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.

Top Review Sites Brand Awareness: Unaided vs Aided

memereviewsiteawarenessunaidedA new study, conducted by ReviewInc in November 2016, tested unaided brand awareness of websites associated with business reviews.  In the past studies, ReviewInc has conducted research on top review site brands using the latter method. There was a significant difference between the aided and unaided studies.

The value of a brand is predicated mostly on awareness. That is, how many people think of your brand name or look for it. For example, when you think of an automobile maker, you’d probably come up with something like Toyota, Ford or Honda.  However, measuring awareness of brands can be tricky. Some brands have a reputation or a strong association with a particular thought. And to measure that association, you can start with the “thought” and see what brand is recognized, or you can start with prompting the brand and see what “thought” is recognized.

The study of 2,001 U.S. Consumers asked the following open-ended question:  On which website do you check reviews and ratings about a business (such as restaurant, plumber, doctor, lawyer, mechanic etc.)?

The responses were analyzed and identified both Google and Yelp as top review sites when unaided.

unaidedbrandname-overallresults

In contrast, a study conducted earlier in 2016 tested the association of trust with various review sites. Several sites scored much lower results in the unaided awareness. Most notably, the Better Business Bureau, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Facebook and YellowPages received much lower unaided brand recognition associated with review sites.  One surprise was Angie’s List whose unaided awareness outperformed all sites except Google and Yelp.

unaidedbrandname-vsaided

Google and Yelp showed a significant difference in unaided awareness between genders.  Females identified Yelp 26% more than males whereas males identified Google 20% more than females.  (There was no significant difference in gender preference for other review sites).

unaidedbrandname-bygender

The age group differences where mostly insignificant, however Angie’s List appears to be resonating more with ages 55 and over.  This likely explains the higher overall brand awareness of Angie’s List.

unaidedbrandname-byage

Google and Yelp provide reviews for multiple categories of businesses, but sites like Angie’s List are very specific to home services and contractors.  Sites specific to automotive services would likely score higher if the question posed was more specific to automotive dealerships are car buying.  Further studies are merited and ReviewInc will continue its commitment to educate business owners on the power and importance of reviews.

It is recommended that businesses build their online reputations on multiple review sites.  A broad review site coverage strategy will help enhance search results.  It will also help provide a more balanced reputation especially if you have many reviews of multiple review sites.

For more information on how ReviewInc can help you measure and increase your online reviews, please call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave us your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

How Seriously Should You Take the Threat of a Bad Review?

47985516 - fearful of boss employee is behind a chairIn today’s reputation based economy, bad reviews can wreak havoc on most any business. Consumers have wised up to this and use it as leverage to get their way with businesses and services by just threatening to write a bad review. But how often do consumers do this and do they follow through with it?

In October 2016, ReviewInc conducted a consumer survey of 2,000 U.S. Consumers asking if they have ever threatened to write a bad review (such as on Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc.) for a business when they have been unhappy with their service.

The survey found that while nearly two thirds of consumers have never threatened a business with a bad review, that more than one third of consumers have threatened a business with a bad review when they were unhappy.

threatening-a-bad-review

When examining the data by gender, males were about 10% more likely to threaten a negative review than females.

threatening-a-bad-review-by-gender

Age group also matters. The older the customer, the less likely they are to threaten a bad review.

threatening-a-bad-review-by-age-group

Even income levels mattered showing that the higher customers’ income level, the more likely they are to write a review.

threatening-a-bad-review-by-income-level

So a millennial male making more than $75,000/year is the most likely to threaten to write a bad review, where as a women over 55 years old making less than $75,000/year is the least likely to threaten writing of a bad review.

Whether they actually follow through with their threats is hard to gauge, but we did conduct another survey asking how many bad reviews consumers actually wrote. The good news is that 57.6% never actually wrote a review and only 5.5% regularly write bad reviews.

writingabadreviewSo what should a business do?

First and foremost, make sure you deliver a great product and great service. Those two ingredients make the best case for obtaining good reviews and minimize the likelihood that anyone will write a bad review. In most cases, businesses are likely to receive more positive reviews than negative reviews. If that is not the case, the business might want to take a long hard look in the mirror.

12408576 - narcissistic woman looking in mirror while applying beauty cream

Businesses should also encourage their customers to give them honest feedback (either privately or on a popular review site). Furthermore, businesses should act on the feedback by improving where they under-perform and reinforcing where they over-perform.

This advice might seem obvious to some, but our experience is that most businesses shy away from asking for feedback simply out fear of criticism or even the unknown. But hey, we are in a reputation-based economy, so it’s time to “get with the program”.

 

Is Pokémon Go Hurting Your Social Media Marketing?

monster-eating-social-mediaThe Pokémon Go craze has taken over and after a month since its introduction, we wondered just how much of an effect it has on your business’s social media and reputation marketing. So we surveyed over 3,300 U.S. Consumers and came up with some insights that might surprise you.

Our survey presented respondents with choices of 6 representative and popular social media sites/apps. We then asked the respondents to answer a simple question “Which of These Did You Use Today?”  Not surprisingly, Facebook topped the list (see our previous posts and research study on Facebook Usage).

Which Did You Use Today

But we were astounded that Pokémon Go usage nearly matched Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, it exceeded the usage of Twitter. But then we started to look at the age demographics of the responses which told us a very different story.

Which Did You Use Today - Facebook by Age

While the responses that included Facebook as a choice showed a broad usage of Facebook across all ages, there was a noticeable difference among the Millennials (ages 18 to 34). Digging further, we could see a very high usage of Pokémon among the Millennials that was not observed in Gen X-ers (ages 35-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+). Actually, we were honestly surprised with any Baby Boomers playing Pokémon… seriously?

Which Did You Use Today - Pokémon by Age

While it has been well established by now that Millennials prefer to use Instagram and Snapchat, we compared their usage of these apps with Pokémon Go.

Which Did You Use Today - Apps by Age

At this point, it was less surprising to see that Pokémon Go usage correlated highly with apps popular among Millennials.

We compared all these results to Yelp, a very popular review site with broad appeal to all age groups. It was interesting to see that Yelp’s sweet spot appeared to center among Gen X-ers, and even after adjusting for the margin of error, there was no particular correlation with Pokémon Go.

Which Did You Use Today - Yelp by AgeThis is welcome news for any business focused on Social Media and Reputation Marketing. In fact, Yelp recently blogged on how to Catch More Guests for Your Restaurant with Pokémon Go!  If you’re business is big on Yelp and Millennials you might want to pay attention to this great article.

What does this all mean to you if you are a business owner?  First, don’t fret too much about Pokémon Go’s impact on your business. It likely has very little impact. Second, if your business attracts many millennials, you might consider some kind of promotion associated with Pokémon. Finally, stay focused on providing the best service to all your customers because that is the ultimate way to get great reviews.

How ReviewInc Can Help

Pardon the gratuitous plug, but ReviewInc can help you engage your customers with social media. Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process and follow up with social interactions. Utilizing the services of a feedback and review system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate, measure and amplify customer feedback.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? 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.

 

 

Why Customer Feedback on this Review Site is So Critical

Facebook-DAU---Facebook-Slides

It’s no secret that Facebook’s user base is growing with over 1.5 Billion Monthly users. It’s also no secret that Facebook’s Daily Active Users (DAUs), representing 66% of their monthly active users has been growing steadily.  But there is a much bigger story here that Facebook isn’t telling you.

Obviously, the more active your users are, the more opportunity you have to sell advertising. And that’s how Facebook makes money.  But comparing daily to monthly usage hides the reality of Facebook’s success.  In June of 2016, ReviewInc conducted a study of over 2,500 U.S. Consumers asking them about the amount of time they spend on Facebook each day.

Facebook Usage 2016

Nearly 46% of Facebook users spend more than 15 minutes a day on Facebook, but the real interesting data was comparing how that has changed from one year ago.  In February 2015, ReviewInc ran the same survey and now we can see what a difference a year makes.

Facebook Usage 2015 vs 2016

The amount of time spent on Facebook by users each day has increased significantly. Last year, 41% indicated they spent more than 15 minutes on Facebook each day and that time increased by more than 10% to this year’s level of usage.

 

Facebook Usage Change 2015 vs 2016The number of non-Facebook users also decreased meaning that more people are signing up to Facebook and using it more frequently.

Facebook Best Practices for Businesses

What does this all mean to you if you are a business owner?  First, you really should have a Business Facebook page for your business.  Second, make sure you have customer testimonials and/or Facebook reviews on your Business Facebook page.  Also, use your Facebook page to promote reviews on other sites such as Yelp and Google.

How ReviewInc Can Help

Pardon the gratuitous plug, but ReviewInc can help automate these best practices and much more. Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process and follow up with social interactions. Utilizing the services of a feedback and review system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate, measure and amplify customer feedback.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? 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.