Social Proof and Your Bottom Line

Businesses have long recognized that listening and responding to customer feedback earns them loyalty & higher satisfaction ratings, yet many still lack an effective work flow for responding to online reviews.

The 21st Century Comment Card

Today’s modern day comment card is an ocean of opinions expressed online. Remarks, images and videos crest in places like Facebook, TripAdvisor and YouTube, declaring to the world your value and performance. Yet no matter the reason a business fails to listen and respond to the conversations taking place online about their brand, social proof has arrived. Like a solid dose of rocket fuel on your bottom line, consumer opinions are sending your rankings either up or down.

Social Proof – The Engine of Social Media

Social proof describes the idea that we look to others to guide our own actions. Your customers have been investigating your reputation online for some time now, but recently things have ramped up. Companies today are partnering with Facebook in greater numbers to create a more personalized, smarter web experience. Here are two examTripples:

  1. Trip Friends: Imagine instant travel advice from your friends. That’s what Trip Friends is, a new feature from TripAdvisor that taps into your Facebook connections to give you a personalized recommendation system for hotels.
  2. Yelp: Yelp lets users logged in to Yelp or Facebook fan a business by pressing a like button. When you click the “Like” button for a business, it instantly appears on your Facebook profile and gives a link back to Yelp’s published reviews.

Consider Today’s Perfectly Planned Trip

A prospective guest sees a 3-star rated hotel online and is unsure whether to book. But at that moment s/he also sees that several of their friends have “liked” this hotel, and another one wrote a favorable review of the property. So they book a room and end up having a 4 star experience. Later they write a glowing review that is shared with the world, and their hotel rank inches higher.

No doubt your business has experienced the opposite impact of social proof: losing business based on unfavorable reviews. It’s nearly impossible to track these instances. And, what we can’t measure, often gets ignored. Don’t make this mistake. Not responding to comments is the quickest way to see your online reputation deteriorate.

The Customer Experience Begins Online

Despite the debate on how social media diminishes our privacy, consumers are online in greater numbers everyday saying what they think about your business. Showing a track record of responsiveness is a relationship-building endeavor that will attract more customers and positively shape your online reputation.

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