Make Your Online Reviews A Sales Asset


Ian Domenegato

How to make TikTok feta pasta?

This was the most searched food dish of 2021. #fetapasta has over 600 million views and by mid-February, feta cheese was the #1 search on Insta Cart app.

While the likelihood of going viral is slim, it is very likely something in your industry could go viral, leading people to your business. Sites like Yelp receive approx. 463 million visitors every month and new hashtags are trending by the day.

What’s your review management strategy when the time comes to shine?

Most people don’t have one or don’t implement it into their business until they’re in trouble. Let’s dive into the top review management strategies for both early and established businesses!

Review Management Strategies

Review management is part of a larger umbrella considered reputation management, aka public perception of your brand, and it’s often considered an extension of your marketing strategy. Having review and reputation management as a part of your marketing plan is essential at all stages of a business and will benefit you as you grow.

Baby Business Review Management (6 months – 3 years)

Every review matters, but when you’re in the growth stage of your business (you’re testing and course-correcting products/service and messaging, networking/servicing often but have sporadic sales + only a couple specific reviews) it’s important to be able to leverage your current reviews in multiple ways + boast social proof so you attract more clients and more good reviews. 


For example, if you only have two project/service-based reviews, you may be thinking it’s repetitive to use the same quotes over and over – but on the contrary. Advertising hinges on the fact that someone needs to see your brand message an average of 16-20 times before recognition and stickiness is achieved! The same will go for your glowing reviews – so cut up a long review into multiple posts, start with the review and tell the story behind how you got your client these results, and if you can, ask them to record a video of themselves reading/reciting their review for your social media and websites (video testimonials perform 83% better than written ones). 


These strategies will give your few but positive reviews more reps in front of your ideal audiences, leading to more brand recognition and trust, and soon, more business and therefore more glowing reviews!


A second strategy for new businesses is the social proof option. This refers to any affirmation or positive conversation you’ve had with your network or potential clients about your business. If you are using social media as a primary tool to grow your reach and sales, then screenshots of “wow that was so helpful” etc., (with private information blocked out) can be shared to your stories or highlights. There is also a specific way to set up conversations for optimal screen shooting/social proof potential like: ‘share a win you had this week’ or ‘what did you learn or find helpful from my X?’. This is broad, yet targeted enough to highlight key learnings/desires/pain points your audience also experiences and act as proof they should work with you to receive the same results. 


Established/Mature Business Review Management (5+ years)

Once your business is established with dozens of clients under your belt and regular work coming in based on reputation and online reviews alone, the most important thing to factor into review management is really rooted in community engagement. 


Truth is, 89% of people will read the responses to online reviews, so it’s of the utmost importance that you have the team and communication guidelines set up in order to ensure your community is happy and growing effortlessly! Planning ahead for popular/common review situations will help you streamline the process and develop your FAQ library for quick conversion.


Believe it or not, the number one indicator your business is on the rise, or well established in your market, is when you start to receive a negative review every now and then. This is a marker of success because it indicates you are starting to attract people outside of your ideal audience just through online presence or word of mouth alone. The ‘haters’ are a sign you are broadening your reach and becoming more mainstream vs. just niche based.


And because you won’t be able to please everyone, negative review management strategies are important for established businesses to stay abreast to and bounce back from. When reading a negative review or critique of your business, it’s likely you may feel attacked and frustrated that the customer doesn’t understand you or would react in a public way. While your reaction is valid, it’s important to move beyond this and see the opportunity to rebuild trust with your audience. 

Properly Respond To Your Online Reviews

Reacting in a way that proves you want to create a connection is a win-win, because 33% of customers who received a response to their negative review later changed it to be more positive, while 34% deleted their negative review!

When replying to negativity, remember to keep your tone friendly and understanding. It’s often best to personalize it with a name if available, acknowledge what was written and add the steps that will be taken internally. Sign off with your name and position, to again, make it more personal, and so they may be able to easily identify/ask for you when they return!

Reviews take a while to accumulate but are the surest asset for your online reputation. The steps above are just the tips of the iceberg in what it takes to boost your public perception and be prepared for when the time comes to engage with your community quickly, yet effectively, in both positive and negative situations.

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