There is most likely a “hidden” social media tool that you have been ignoring for your own business needs that could almost instantly catapult sales, give you instant and invaluable amounts of credibility, and provide you untold amounts of feedback that you could use to further improve your services or products – completely free of charge. It’s something that you’ve probably used every single day (and very likely something you use every single time before you make a purchase online or otherwise) and it’s not Twitter or Facebook. This single social media tool has been described by Amazon creator and CEO Jeff Bezos as being the single biggest reason for Amazon’s incredibly fast and stable rise to the top of the online retail market. Still stumped? Here it is…
Customer based reviews.
Maybe one of the least known tools and technologies but even still a staple of the social web as we know it today, nothing has had a bigger impact on the adoption of the internet as a commerce vehicle than customer based reviews. One of the most important aspects of any site selling anything, the easier you can make it for your customers to leave more and more honest reviews for your products the faster you’ll be able to not only establish trust with your marketplace, but you’ll also gain “x-ray vision” for seeing your product through the user’s eyes to create and iterate the perfect solution.
While a lot of businesses tend to focus on sending email, Twitter, or Facebook blasts to gigantic lists of people that don’t want to be marketed to and will ignore the messages, smart businesses are using the social media aspects of the web to build interactions with their customers through reviews. Remember, social media is a tool for easier communication, and while it can be corrupted to pump meaningless marketing messages to millions of people with just a single click, it can also be used as a direct hotline into how your market feels, what they are talking about, what they are willing to spend money on, and how they feel about you as a business. This is invaluable information that cannot be garnered anywhere else – and is the kind of insider information that can make or break a business.
As business owners and content producers we are almost always too close to our work to see the flaws, and reviews are a fantastic way to leverage the instant and always on capabilities of social media to not only find the cracks in our service or products, but also encourage the sharing of what we have to offer with other people. When we say something about our product it’s bragging, but when others are saying the exact same things it’s taken as the truth. Any good social media campaign or development should have customer based reviews as one of the top priority, and it will serve both you and your customers with mission critical information.