected. Review sites have gained importance over the past several years by a factor of over 19%. Everyone from Baby Boomers with discretionary income to Millennials are contributing to the popularity of review sites. In fact, when people were asked what is most important when choosing a service or professional, a recent study conducted by ReviewInc showed that 40% of those surveyed said they relied on review sites including Google, Facebook and Yelp to help determine which product or service they choose.

How Does This Affect Your Business?

If your business has ten locations or even one, chances are your business can be found online. Whether you like it or not, people are judging your business, often by a count of stars. This is your business reputation and it’s in the hands of the public where potential customers read these reviews, and choose your business over a competitor.

Even if your star rating is high, it does not mean that you are getting customers in the door. You are still competing with other like businesses in the virtual world and some of these businesses may have a higher star rating than your business, a larger review count, and a more established online presence.

Alternatively, let’s say that you are the business with the established online presence, however just one poor rating posted recently can directly affect your business in a negative way. Since most review sites have the option of showing the most recent reviews, customers may see the recent negative review as a change in the quality of your product or service and steer away from your business.

Time Is Money

Now that you know that your business has an online reputation to manage, there are a few other things to keep in mind. After you’ve established your online business presence and claimed all of your business pages, there’s a matter of management.

More and more, you’re engaging with customers on and offline. Following up with every single customer can be time-consuming, especially when you don’t always see all of the reviews posted all the time. This is an added (and necessary task) on your plate to deal with, and time is money.

The Solution: Review Management Software

Recent studies have illustrated just how critical the right reviews are when it comes to the revenue and growth of a company. As we say at ReviewInc, “Negative reviews hurt emotionally and financially and they are not going away on their own!” The solution to this problem is none other than review management software.

There are plenty of sufficient review management systems out there, however your question should be, how can the software accommodate your need?

Age Is But a Number

In our last post, we discussed how age and gender affected consumerism. Women over the age of 55, the largest consumer group worldwide, are a part of the group that read the most reviews. Millennials, often described as born between 1980 and 1996, makes their choices through conversations. That’s why it is so important to not just be visible online, but to have a conversation and connect with those customers leaving and looking for reviews.

Review management software should meet this need. This software should let you see all of the reviews from review sites pulled in under one main dashboard, and should also allow you to respond easily with just one click.

Engage!

These days, people don’t want to be told what they want. They want to choose for themselves. This is the case with older generations but is especially the case for the Millennial Generation as they reach their peak consumer spending.

But before they even leave a review, why not connect with your customer before they even leave a review? Great software should also be able to allow you to upload contacts or automatically pull in contacts from CRMs so you can easily message customers and see what they have to say. Once you’ve seen this feedback, you can engage with them in a way that will positively impact your business.

The Cherry on Top

It’s not just seeing everything and engaging. Review management software should also have additional components to make managing your reputation easier. For example, being able to create testimonial pages for your business website and Facebook page highlight all of that positive private feedback you’ve been getting in the platform.

But there should be so much more reputation software should do. If you are on the go or tend to use a tablet, you should be able to see and do everything in the platform. It is important to find something that doesn’t just provide a “light” app but allows you 24/7 secure and stable access whether you’re in your office or on the go.

Where Can You Find This Software?

Luckily, there is a review management software available that does all of these things and so much more. It also comes with professional reputation management experts available during regular business hours. Want more information? Interested in a free consultation with an expert? Click below!

Best Advertising Channel 2018

In the last five years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 15,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with five years of data, the answer is clear: Review Sites are the most critical to the purchase decision.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.  This method has been applied to all the surveys form 2013 through 2018.

The Five Year Trend

In this year’s result, Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component. This is followed by a company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of review sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The company website‘s influence remained steady within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. The influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined, albeit slower than anticipated. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year.  The “Other” category gained the most presumably from the use of personal interactions on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Females Versus Males

In the last 3 years, females outpaced males in choosing review sites as their most influential source. This is beneficial for businesses engaged in reputation management as global spending by women is estimated to be a whopping $18 Trillion in 20181.  Considering that females tend to spend more than males, businesses should pay closer attention to their reviews. More specifically, Baby Boomer women are undermarketed2 but spend the most time choosing to look at review sites, an undeveloped “gold mine” for businesses maintaining their reputation online.

The Generation Gap

Some age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites while other age groups decreased. Of particular interest was the more affluent generations (ages 45 and up) showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites.  

The younger age groups exhibit a decline due to a variety of factors that created a different economic environment for a generation fairly recent to adulthood. While the younger portion of the millennial generation is still paying for education, the older part of the generation is still in debt; while spending increases with things like homes and starting family, the baby boom of 1987 placed the crux of Millennials in or just leaving university during the Great Recession (between 2008-2009).

What’s more is the amount and use of income has changed. According to Morgan Stanley3, from 2005 to 2012, the average amount of student debt has near doubled from over $13,000 to over $24,000, leaving the majority of a generation in debt. Previous generations had more disposable income, spending far more on dining and entertainment. Millennials and some of Generation X is still fighting their way through debt; according to Mother Jones6, Millennials spent only 81% of their income, a 10% decrease from the Reagan era.

As the younger generations are in fact more cautious about their spending, and may  turn to social media and friends more than the review sites themselves. Long gone is the need for linear marketing techniques. What newer generations want is a conversation, and review sites built by Generation X and Millennials alike have to find a way to meet this new need for engagement. This is especially the case as the Millennial generation reaches their peak consumption years.  This underscores the importance of Responding to Reviews on popular sites such as Google Maps and Facebook.

The Older Generations

While Millennials and Gen-Xers are in their peak consumption years, According to AARP’s Venture Capital Review4, Baby Boomers (ages 53 and over) by far spend the most across all product categories, and their spending will only increase over the next 20 years due to retirement, health care, and their high discretionary income.

This is reflected in the age groups that choose reviews on review sites like Google Facebook, and Yelp. In great contrast to 2017, 2018 is illustrating that those over the age of 45 are more likely to use review sites than those under the age of 44. As 70 % of the disposable income5 is controlled by Baby Boomers and the older generations are choosing to spend their time on review sites, reputation management becomes an even more integral part of maintaining businesses both on and offline.

Decline of Yellow Pages

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.   Our only surprise here is that it is taking longer for the traditional paper-based Yellow Pages to decline in usage.

What’s the Takeaway?

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re neglecting the investment in your online reputation, you could be missing out on big revenue growth opportunities.
  • Make sure your reputation management solution integrates and leverages social media.
  • Make sure to respond to reviews and create a “conversation” especially if you serve those under the age of 35.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

References

  1. Source: Forbes “Want A Piece Of The 18 Trillion Dollar Female Economy? Start With Gender Bias”
  2. Source: American Marketing Association “Baby Boomer Women Remain Invisible to Marketers”
  3. Source: Morgan Stanley “Generations Change How Spending is Trending”
  4. Source: AARP Venture Capital Review Issue 29
  5. Source: Nielson: Introducing Boomers, Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation
  6. Source: Mother Jones “What Do Millennials Spend All Their Money On?”

 

Real Estate Agents Can no Longer Afford to Operate “The Old Fashioned Way”

Well-honed “people skills” are a vital attribute for real estate agents, along with local knowledge, marketing talents, attention to details and negotiating skills. Increasingly, however, not only first contacts but a large and growing segment of real estate business is conducted online rather than face-to-face.

70818636_m Real Estate Online

It’s Not Just Property That’s Listed Online Anymore

The “old-fashioned” MLS Listing Book has all but disappeared from the real estate landscape, and the vast majority of prospective buyers first view listings online. That trend has brought about important changes in property descriptions and mandated a need for better photographs. Online listings have also all but eliminated the need for onsite open houses, and printed property flyers.

A similar evolution is underway in terms of the way clients select real estate agents. Those who are ahead of the curve have already taken steps to establish a “virtual portrait” of themselves and the services they offer. It requires a different set of skills. But it is a vital step. Agents who neglect their online presence are going to fall behind in their efforts to represent sellers and find prospective buyers. Those clients who prefer in-office meetings and exchanging business cards in person will never disappear, but the new age of marketing points in a different direction.

Developing a distinctive online presence is not only a smart professional move, it will soon become the primary method of building a successful real estate career. Traditional marketing, advertising and networking can remain an effective way to get your name and your face in front of the public. Involvement in service organizations and charitable events cements an agent’s reputation as a decent human being with a “life” apart from the business.

However, future clients are much more likely to travel to a website rather than to an office to satisfy their curiosity and explore your listings. They are also likely to read online testimonials and ratings before they will ask neighbors and business associates for agent recommendations. And the reach of an active social media presence is immense. Think of the potential: Your market is no longer limited to the local geographic area. The internet can bring clients from anywhere in the world!

Think About How the World Sees You

Online reputation management is an important part of the new world. However, it might be something requires expert help. It involves a more thoughtful approach than having a website and posting occasionally to Facebook or Instagram. A limited or poorly-executed online presence might have the effect of driving business away.

Digital marketing and web design experts can be instrumental in helping real estate agents optimize exposure, manage content, boost engagement rates and assure that the digital “picture” is one that speaks of success. That’s a foundation on which to build even greater exposure. The goal is to project an image of authority and solid achievement while still appearing approachable and personable. It’s a balancing act that many agents manage extremely well in person but have not yet mastered on the digital page. And this is definitely not the place to seek advice of a “digital native” like a teenage son!

Your business or personal website should be the starting point. It’s perfectly appropriate to have a page on a shared website, expanding that to a well-thought-out complementary presence on social media sites tailored to the audience you want to reach.

Offer prospective clients a variety of pertinent and topical information by writing a weekly blog post. Discuss local market trends on a monthly basis, explain financing options and real estate terms; offer advice on credit management, or promote local events and charitable efforts. Interact with the local community through social media and develop an online community to boost engagement and build referrals.

It will take time, but it will define your business success for the future. Don’t be left out in the cold!

Dylan SnyderDylan Snyder is a team leader and real estate consultant at The Snyder Group – Keller Williams Realty Luxury Homes. His business is augmented by his high-caliber team of seasoned buyer specialists and a dedicated marketing department.

Knowing Facebook’s Rules Can Improve Your Business

27688046 - word cloud with terms and conditions related tags

These days, there are standards for everything. Facebook, for instance, has their own set of community standards and terms of use. These standards are there to protect the consumer and the business. In many ways, it’s intended to police the consumer, putting the kibosh on hate speech and trolling. Luckily, it is to the benefit of business owners and social media managers alike.

Where to Find Facebook’s Regulations

Facebook’s Community Standards page is a catch-all for everyone who uses the site. They keep things pretty simple. Don’t sell or trade drugs. Encourage respectful behavior. And respect the intellectual, individual, and property rights. While it’s laid out plainly, the Community Standards page does not go deep into detail.

As a business owner or social media guru, what you want is the Terms of Service page. Keep this link in your back pocket. After all, you do not want to be searching for it through roundabouts on the Facebook pages when you need it most.

The Golden Rule Applies

Now that you know your own rights, you’re probably wondering how this can help you as a business owner. Your best bet is looking at the Terms of Service page. The first thing you should take a look at is section 3, labeled “Safety.” Here, it shows you cannot do anything illicit, but neither can anyone else. A person cannot intimidate, harass, or bullying a business. Inversely, a business engaging in this behavior spells disaster for a business’s Facebook page.

That said it isn’t always a simple case of bullying. Creating a false account can be grounds for expulsion from the website. Located in section 4, Registration and Account Security, it says that anyone falsifying their personal information in Facebook is against Facebook’s terms of use. And in section 5, Protecting Other People’s Rights, it says repeatedly infringing or violating someone’s rights or the law could spell expulsion from the website.

The Warning Label to be Aware of

After you read through the Terms of Service page, you may be a bit nervous about one thing in particular. Here it is in legalese:

“[…] you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless you’re content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

You may own what you post on your pages, but Facebook has the right to do anything they please with your posts. As far as adhesion contracts go, this may be scary when it comes to intellectual property. Even so, Facebook protects its users when others use your logo or brand name without your permission.

The part that makes this interesting is how you can use other people’s information. If this applies to you as a business owner, what about original posts by your customers such as reviews?

Sensitive Information

It’s also important for businesses not to post their customer’s information or take any kind of property. Facebook dictates you need consent if you collect information from your customers. This is especially the case for things like comments or user reviews. Say you want testimonials on your website. According to Facebook, you have to do three things. First, you need consent from the customer. Next, you need to make it clear that you and not Facebook is the recipient of the information. And last, you also need to give customers your business’s privacy policy so they know that you will not post their personal information or document.

What This Means for Your Reviews

Sometimes understanding Facebook’s rules is difficult as a business owner. This is especially the case with their terms of service and their online reviews. But, once you have that knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to navigate Facebook even better. What’s more is your business is more likely to succeed in the world of social media.

This article is just our interpretation of Facebook’s terms and should not be relied upon as official legal interpretation. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney for clarification and how these terms apply specifically to your business and its needs.

If you have any more questions about Facebook, improving your online reviews, or reputation management, we offer free consultations. Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Most Effective Advertising in 2017

Bias In ReviewsOver the last four years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 10,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with four years of data, a trend is clearly emerging and once again Review Sites are increasingly more critical to the purchase decision at the expense of some many other traditional medium.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.

2017-BusinessInfluencePieChart

In this year’s result,  Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component followed by a Company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of Review Sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The Company website‘s influence remained steady and within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. More importantly, the influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined. It appears that much of that drop was picked up by the influence of Reviews. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year. Most notably, were the differences in gender and age groups.2017-BusinessInfluenceYearOverYearIn previous studies, females outpaced males in the Reviews choice. However, this year, the men have caught up. Females seemed to have made the leap forward last year (2015 study) while males seemed to have made the leap forward this year.2017-BusinessInfluenceByGenderNearly all age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites. Of particular interest was the senior citizen generation showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites – proving adoption of the digital medium while abandoning the “tried and true” traditional yellow pages.

2017-GenerationDifferences-ReviewSites

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.2017-GenerationDifferences-YellowPages

So what does this all mean?

It’s Still All About the Reviews

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is growing, and it’s critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re investing in your business website but are ignoring your online business reputation, you are likely missing out on a huge opportunity
  • The traditional paper-based Yellow Pages is a fast declining resource for people middle-aged generations (which tend to be the more affluent groups)
  • Despite the importance of digital advertising, the influence of Reviews continues to dominate and this isn’t likely to change.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439  or email us at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.