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Improve Your Review Strategy With 4 Easy Steps


Eighty-eight percent of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Similarly, 95 percent of consumers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions. In the world of digital marketing, reviews can make or break your multi-location business. 


We’ll dive into four tactics that can be used to create an impactful review strategy that will help your multi-location business dominate the competition. 



1. Claim and Optimize Local Listings Across Business Locations 



  • Ensure that all of your local listings are claimed and optimized across business locations and platforms – Facebook, GMB, and Yelp are key. 
  • Ensure the information found on the listings is updated and accurate. 


Take note from our 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) leaders – the top ten brands in localized search claimed and optimized their local profiles to a near 100 percent completion. And the top 10 overall brands in localized marketing were found to grow their revenue 3x compared to their peers.



For more tips on keeping your local listings updated and accurate, read our blog on the topic. 


2. Grow Your Reviews Per Location 


One of the best ways to boost your local search efforts and improve your review strategy is to grow the number of reviews your business receives per location. Data from our 2021 LMBR found that on average, multi-location companies have: 

  • 303 reviews per location on GMB 
  • 65 reviews per location on Facebook 
  • 30 reviews per location on Yelp 


There are a few ways your multi-location business can increase your review volume without directly asking or soliciting for reviews, which depending on the site is a huge no-no. How can you do this?

  • Include links to your review sites on your website
  • Print CTAs at the bottom of receipts
  • Highlight customer testimonials on your local social channels and ask others to share their experiences.

There are ways to gain more authentic reviews without directly asking for them. You have to get creative! Once you increase the volume of reviews your business is receiving per location, it’s time to start thinking about how you will respond to them.



3. Increase Your Percent of Reviews Responded to 


Your business would respond to 100 percent of the reviews it received in an ideal world, but we know this is not always feasible. Marketers are always overwhelmed with all that they have to do – so how much of your efforts should be dedicated to review response, and what percentage of reviews should your business aim to respond to? Once again, the 2021 LMBR provides guidance. Data from the report found that, on average, multi-location companies were responding to:

  • 31 percent of the reviews they received on GMB
  • 26 percent on Facebook
  • 13 percent of reviews on Yelp.


While these numbers seem low, they are the current reality. At a minimum, your multi-location business should be meeting these averages. 



Google considers your reviews when determining where to rank your business in search results. If your multi-location business can increase the percent of reviews you’re responding to, the higher your business should rank on Google. You can provide your business locations with tips and tricks for responding to reviews to help them feel more confident responding to reviews locally. 


4. Respond to Reviews More Efficiently 


Are you currently waiting weeks to respond to local reviews? Which reviews are you responding to first? These are things to keep in mind when developing a review response strategy. By responding to reviews promptly, you’ll send the message to customers that you care about their opinions and what they have to say. Similarly, you’ll show Google that you’re engaged with your reviews, helping improve your business’s online visibility.


So just how quickly should you be responding to local reviews? Again, data from the 2021 LMBR guides us. The report found that, on average, multi-location businesses take:

  • 39 days to respond to a review on GMB
  • 92 days to respond to a review on Facebook
  • 81 days on Yelp


These numbers are high, but leaders in localized marketing were found to react at a much faster rate. Your business should strive to respond to local reviews as quickly as possible and prioritize the negative reviews first. When responding to negative reviews, it’s essential to:

  • Be direct. Address the problem or complaint the consumer left and try to take the conversation online.
  • Personalization is vital. Ensure you use the person’s name in your response and include context that clarifies that someone from your business read the review. 
  • Be prompt. When a consumer leaves a negative review, they often expect a response within 24 hours.


Now that you know what you need to improve your review strategy, it’s time to get started! With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, it can be challenging to keep up with a review strategy. That’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software is built specifically for multi-location businesses. SOCi:

  • Supports all prominent reputation and review networks.
  • Notifies local, regional, and corporate teams which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect.
  • Save time when responding to your review with SOCi’s Smart Responses. SOCi Smart Response uses machine learning to auto-suggest more relevant and personalized responses for your reviews and social engagements. 



What are you waiting for? It’s time to take your review strategy to the next level and win more sales. For more information on how SOCi can help support your local review strategy and other aspects of your localized marketing efforts, request a demo today!


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