When I was young, I used to dream of someday winning an Oscar. I used to practice my acceptance speech, even making myself cry to show more shock and gratitude. I wanted my speech to be profound and the kind of speech that people would talk about for years. This would be followed by a record breaking standing ovation from all of my peers. An old proverb says, “ The more things change, the more they stay the same”. While my Oscar days are far behind me, I still enjoy praises. These days instead of applause for a role I played, I do enjoy seeing the success my clients have received by something I may have had a hand in.
But what does this have to do with advertising? Everyone likes to have positive things said about them. So does your business. Positive reviews and referrals can be the lifeline of a successful campaign. You always want to find that your customer had a positive experience with your company. One of the easiest ways to get reviews and referrals is just to ask. People like to share positive experiences they have had. But how important is this really to your business? Here are three examples from Studio98 that show the importance:
- It Makes your Business Look Trustworthy-often people will choose whether or not to do business with a company after reading reviews online. Google is more likely to notice businesses with higher reviews.
- It’s Easier to Find Your Business-People use Google all the time. The higher you get on Google search results, the more likely people are to visit your website. With quality reviews driving your business search ranking up with Google, this organic SEO will help move your business up to the top.
- It Can Showcase Your Commitment to Your Customers- Even though negative reviews don’t look great, this is a wonderful opportunity to prove that your company is willing to learn from its mistakes. When a bad review rolls through your website, this gives you the chance to rectify a bad situation. Address your customer complaints and explain how your company will improve and apologize for the experience your customer had with your company.
Utilizing Social Media is another way to not only boost your relevance with Google (which helps move you up to the top of searches). Back in the day of MySpace, social media was mostly just a way to post awesome music with your pictures and make fun collages to share with your friends. Now we have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more popping up all of the time. All of these are valuable tools to help boost your company’s presence in the eyes of Google. While they are still used for social, as the name implies, they can also be used in strategic ways for your company.
It used to be enough to get people to “Like” a post on your social media site. Now it is much more important to get people to engage on one of your posts. If you have performed a service to a client, post pictures (with their permission, of course!) of a job you have completed for them. Tag them and ask them to “share” on their social media pages. This is the same as a referral. Do you remember the old Fabergé Organic commercials where, “I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on...”? Social media can work in the same way. Friends look to friends for recommendations and referrals. You can also have clients post reviews on your social media sites. Again, the more activity Google sees, the more relevant you become with helps with your placement with Google search.
But just like I never won the Best Actress Award, your business may not always receive the positive reviews you would like. Then what do you do? You can’t just be happy to be nominated! Getting a bad review from someone doesn’t mean that your service or product is bad. Most likely, the customer had mismatched expectations of what they were expecting. But you can use bad reviews to your advantage.
- Showing bad reviews can make good reviews look even better. Of course a business is going to post good reviews, but when you show the good and the bad, it shows you have nothing to hide. It shows that all your reviews are real. If the feedback is entirely positive, 95 percent believe the reviews are fake or company-screened.
- Disappointment happens when expectations aren’t fulfilled. Brands can use the data collected from negative reviews to better communicate to customers what they should expect. If someone sees a negative review, they will be more likely to understand what to expect making their experience more realistic.
- Always respond to negative reviews publicly. Trying to handle it by email or phone call is always good but by letting other potential clients see how you addressed the issue, builds credibility that you cared enough to try to rectify the situation.
- Above all, don’t freak out! Take a few minutes to truly read what the review said. No one likes it when someone tells you your baby is ugly. Try to see it from the client’s point of view. Was there something you could have done better? Were you short handed on the day they came in and so it could have appeared that you weren’t as attentive as you could have been? Try not to discredit what the person said and get into a battle. Acknowledge, apologize, move on.
We all want to be the best. We all want to be number one. But since this started with my dream of an Oscar, let’s look at some nominated greats who weren’t always number one.
Glenn Close-7 nominations, 0 wins
Richard Burton-7 nominations, 0 wins
Kate Winslet-7 nominations, 1 win
Dustin Hoffman- 7 nominations, 2 wins
Al Pacino-9 nominations, 1 win
Paul Newman, 10 nominations, 1 win (1 honorary win)
Jack Nicholson-12 nominations, 3 wins
And then there is Meryl Streep 21 nominations, 3 wins.
As the winners at last night’s 92nd Academy Awards show gave their speeches, I’m sure there were a lot of disappointed people in the audience. The speeches from the winners were all heart felt and probably well-rehearsed just in case they won. Some thanked cast and crew, the director, parents and spouses. One of the best lines in his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor was from Brad Pitt to his co-star and nominated for Best Actor (but did not win) Leonardo DiCaprio,” Leo, I’d ride on your coattails any day. The view is fantastic”. For the record, Brad Pitt has had 7 nominations and 2 wins. Leonardo DiCaprio has had 6 nominations and 1 win. I’d say they are pretty evenly matched.
As I watched the awards last night, I wasn’t wearing an amazing gown, designed especially for me by a notable designer. I was wearing my sweats, comfortable and snuggled up in my favorite chair. While I have not practiced an acceptance speech in years, I have to admit that I do think about what exactly I would say, who I would thank and what amazing thought I would leave everyone with. And of course, just where I would place Oscar once I got him home!