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What do customers look for in a review?

Today, many business owners know that online reviews are the bread and butter of their online reputation. In fact, many customers rely on reviews as a primary signal of whether they should choose to do business with a particular company. Let’s explore the signs of trustworthiness that potential customers are looking for when reading your reviews, as knowing how to build your online reputation is essential to capturing more market share.   Here’s a brief rundown of the many factors that customers look for when choosing with whom they’d like to do business. Consistency / Number of Reviews: As a business owner you want to have a continual stream of reviews coming into your main platforms (see our review website list) regardless of whether that’s Google, Facebook, or an industry specific review platform. Although business owners can’t dictate (for the most part) where customers post, or how often, the key here is to receive consistent reviews for at least 1-2 platforms. Note that reviews older than 3 months are generally ignored by prospective consumers as they do not consider it to hold much relevant value. Style of Response: Whether the 5-star, the 3-star, or the dreaded 1-star review, your responses as an owner are very important and highly valuable to consumers. The way you reply matters! Have a humanized approach to all your review responses, but likewise don’t pat yourself on the back too much or you’ll seem self-aggrandizing. Also, and we can’t emphasize this enough, never use generic responses or templated responses for any type of review. Another thing to keep in mind is that as difficult as it may seem, when responding to 1-star reviews, do not get defensive, you can always take the complaint resolution offline if it can’t be directly resolved. Most certainly dissatisfied customers just want to be heard, so pick up the phone or email them before attempting to respond to their online complaint (if this is an option). Your responses prove to the customer that no matter what happens, you as a business care and are trying to deliver quality products/services. Finally, be sure to reply to all reviews, by doing so it shows that you as a business are engaged, transparent, and care about feedback.  Photos: Most platforms including Google, Facebook, and Trip Advisor to name a few, will allow customers to upload photos. Photos are a great way for any business, no matter the size or industry, to give a customer a “behind the scenes” look into the business. Whether a dentist, hair salon, HVAC provider, or a hotel, it’s an amazing feature to use in highlighting aspects of your business. Not all customers will upload photos, so don’t rely on them to add this value to your online presence. In general, those who upload photos tend to be local Google guides, Trip Advisor travel fans, or are regular general reviewers. That said, don’t expect uploads, but likewise do not be shocked if you see photos appear online from reviewers. The visual nature of photos gets extremely high amounts of viewership, especially on Google maps, so get those pictures out there. Ratings: This one is very obvious; it is a no-brainer that your “rating” matters to your overall reputation. Typically, a 5.0 overall rating is very difficult to both achieve and maintain. In fact, most businesses that have legendary customer service, impeccably looking after their clients, will hover at ratings between 4.7-4.9. A rating of 4.6 or below is no longer considered to be an exceptional rating, but that doesn’t always mean it is a bad score. A best practice is to check your local competitors and compare their ratings as an indicator of the rating for which you are striving. In general, as a business owner, you may also think that you have no control over reviews, and while that is generally true in large industries, local small to medium size business owners actually have a lot of ability to impact the level of service, thereby likewise impacting the reviews that are ultimately provided. Number of Reviews: As the saying goes “the more the merrier,” is reflective of consumer’s penchant for more favourably considering doing business with a company that has more reviews, specifically great reviews (4.7-4.9) and good business responses. Businesses that have under 100 reviews with little to no business engagement are generally not viewed with favour. Because reviews are extremely important, use our beginner’s guide (link goes here) if you need support in growing your online reputation. Who is the reviewer: Believe it or not, consumers now look at the actual reviewer. With Google local guides, Trip Advisor, and many other platforms providing the ability to list details on the reviewers, people are taking the time to engage with these profiles and trust particular reviewers. What are they looking for in trusted reviewers? Customers look at the number of reviews that they have left, the type of reviews they leave, and how many reviews they have written versus simply just rating without feedback. If a consumer sees a reviewer who only leaves negative reviews, then this account will likely be discredited as a valuable source of opinion. Balanced online feedback is seen as more credible. Also, always remember that along with reviews, consumers will check your social media profiles to see if you’ve kept it updated (same goes for your website). On average, consumers check 3 to 10 sources for business information before settling on a company with which to buy a service or a product. With so many avenues in which to provide accurate input for customers, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to effectively handling online reputation management.

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Optimizing Your Instagram Bio

If you want to make the most of your Instagram account, you need to make sure you are optimizing your Instagram bio. You should look at your Instagram account as being your website homepage, portfolio, and business card all rolled into one. First impressions need to be made quickly, the bio on your Insta account is one of the best ways to transform visitors to your page into followers.  Knowing that you should optimize your bio is easier than actually doing it.  We are here to help.  We will outline some easy and effective tips for creating and managing an Insta bio that does the hard work for you.  Attract Your Target Audience  Rather than going on about everything and anything, the best Instagram bio will explain who you are and what you are all about in just a few simple and concise sentences.  When your bio is finely tuned, you will have an easier way to draw in your target audience in. If you explain all they need to know and they like it, visitors are more likely to follow you.  Another way of optimizing your bio to attract your target audience, is to copy your bio to show how you inspire and help your community.  This makes it less about you and more about them.  See your Insta bio as a 150 pitch. You want to show your personality, while also making your brand stand out from the sea of rivals and speak directly to your audience.  Share your Branded Hashtag in the Bio and Tag Accounts that Are Related To Yours  Back in 2018, the programmers at Instagram made a very useful update to the social media platform. Hashtags and profile names on the bio became clickable links.  But why is it so great? It allows you to market and promotes any sister brands you have, draws attention to the founder of your company’s Instagram account, and drives traffic to your brands hashtags.  Utilize the Name Field Effectively by Sharing Top Target Keywords  Even if you were already familiar with the above, you may not be aware that the Instagram bio name field is separate to the username. This is valuable and often overlooked from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) feature.  It allows you to tailor your Insta bio to reach out to your target audience when they search the platform.  Another great way to use the name field is by using your top targeted keywords in place of a username as it helps you and your brand or company to become more easily discoverable by your target audience.  Add a call to action as the Link in Your Bio  You are only allowed one link on your Insta bio.  Take the opportunity to use the very last line in your bio to explain why visitors should click that link. Think carefully about this Call to Action.  For instance, if you are pushing a limited-time offer, new resource, or promo, make your profile visitors are aware of this.  Want to draw more people to your bio? Don’t fear the use of emojis, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. They are a great communication tool on Insta that gives it some personality and makes the link stand out more.  Make Use of Highlights From Your Instagram Stories in Your Bio  Just below your Instagram Bio is where your Instagram Stories are displayed, and these will play when a visitor or follower clicks on them.  One of the best ways to get the most use out of your stories is to treat them like a trailer for your Instagram feed. You can share lots of valuable information about your company or brand.  You can put the spotlight on your community, and even show them your winning personality.  Rather than just rehashing what you have already said in your Bio, use the opportunity to share extra information that is likely to give your visitors and followers more insight into you and your brand.  Pick Out the Best Instagram Profile Pic  When you click on someone’s Instagram profile, what is the first thing you see? What about it drew you to it in the first place? More than likely, it was the picture. Instagram is all about images, after all. If you have a business, you should consider utilizing your logo as the profile pic as an effective way of strengthening brand recognition.  If you are an influencer or entrepreneur and you are your brand, a classy headshot always works well. 

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