How Ratings and Reviews Can Impact Social Media Strategy

Social networks are an integral part of the buying journey. Creating a social media strategy that makes a meaningful impact on shoppers benefits brands and retailers in a multitude of ways. Given all of the people and brands that populate the internet, standing apart from the crowd online may seem impossible. With the help of ratings and reviews, adding the authenticity necessary to create a social media strategy that has a lasting effect on shoppers becomes a much more reasonable goal. Some of the ways ratings and reviews influence a social media strategy include:

They Bring Authenticity 
to Brand Messaging

Creating social media content that resonates with shoppers could be challenging if the only source of content comes directly from a brand. Since research shows that ratings and reviews are just as trusted among lots of shoppers as the recommendations of friends or family members, why not make an effort to include them in your social media strategy? By featuring star ratings or customer photos in social posts, retailers set themselves apart from competitors who may rely solely advertising messaging.  

Let’s say you’ve been on the look for a new laptop. You’ve been using social media to compare models and brands for a few days now, and recently you’ve come across the profile of a retailer who regularly shares the in-depth experiences of customers. After reading the reviews on the brand’s timeline about how great their products are from other customers, you eventually feel good enough to visit their website, browse their inventory, and pick out a new laptop. Often enough, social media serves as one of the best resources retailers have for earning the trust of new customers. Studies show, 71% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Sharing customer reviews on social media also has potential for increased opportunities for brands to learn more about where they stand with customers through social listening

They Create More Opportunities for Customer Engagement

By emphasizing customer feedback on social media channels, it becomes easier for brands to develop an idea of where they stand among both competitors and customers. Additionally, sharing ratings and reviews across social channels allows brands to speak to shoppers in the ways that resonate with them best. For example, since 96% of shoppers consider video reviews to be helpful when making an online purchase, brands benefit from leveraging those reviews across their social media networks. By cultivating a social media presence that prioritizes the voice of customers, brands help create conversations among their customers. Sticking with our example from earlier, let’s say you went ahead with buying a new laptop and you were thrilled with your purchase. After it arrived, and you got it all set up, your next step was to send a photo review along with details of your experience. 
 
A few days after you submitted your review, you happened to be scrolling through your timeline and to your surprise, you see that the brand shared your review on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. After liking and sharing your review from the brand’s social channels, you’re eager to provide more details about your experience with friends, family and other members of your own personal network. Aside from detailing the great experiences customers have with a brand, social media engagement could be a great way to mend a relationship with a customer after an underwhelming experience, too. Using social media as a resource to get customer relationships back on the right track after a bad experience can serve as a reason new customers choose one brand over another. 

They Provide an Opportunity to Make a Big First Impression

Given the high volume of social media users, making a strong impression on unfamiliar shoppers can be a challenge. With that in mind, brands have to think outside the box in order to gain attention. This is exactly where ratings and reviews from customers both happy, and unhappy come into play. When retailers display nothing but glowing reviews, trust actually decreases among shoppers. Negative reviews on the other hand, can have a reassuring effect on skeptical shoppers. Research reveals that 68% of shoppers find reviews more trustworthy when there’s a mix of both good and bad reviews. When brands engage with negative reviews in a solution-based manner, their odds of differentiating themselves from their competition increase dramatically. An overwhelming 89% of customers read responses to reviews, so retailers who engage with negative reviews have a pretty good chance of getting the attention of new shoppers. 

Imagine being a retailer and receiving a dreaded one-star review. Instead of ignoring it, you choose to engage with the shopper and get to the bottom of the issue which had to do with damages in the shipping process. After sending out a new shipment and providing a slight discount on the customer’s next order, they go out of their way to update their one-star review to a five-star review because of the incredible customer service they received. Sharing experiences like that or engaging with customers who leave less than flattering comments on social media helps brands show prospective shoppers they’re willing to go above and beyond to provide an experience that keeps customers coming back.  

Creating a social strategy that resonates with shoppers may be tough at first, but can be accomplished with the right partner. Curious about the resources available to retailers that help leverage customer experiences across social channels? Schedule a demo with an expert today to get the insight necessary to take your social strategy to the next level. 

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