Every reputation management strategy must include a plan to mitigate the effect of negative reviews, but it’s the positive reviews that can fuel business growth.
Businesses that prioritize earning and leveraging positive reviews can develop a competitive advantage in the form of user-generated content (UGC). By sharing UGC — which includes reviews, comments, pictures, and posts — on social media, businesses can amplify the impact of every satisfied customer.
Below, social media and reputation management experts from SOCi explain how and why business owners should use reputation management to turn UGC into a powerful, cost-efficient marketing tool.
Strengthen your social strategy with UGC
While organic social content costs nothing to post, it does cost businesses in time and hours spent creating quality content. Business owners often enlist the services of copywriters and graphic designers to develop professional organic content, and while that approach does come with costs, there is a return on investment; 74 percent of consumers say their purchase decisions are influenced by posts from companies they follow on social media.
Despite Facebook changing its algorithm and reducing organic reach, consumers are still influenced by business’ organic posts. With organic social still being a necessary and effective component of digital marketing, businesses must find ways to execute organic social efficiently. Enter, UGC.
It doesn’t take much time or effort to incorporate UGC by reposting a positive review or by congratulating an employee who earned a 5-star review. By adding the easy-to-use UGC to an organic social strategy, businesses can take advantage of the fact that 84 percent of millennial consumers say UGC influences their purchase decisions.
Use all the tools that Google My Business provides
Consumers love going local, and major review platforms are catching on to the localized marketing trend. Google My Business (GMB) is a platform that has doubled down on localized features, which is part of the reason why it’s now the No. 1 ratings and review site in terms of total review volume.
GMB represents the earliest stage of the consumer journey — when consumers first seek details about a local business by searching for it on Google. This stage represents the perfect opportunity for brands to reach consumers through engaging, shareable, localized social content. With Google Posts and Google Q&A, GMB gives marketers the ability to do just that.
Google Posts are business-generated content updates that promote a business’s announcement, offer, event, or new products. These posts appear on in the business’ Knowledge Panel in general search results, on the business’s Google My Business Page, and in Google Maps results. GMB also has a consumer-facing, crowd-sourced FAQ feature called Google Q&A, where consumers can ask questions and the businesses can answer. The questions and responses show up directly on the business’s GMB page and in Google, and Google Maps search results.
GMB is an essential component of any reputation management strategy, but it also offers tools that should be leveraged for organic content.
Place priority on localized marketing
Localized marketing refers to the practice of building a business’ local digital presence. Businesses do this by leveraging locally-driven communication channels to reach the specific local communities it serves (rather than a broad/national approach). Turning local reviews into local social content is one of the most effective ways to leverage localized marketing.
This strategy can boost the bottom line, too; research shows that franchise brands that excel in localized social marketing experience revenue growth at 3x the rate of their peers.
Businesses can use a localized approach when leveraging reviews and ratings as part of a social content strategy. Here are a few examples:
- Post local review on Facebook Local Pages, where 72 percent of all brand engagement is happening on the social network.
- Pre-populate Google Q&A questions and answers in Google’s Knowledge Panels.
- Create posts highlighting local team members who earned positive reviews, or shine a light on local customers who left a glowing review.
Reputation management and social media marketing are two sides of the same coin. One cannot be successful without the other, and neither can be successful without a plan and a way to measure results.
When measuring the success of combined social media and reputation management efforts, the metrics expand beyond engagement to include tracking how well a business is listening and responding. To track the success of using reputation management as part of a content strategy, businesses should track:
- Brand mentions
- Positive sentiment
- Response time
More localized user-generated content should lead to more high-value engagements such as comments, shares, and direct messages. Reputation management and social media can work hand-in-hand in this way, helping to build a consistent brand presence across leading social media and review platforms alike.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Starr is a senior marketing professional with the innate ability to truly maximize the ROI of a company’s marketing efforts. Olivia has experience supplying the strategic marketing vision for how a company needs to communicate its brand – both written and visually. As the senior content marketing manager for SOCi, Olivia has developed and grown the department to help position SOCi as a leader in social media and reputation management for multi-location businesses, but also further the category and conversation surrounding localized social marketing.