No matter how large your marketing budget may be, and regardless of how cool your packaging is, and even if your social media efforts are out of this world, CREDIBILITY will always be one of the very most important assets your brand has. In this very social world, consumers seek the opinions of their friends and their online social communities. They also rely heavily on ratings and reviews to make final decisions about making purchases.
What does this mean for brands?
It is absolutely imperative that you be aware of conversations taking place that involve your brand. If the conversation is a negative one, you can take a number of steps.
- Put yourself in the conversation and find out why your brand is being viewed negatively.
- Be gracious about the feedback.
- If the conversation is held away from your platform (for example if a complaint was discussed in a tweet, but your brand wasn’t mentioned directly in the tweet), encourage the issue to be reported to a platform that you control, like email, and respond in a speedy manner
- Let the person know that their feedback will be taken into consideration.
- Always pay attention to your reviews and star ratings and respond to negative ones. While a bad review can send a bad first impression for a first-time consumer, a thoughtful, sensible response on behalf of the brand may convince a newcomer to for try to form their own opinion.
Put your positive feedback, reviews and results in a place that is highly-visible to the consumer.
- Don’t bury great product reviews and star ratings in the product detail pages. Bring those great assets to forefront and flaunt them! A simple “5-star rating!” callout can intrigue a customer and make them want to find out what others consider to be so great.
- Make it easier for consumers to find the top-rated or most-preferred items that you offer – even if it means putting gold star or a thumbs up beside the item to call attention to it. Always be prepared to discuss your best sellers.
- Showcase testimonials that consumers send in and share via social media in an attention-grabbing manner. Take the time to have a graphical treatment used to make the best ones stand out (display via banner advertisements, wall photos on Facebook, Instagram images, etc) and always give credit to the person who provided the testimonial. Not only will this allow you to leverage your credibility, but it will also encourage others to send in their thoughts as well.
Credibility is crucial. Address those issues that threaten your credibility quickly and effectively and leverage the positive feedback that you receive in a tasteful manner that will help take some of the guesswork out of purchase decisions for your consumers.
Update: Case studies can help tremendously with credibility. Check out this article I came across and learn how you can use them: 3 Methods to Use Case Studies to Attract More Clients