If you pay attention to trends in social media, then you already know how important and powerful recommendations and testimonials can be. Sometimes called social proofs, recommendations and testimonials from satisfied can be your best marketing tool.
Having the story of your success told by others can establish credibility and trust, and at the same time, give you a boost in the search rankings. Think of recommendations as the modern version of word of mouth advertising—it can be highly effective and is certainly affordable.
Given that we know that recommendations and testimonials are a very good thing, how do we go about getting them? The short answer is, ask! Of course, how easy that actually is will depend on the type of business you have and what type of relationship you have with your customers.
Asking for testimonials
If you have the type of business that allows you to establish personal relationships with your customers, the best way to ask is by framing your question with a compliment. Let the client know you value his or her opinion and would love to getfeedback. You might suggest that they provide a product review on video or talk about how your product has contributed to their success. If they agree, be sure to follow up with a thank you and reciprocate where you can. In cases where you have lots of customers but you don’t know them personally, a follow-up survey at the close of a project or the end of a sale can work well. A well-designed feedback form on your website can also do the trick.
Different Types of Recommendations
Keep in mind that having a variety of types of testimonials and recommendations can make it easier to repurpose them. Written recommendations, for example, can be posted to social media, used on your website, or included in print materials such as brochures and fliers. Video testimonials are particularly versatile since they can be used on your social media pages, your YouTube channel, on your website, or in an email campaign.
A word of caution regarding plans to solicit recommendations. While it is perfectly appropriate to ask for them, never be tempted to commission them or pay for them. That is not to say that you can’t say thank you with a small gift, but compensating for customer reviews can erase any credibility you gain.
Positive recommendations and testimonials are a valuable asset to your business. When you nurture them you’ll find you have a full complement to use in a wide variety of marketing channels. With a little creativity and targeted use of customer feedback, you can turn your recommendations into improved standing in the market, enhanced client goodwill, and increased sales.
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