Рассказать друзьям. Рекомендации и отзывы как PR-инструмент

Tell Friends. Recommendations and Reviews as a PR Tool

Depending on the tasks, your PR agency will use different promotion tools. One of them is ORM (online reputation management), the most important part of which is getting the feedback from those who have already dealt with your product or service.

How do your former and current clients feel about you? It's not an idle question. It is them that can greatly influence the overall perception of your brand and its reputation by leaving reviews on the Internet. It is fine if the customers are happy and write kind words about you, it is worse if the opposite is true. 

There are different ways to find out what reviews your customers leave about you. For example, you can track it on marketplaces and online stores, or enter the brand name in the search bar of a reviewer site. 

What are the roots of positive?

Loyal customers are the gold fund of any company. Not only do they come back for a repeat purchase themselves, but they can also bring new consumers to you. However, there is one caveat – people leave negative reviews willingly and independently, while making a satisfied buyer leave a mark in the online space, sometimes takes effort. 

One way to get positive feedback is to ask for it directly. For example, small businesses often offer customers to leave a review on social networks or online directories, and in return give a discount on the next visit or provide free services. This is more effective if the client has not yet left your organization. For example, a customer is still sitting in your cafe or beauty salon and at the end you offer them a dessert from the chef with you or a paraffin bath for his hands, if the customer writes a review about visiting your company at the moment. 

Another way is to run a marathon of writing reviews about you on social networks. Each participant gets a bonus, and the winner (for example, for the most creative review) gets a good prize.

If you provide B2B services

For B2B, it is also suitable to collect letters of recommendation or written reviews manually, but for obvious reasons, it should be done post factum. After providing a service or completing a project, call, write and ask for feedback. If the client is satisfied, they are likely to agree.

The positive feedback received is good to use as UGC content on your website and on social networks. Save them in your Instagram highlights, and promote them through the advertising cabinet of other social networks. Let as many people as possible see positive examples of contacting your company.

What to do with the negative?

With the negative, the situation is reversed. People write it in order to get rid of emotional stress and spread it with relief wherever they can. This can be a post on your personal Facebook with a mention of your business by atting you or via a hashtag, a detailed opus on irecommend or another reviewer, a comment (or even a dozen of them) under your posts on social networks, and even an appeal to the media.

In all cases, your task is to learn about the negative as quickly as possible. By the way, one of the objectives of running corporate social networks, is to become a platform for negativity. Believe me, it is much more profitable to get an angry comment on your page than to search for it all over the network or learn about it from the TV. 

Having reading a negative review, you should respond to it promptly. If the question is difficult, thank for the signal and promise to resolve the situation. If the text contains more emotions than facts, ask them to clarify what happened and when. In the second case, it may be a fake (a competitors attack). Then the complainer bot usually does not respond to the specification request.

We should also mention the reviewer sites. It is unscrupulous competitors that often leave negative reviews there. Here you need to act in two directions: to work out the existing negative according to the scheme "specifics-offer a solution" and to make the good reviews prevail over the bad ones. If the user does not respond to your request to specify the problem for some time, you have the right to contact the resource administration and ask them to delete the false review.

If an information attack on your business is out of control, you should turn to anti-crisis PR tools. 

To summarize: positive reviews are necessary in themselves (to attract new customers) and are absolutely essential when working with the negative. The more you manage to generate content of a recommendatory nature, the better you work out the negative feedback, the more likely it is that typing in the search bar “BRAND NAME-REVIEWS" the user will see positive content. 

Natalia Anisimova
project manager, PR Formula
PR for foreign brands in Russia