Positivity Is Winning Out …. For Now.
Social media has changed the way people shop. In our technologically advanced, sharing-obssessed age, if you are looking to invest in something, you can go online and research it first – most of the time turning up more reviews, comparisons, and information than you know what to do with. For marketers and business owners, consumer forums and review sites can enhance their brand image and visibility, promote their products, and raise awareness of their services. Of course, there is also a risk that not all of the reviews will reflect the company in a flattering light.
Businesses can count on the fact that, according to a recent emarketer.com article, positive word-of-mouth is still more credible than negative reviews in the eyes of those who go online searching for details about particular products or services. However, negative reviews have made a jump in influence since the last time a survey was taken. As the article continues, a 2011 poll from strategy and communications agency Cone found that:
Positive word-of-mouth online was still more likely than negative word-of-mouth to have an effect on a purchasing decision, according to the respondents. And positive buzz increased its effect by 7 percentage points, to 87% of those polled. But at the same time, negative word-of-mouth had swayed 80% of respondents, up 12 percentage points from the year before.
As this poll illustrates, consumers still tend to trust positive reviews more than negative ones, but negative reviews are starting to hold more sway as time goes on. As more information becomes readily available, consumers can compare, research, and rate their experiences more easily, making negative reviews more influential alongside positive reviews.
This underlines the importance of having a solid reputation management and monitoring program in place for your business. It is particularly important to note that a number of negative reviews can simply be traced to disgruntled former clients – and addressing their lingering issues, as well as working to catch complaints before they make their way to review sites, will help decrease negative reviews. Make sure you are taking a proactive stance when it comes to your company’s reputation. Promoting positive reviews, dealing quickly and competently with negative ones, and keeping your finger on the pulse of the conversations happening online is not just a good idea – it’s a necessity. This will enable you to attract more clients, retain the ones you’ve got, and let potential buyers know you are paying attention to what your clients are saying.
Need assistance with your reputation management program? MARKIT Group can help. Give us a call. 800.755.6441 ext. 101
Negative Buzz Gains Traction Among Web Users -emarketer.com