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Build Online Reviews and Reputation, Instead of Just Social Media Likes and Followers

Here are some cool facts about social media. Each day, there are:

  • 75 billion items of content posted on Facebook
  • 400 million tweets sent on Twitter
  • 2 billion liked photos on Instagram
  • 4 billion videos watched on YouTube 

These numbers are astounding. It’s seriously crazy how so many people spend so much time on social media sites – liking their friends’ statuses, tweeting their favorite celebrities, catching up with college friends, watching cute cat videos, and sending hearts all over Instagram.

For businesses and marketers, it’s only natural to want to be in the same space as these consumers, and to invest significantly in social media marketing efforts. Your organization probably already has a full-time employee dedicated to growing your social media presence – from Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to Instagram, YouTube, and Google+.

Here’s another astounding number: U.S. companies are projected to spend close to $15 billion on social media advertising by the year 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Simply put: a lot of time and a lot of money are being invested by companies to build, maintain, and fine-tune their social media presence.

But before you spend all your marketing dollars on Facebook or Twitter, here’s something your organization might want to consider carefully: social media is probably not the game-changing marketing force many think it is.

According to a recent Gallup report entitled “The Myth of Social Media,” a majority of consumers say they do not engage with and are not influenced by brands on Facebook, Twitter, and similar channels. 94 percent say that they are on social media sites to connect with family and friends, while 62 percent say that social media had no influence at all on their purchase decisions.

Check out these graphs accompanying the report:

manage online reviews

A passage from the report reads, “(Consumers) are far less interested in learning about companies and/or their products, which implies that many companies have social media strategies in place that may be largely misdirected.”

We’re not saying you should delete your local business page on Facebook or stop checking people’s @mentions and DMs. By all means, continue to take control of your social media presence and engage with potential and existing customers. A strong social media strategy can also improve your performance on search engines and give you more control over what’s being said and found about your business online.

Given all that, we encourage you to focus on your online reviews, too. Tune in to what customers are saying on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+ Local, and Citysearch (among others). And instead of focusing exclusively on increasing your likes, hearts and followers, try attracting more feedback and generating more reviews, too.

Why? Frankly, reviews matter more than likes and followers, and reviews make an impact on your organization’s bottom line that’s far greater than social media signals can.

Check out these numbers:

  • A study by ShareThis and Paley Center for Media shows that a strong positive review can sway a consumer to pay nearly 9 percent more for a product or service. Contrast this with Gallup’s report, where only 5 percent of consumers think that social media exerts a great deal of influence on their purchase decisions. In short, better reviews – not more likes – give you greater influence and pricing flexibility.
  • Research by Forrester also reinforces how reviews can trump social media. According to the firm, content found in consumer-written online reviews (46 percent) ranks ahead of posts by companies or brands on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (15 percent) in terms of trustworthiness.
  • A 2013 About.com study called “The Trust Factor” also supports the idea that, for consumers, reviews have much more trustworthiness and swaying power than do social signals. In the study, 50 percent of respondents agree that reviews (positive and negative) are the best peer-to-peer contribution to trust. In fact, reviews inspire trust twice as much as general social networking “likes,” and 74 percent say that they’re not sure anyway what “likes” really mean.
  • One of the top 5 ranking factors in local search results is online reviews. According to a Moz report, reviews rank ahead of social signals like Facebook likes and Twitter followers when it comes to determining where a local business appears in search results.

It’s certainly helpful to continue implementing your social media strategy. But balance your efforts by keeping an eye on online review sites, too. If you have any questions about how to more effectively manage online reviews and build your business reputation, give us a call and our friendly team will show you how to get started. You can also request a demo of ReviewTrackers and enjoy exclusive access to our award-winning reputation software platform.

(Image credit: Gallup)

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

Discussion

  1. Jeff L

    Yes, I’ve experienced this too. If you’re just trying to get your name out there Facebook is wonderful. But if you’re actually trying to drive sales with it, you’ll probably be disappointed.

    Reply
  2. Vince

    Yes, like the infographic says the majority of people on social media are just there to connect with people they already know.

    Reply
  3. Gayle

    I cannot agree more!
    As you said, social websites are not that good for advertising since majority of people use them just for fun and to keep in touch with friends or relatives.Likes and favorites won’t get you money, but a good review is likely to do so.

    Reply
  4. Susan Armand

    You have a point here.
    Facebook, Twitter and similar websites are good, but for a real results, you should use sites that are made just for business advertising.

    Reply
  5. E. Langdon

    Keep in mind that Facebook page of your businesses isn’t helping you on Google search engine. If your website is not on the first page of Google there is little chance that people will click on your link.

    Reply
  6. Annie

    I am not sure about the FB marketing at all. Even if there are millions of likes and dislikes, how many of you clicked on the like button of some business that you actually have used? Not a lot. FB is a platform for fun, games and friendship, not for business. There are plenty review sites where you can marketing your business, but FB is not one of them.

    Reply
  7. Gabby Dell from SC

    I’m not sure I agree to you all. It really depends what your business is. For example, a friend of mine has a beauty salon and she often posts on Facebook pictures of hairdos she does, painted nails and cosmetic products and her business is booming like crazy. It’s like she’s the only one in town 🙂 So, it really depends what you do. I don’t expect people would visit the local plumber’s Facebook page so often. No offense to local plumbers, of course 🙂

    Reply

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