If there is one thing that can be inferred from the rise of social media and the digital age, it is that this is the era of review. The rise of the review culture is most prevalent among small businesses. While we often hear about the importance of things such as a strong social media presence, we often miss the importance of customer reviews. In fact, it has made its place in the creation and execution of business marketing plans.
Importance of Online Reviews
Social media has given everyone a voice to give their opinion on nearly any topic, product, or service. Gone are the days that product reps are the only source of information for the goods they are selling. Most consumers now base their buying decision on the feedback of other people and experts.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, more and more consumers are turning to online reviews as their primary source of information about products or services these days. This means that your future customers now have a broader source of feedback about your products. A similar study conducted by the SEO company Moz found that 67% of consumers believe that online reviews have a significant effect on their buying decisions.
As a growing or established business, you can use this information to your advantage. By leveraging online customer reviews and other marketing strategies such as SEO you can easily increase your sales online. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is when you structure your website’s content so that it is more easily found on search engines such a Google and Yahoo. By applying the principles of SEO, your content will be located higher in search results pages when customers search for specific products or topics. This will help increase your visibility and reputation amongst your market.
These Numbers Should Mean Something to You
As a small business currently in the process of scaling our own firm, we have seen how these online reviews can affect the growth potential of a company. In some cases, there have been significant benefits associated with positive online reviews. However, there are also cases where online reviews have affected companies, so adversely, they had to shut down. For a small business like yours, the effects of these online reviews can be life or death. It is often easier for small business owners who sell merchandise to visualize this concept, but it truly affects all businesses including service-based firms.
Let’s take a moment to visualize how this can affect service-based firms as well. For example, you need an accountant for your small business so you go to Google find one. You would most likely type in a keyword phrase like Atlanta small business CPA, and a list of CPA firms will appear. Most people will want to have an internal feeling that you can be trusted before placing a call. So they will review your Google/Yelp reviews before calling. During this review process, people are making sure that these reviews feel authentic. The mass majority of people will make their ultimate decision to call your firm based on your positive review ratio.
The Financial Impact
The main reason the rise of review culture should concern you as a small business owner is that they matter to your clients - and they matter a lot. You can work with your clients and customers to make online reviews work in your favor. The easiest way to do this is to make leaving a review or feedback as easy as possible. In many cases, simply adding a review portal on your website and social media channels can go a long way to increase your online reviews and presence. Be sure to ask new and old customers to leave a review at major websites in your area of industry to enhance this effect.
Here at Fusion CPA, our team small business accountants are trained to provide reliable small business accounting services. Our team of knowledgeable small business financial advisers can help you monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaigns and help you identify the impact your reviews have on your business' growth. If you want to learn more about how we can help your company grow, call us now!
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