Get more online and social media reviews

Online reviews are critical to the sales success of your business – large or small.

In fact, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source: Search Engine Journal), and personal recommendations are the number one driver of consumer purchase decisions at every state in the purchase cycle (Source: Forbes).

I hope you agree that this is enormously important.

For emphasis, allow me to rephrase this… For 72 percent of consumers, online reviews are the number one driver when making a purchase decision.

So, enough about that; let’s discuss how you can go about getting more online reviews from your consumers or clients to favourably influence consumer purchase decisions.

Ask for them

This is dead simple, but sometimes asking people for a review is all it will take. Maybe they would like to leave a review, but wouldn’t think of it on their own. Or, particularly if you own or work for a small business, maybe they don’t realize just how much an online review can help.

So go ahead and ask your consumers and clients to give you a review.

Seek them out, and republish them

Chances are high that people are talking about your business or brand on various online and social media channels already. Through naturally occurring discussions, people are probably leaving what amounts more or less to being a review.

Conduct some social listening and online investigative work to track these people down, find quotes, comments, or anything that resembles a review and ask those people for permission to republish them on your own digital and social media channels for prospective customers and clients to reference.

Reward consumers for them

Writing, filming or photographing a review takes your consumers and clients time and effort.

You can reward them for providing an online review by giving them something in return. Perhaps you could consider giving them a discount, cash back, an extra something or other, a free add-on, additional servicing, extended warranty, or anything that will reward them, or increase the value of your offerings, in exchange for their time and effort.

Inspire your consumers or clients

There are two ways to dramatically increase the likelihood that your consumers will provide an online review. First, you could dazzle them with the quality of your product, or blow them away with the impeccably high quality of your service. And second, you could really disappoint them.

Aim to please, and completely over-deliver on expectations and you’ll find that your consumers and clients will be more likely to sing your business’ praises online in reviews.


The statistics in support of online reviews are very compelling, and obviously any business owner or employee should pounce at the opportunity to positively influence purchase decisions.

If you’re not already, you should be taking online reviews seriously, and be working to find techniques, tools, tactics and strategies that are effective for your business to acquire them.

I know that online reviews can be nerve-wracking to some business owners and brands. What if they’re bad? What if the person reviewing your product isn’t in your target demo? What if nobody has anything positive to say?

Try to get over these fears if you have them. Focus your business on providing amazing service, or exceptional products, and your reviews should reflect that quality.

If you get the odd negative review, well, it’s really not the end of the world. Believe it or not, the occasional negative review can actually have a positive effect on your business.

How do you encourage your consumers/clients to create online reviews?

How do you mitigate the chances of receiving negative reviews?

If you do receive one, how do you deal with negative reviews?

As always, it would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. valuable post and very well written.

  2. […] Matthew Online reviews are critical to the sales success of your business – large or small. In fact, 72 […]

  3. […] Online reviews are critical to the sales success of your business – large or small. In fact, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source: Search Engine …  […]

  4. It is really amazing how powerful reviews can be. I know that I personally will actively seek out the ratings or reviews of a product on a website and it definitely impacts whether or not I will even consider purchasing the product.

    I read somewhere that 85% of people check the reviews before buying, and 77% use the reviews directly in their decision making process (sorry I can’t recall where those “stats” are from). And, what’s fascinating is that people are willing to trust the review of someone they know (or another online consumer that they don’t know) above all other forms of advertising!

    “Earned Media” (or word-of-mouth adveristing) really is a low-cost method of connecting to potential customers that businesses need to be employing. I aprreciated your suggestions as to how to get some of those reviews (just ask duh!).

    And, I agree that the odd “bad” review doesn’t necessarily detract from a brand- provided the issue is addressed in a timely and courteous manner. Having no bad reviews can equal a sanitization in my opinion that may not be true; everyone makes mistakes, its how we as the business owner handles the ‘fall out’ that is the most important.

    Thanks Matthew!

    • Hi Christine – Thanks very much for the comment. It sounds like we’re on the same page when it comes to reviews.

      As for negative reviews, I’m on board with you there as well. Too many positive reviews without anything resembling negativity and it looks like the admin on the page is just deleting anything negative. I believe it raises consumer skepticism about all of the positive reviews.

      Thanks again.


  5. Small business owners do have a much better way now to control their reviews and get more positive reviews. Right now my company is offering new small business owners the opportunity to market like the major corporations like best buy and walmart. You can log into your back office create table tents a text number or a qr code asking your customers to leave a review and receive 10% off of their next purchase. They always do. If they leave anything which you as the business owner may not like like 3 stars and below you can have it bounce back to the managers email so he can safely address it with the customer and hopefully get a positive response. If it is 4 or 5 star then it’s good the manager will get an alert and it will post automatically each review to each website at once every time to google yelp yahoo or foursquare and others that the business is linked to. This way you can control your reputation and gain popularity. This is the new trend. If you know a small business please feel free to share this.

    • Thanks for sharing Tony. It sounds like an interesting business, and I particularly like the mobile integration.

      Out of curiosity, what is the difference in response rates between text numbers and QR codes? In my experience, QR codes have performed quite poorly because of the relatively low adoption of QR code readers, but I’d be interested to know what your experience indicates.

      Thanks again.


  6. […] hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving […]

  7. […] hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving sales. 86 percent of users are more likely to visit a […]


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