Here's the transcript of the webinar:
Mari Smith: Hello, it's Mari Smith here, premier Facebook marketing expert. I'm delighted to team up with my friends at Podium to bring you this short educational webinar. I've got some slides prepared here so let's dive in. Local businesses, here is why your Facebook reviews matter. So, reviews on Facebook are actually growing. More people are leaving reviews on Facebook and of all the review sites including Google and Yelp, Facebook reviewers are leaving the most positive. Facebook has algorithms, as I'm sure you know, that helps to bring content up to the top. So, if someone's searching for your local business a major factor in the algorithm is your reviews, the number of your reviews and the positivity, the rating.
Mari Smith: To attract more local business it's really, really important for you to pay attention to your reviews. Now then, just to be clear Facebook actually recently changed the reviews. You might have noticed that. It's no longer a star system. It's not a one to five star system. It's a simple yes, no. They've made it even easier. Do you recommend this business, yes, no? And whether they say yes or no, they can also put in a little blurb. And you want to really, really encourage your audience to do that, your customers, people who have had a good experience with you of course.
Mari Smith: So, let's look at a few examples. Let's say on Facebook I want to find a furniture store near me. Let's do that. I'll hop over to Facebook. I'll type in furniture stores near me and out the result comes. Now because Facebook knows my location and you can see right away it's showing me the reviews. 4.3, 4.3, 4.8. Now I want all results, I could go over to pages or could go to places. But most people are just going to land on the all results and off they go.
Mari Smith: Now I'm showing you on desktop, we can also look at mobile. Let's do that in fact. Pull up my mobile device here you're looking at my phone. And you go to Facebook and let's look at a different example. Let's type in here and look at jewelry store near me. Let's see what that does. And remember over 90% of your customers are looking at Facebook on mobile. So I can see, again look at this, right away, very prominent. In fact, on the top of the profile picture is the review rating, 4.9, 4.4, 4.9, and off it goes. So that is so, so important.
Mari Smith: Now I can tap through, Lotus Butterfly, I actually love those guys, and from here I can scroll down. And see right away it's asking me, "Do you recommend?" And I can go yes or no and I can go ahead and read other people's reviews or you can just tap on the tab right there and you can see and you can read people's reviews. Very, very important to have that in there. Some other examples might be real estate services near me or a jewelry store, we did that, car repair, you name it. People are going to search on desktop or on mobile to find these different businesses.
Mari Smith: Let me just try that real estate one. That's importat. Real estate. You know somebody's looking to, real estate agent maybe, somebody's looking to sell a house or buy a house and again, look at that 4.9, 5.0, 5.0. And people are definitely, consumers are definitely more apt to do business with companies that have a rating of 4.45 and up, 4.4 to five. So ideally you want to make sure that you can get the best possible rating from your happy customers. And as I scroll in down here and as I'm scrolling along I'm just going to pick one. I see The Morton Group here, 5.0 and I can go hit reviews and I can just go and see. Okay. And that page it's just one person. That's okay. But the more reviews the better. And I know I'm going to show you in a minute with podium how that makes a big difference. There's a good one 30 people, that's a great example. And then you can go ahead and see some great reviews in there. Same thing on mobile, like I say.
Mari Smith: So, when it comes to encouraging your audience, your customers, your happy customers to leave you reviews and then what to do with those reviews. Because sometimes you might get reviews on your Facebook page but you're like, "Well, gosh, I've got these reviews now what do I do with them?" You saw there on my screen that some of those like that local jewelry stores, the first one at the top was three years ago and it's kind of random. Facebook doesn't always display the most recent one first. In fact, the viewer can order the reviews in the way that they want them. And oftentimes the social graph will play a part as well. So, if I'm friends with someone, or they've liked my page, or vice versa, there's all kinds of factors go into the algorithm.
Mari Smith: Let's take a look at your five best practices for getting more reviews and what to do with them. First of all, this seems obvious but you actually want to check your reviews regularly. I am always amazed when I look at pages and I will see that clearly that page owner has never read the reviews and I love to see what you've got. If you've got a positive review hit the like button, hit the love button, gave them a little message back. Why not even use that opportunity to really single out your super happy customers and great reviewers, send them a little gift, send them a little coupon, have a treat ready for them next time they come in your store, whatever it might be.
Mari Smith: So, really give your great reviewers what I call the red carpet treatment and they will make more referrals for you. So, it's definitely important to check your reviews. And inform your staff. Let's say that you have someone in the social media department and they have spotted someone who's left a great raving review but the person on the shop floor has no idea and that person keeps coming in. So, it's really good to actually disseminate that information across your team.
Mari Smith: Secondly, reply to reviews. I was just talking about that but more particularly if you have a negative ... Oh, excuse me. So, I'm saying check your reviews, reply to reviews was number two, thank your customers. But especially with a negative it can be really tricky. The major key when it comes to negative reviews is responding as fast as you possibly can. That's why it's so important for number one there to check your reviews regularly. I'm going to recommend that you reply publicly as well as privately. Try to go the extra mile. Think outside the box. Even if it can be easy to get triggered and think, "Oh, this person is just being high maintenance. Oh, they were frustrating. They were a demanding customer." See where you can find that they might be right, find their phone number, message them, surprise and delight them. Do whatever you can to try to turn that reviewer around. And oftentimes people will go back and actually change their review.
Mari Smith: Encourage all your customers to leave a review. Now, obviously we're talking bricks and mortar physical local businesses here and you definitely want to be able to encourage as many of your happy customers coming in physically to leave a review. You could use a simple systems such as Podium. This whole short educational webinar is brought to you in partnership with my friends at Podium and they have an amazing system that makes it so, so easy. I'll show you in the next slide.
Mari Smith: And then number five, you want to leverage those reviews because I said at the beginning well you've got them but now what? So, the thing is that those are great but they're also golden. It's like a little gold mine for you to leverage those great reviews. So for instance, you can take screenshots. How about just going right onto your mobile device phone screen that everybody recognizes and you could utilize that screenshot in your email marketing, your print materials, your website. And then from time to time you could actually share those onto your Facebook page periodically, other social channels for sure. And then, that way you're getting extra mileage out of people who have gone out of their way to take the time to leave you a review.
Mari Smith: So with that you definitely want to check out Podium. This is a really superb service that actually helps to manage all of your online reviews including Facebook. You can even send your customers review requests by text message. Super fast, they go tap, leave a review, tap, and there they are. They're ob your Facebook page, really, really easy. And now as I said in the beginning Facebook makes it so easy to just go yes, no, and they hit yes and that yes will get you much higher ratings and higher positioning in the search engine. And Podium customers also receive hundreds of reviews every month. How awesome is that? Could you imagine the extra business that you could gather as a result of having hundreds of reviews every month? And podium actually integrates with your CRM, your Customer Relationship Management system. So, with the phone numbers and the emails you've got it right there in your customer record. Who's left your great review, who's a wonderful customer, who we want to keep giving the red carpet treatment too.
Mari Smith: So with that my friends I hope you've got some value. This is Mari Smith, and if I can be of any further help to you reach out on any of these channels at Mari Smith on Facebook and Twitter. Mari_ Smith on Instagram. On behalf of Podium here today, check them out. Great system for local businesses to get more reviews. So, with that my friends thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you got some good takeaways. Connect with me anywhere online. I'd be happy to help you with your Facebook marketing. Thank you to Podium for having me. Bye for now friends.