When it comes to building a reputation for your multi-location business, consumer reviews are a must. Through social media and review sites, customers can share their experiences with businesses, both positive and negative. 

As marketers, we always want to ensure we’re doing the most to help build awareness around our business and ultimately drive sales. If you’re not aware of how consumer reviews can impact your business’s reputation and sales, this blog is for you! 

Consumer Reviews Impact Business 

Ninety-five percent of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. While nearly every consumer admits that reviews influence their purchase decision, only positive reviews really help them choose your business; data shows that only 53 percent of consumers say they would consider a business with less than four stars. The higher the star rating your multi-location business has, the more consumers are willing to select your business!

When you increase your base of reviews, you’re truly capitalizing on a key two-way engagement channel that consumers are using to make their purchase decisions. So, it can be inferred that more positive reviews mean more sales for your business. If your multi-location business already has a wealth of positive reviews, good for you! If not, it’s time to start building your business’s online reputation, which starts with reviews. 

To get started, you’ll need to understand which platforms are best to start building your base of consumer reviews. 

Which Platforms are Best for Consumer Reviews? 

There are a few platforms that stand out when it comes to consumer reviews. Data from our State of the Market report found that Google My Business (GMB) is the number one site for consumer reviews. Over the past year, GMB has received 14x more reviews when compared to any other platform – a staggering number. 

When looking at other top consumer review platforms connected in SOCi’s platform and from a market share-perspective, Facebook and Yelp came in second and third place, respectively. While it’s clear that your multi-location business must maintain a local presence on GMB, Facebook, and Yelp, it’s important not to forget about other vertically-relevant review platforms. Multi-location businesses should be aware of where consumers are posting reviews about their business and monitor all relevant platforms. 

How to Get More Consumer Reviews 

When thinking about the volume of consumer reviews, you might automatically assume that more is better – that’s not always the case. There’s a difference between genuine and inauthentic reviews. Inauthentic reviews often happen when a business offers a reward to consumers in return for a positive review. While this may seem like a good idea, in theory, it often leads to businesses having a lot of reviews that don’t seem genuine and aren’t helpful to other consumers who are looking for honest opinions. If you can’t offer a reward for reviews, what are other ways to get consumers to leave reviews? 

Here are tips on ways to gain genuine consumer reviews: 

  • Make it easy for consumers to leave reviews
    • Share links to review sites on your website or social media
  • Add a review option on surveys or other digital interactions with consumers 
  • Use events as an opportunity for consumers to leave reviews
    • You can have a tablet or mobile phone available at events for consumers to leave reviews 
  • Ask for reviews from consumers, without incentivizing them. Add a CTA on receipts or other printouts for consumers to leave a review
  • Sit down and brainstorm a consumer review strategy. This will keep your multi-location business accountable

While you are opening the door to both positive and negative reviews by implementing the tips above, increasing your base of reviews is a must for your multi-location business. As your business locations begin to receive more reviews, it’s important to develop a response strategy. For tips on responding to reviews, especially negative or critical reviews, check out our blog post on the topic.

Get Started Building Your Consumer Reviews 

Now that you have the tools needed to increase consumer reviews, it’s time to start implementing them! Set a goal for how many reviews you’d like your locations to receive in the next month, quarter, and year. Data from our previously mentioned State of the Market report found that in 2019, the average number of new reviews per location each quarter was 3.7 reviews. If your multi-location business is not meeting the industry benchmark, what can you do to activate and achieve this goal? 

That’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi can help your business monitor reviews. SOCi aggregates reviews from Yelp, Facebook, Google, and many more reputation networks — giving you the ability to respond to reviews on popular review sites using one centralized platform. Through advanced features like sentiment analysis and competitive insights, businesses can now be more proactive in resolving common questions and issues — increasing consumer satisfaction and ultimately sales.

Consumer reviews are critical in driving sales for your multi-location business, and your marketing strategy should reflect that. Make sure consumer reviews are a top priority, and you’ll see a positive outcome with your business’s growth!

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