Every company says the same thing.
How can I get customers to write a piece about my company?
To be honest, that isn’t even the important part.
The key is to get them to be eager to share their experience, and get them to go in depth.
For a testimonial to be valuable to your business, it needs to relate to the potential customers that view it.
It won’t strike a nerve with every one, but we just need a segment. Pile up those testimonials and you soon reach many segments of your audience with the vital “social proof”.
Gain enough and you can segment them based on the page someone is viewing and match it with the review content.
So how do you get them?
I’m going to start with telling you what not to do.
I know that is a bit backwards, but the reason is simple. Too many people do it wrong!
Don’t Offer Incentives
For starters, don’t offer any “freebies” for testimonials. There are a couple good reasons:
- You need to tell every future potential customer that the previous testimonials were based on such freebie
- They probably won’t be honest since you are “giving away the farm”
- Google strictly prohibits using incentives for testimonials. Certainly don’t ask them to review you on your Google profile if you offering incentives
Don’t Fake It
Don’t fake your testimonials by having friends and family SPAM your online profiles either. I know it doesn’t seem like spam to you, and technically it isn’t.
Would you want 5 of my “happy users” to provide you with reassurance only to find out later that they are my relatives?
Of course not.
It goes beyond them finding out. If they use social media to spread the word, your business is sunk before it left the harbor.
Don’t Display Poor Converting Testimonials
Simply having a testimonial isn’t the same as having testimonials that drive business to your brand.
Let’s look at an example. Take this website into account, you are considering hiring me to help your brand with digital marketing (I hope so!).
If I show you these two testimonials, which one is more likely to help you pull the trigger.
~~“This is a great service!”
~~“With our last web designer we were just a number. Dan with cloud inspector took the time to design a webpage that uniquely fits the aspects of my business and is always there to answer any questions I have. Cloud inspector does an amazing job with optimizing my search results and I would recommend him to any business owner! “
I’m guessing you chose number two.
The reason is simple. It speaks exactly of what you are here inquiring about. The writer talks specifically about what you can expect, the services you seek, and seems really pleased.
This is the type of testimonial that will increase conversions on your site, by providing social proof and instilling trust in potential customers.
Where Can You Get the Most From Testimonials
Testimonials are best displayed on your website of course. That doesn’t mean you should worry about gathering them there though.
In fact, I would aim to get interested customers to share their experience on social media. Everyone has some social profile and you should be using them all for your business. Even if for no other reason that this one!
Social Media Sites Promote Reviews
Social media can be the death or the lifeblood of a company.
For those that do awesome work, you are going to love what people say on your profiles. The rest should prepare for damage control.
If you are confrontational or don’t handle constructive criticism well, it would be a good choice to let someone else handle you social profiles.
What to Expect
To discuss your offerings with clients or window shoppers on social media, you need thick skin.
Everybody that uses your service or product won’t completely love you or your company. This is inevitable. The key is how you respond.
Always try to be complimentary of those who interact with your brand on social media. They took the time. Plus, you could learn something.
Every person that praises you, or pounds your company into the ground for the world to see is doing you a favor.
They are helping you in a couple ways:
- They offered you honest thoughts without you asking for it, many marketers spend piles of money on specific campaigns just to gather this info. You got it for free.
- You have an opportunity to respond. More importantly, show the potential community how you take care of customers.
- You found someone that will likely spread the word about your awesome product, provided you have shown them that is what you provide.
The key with social is simple. ALWAYS remember one thing…the whole world is watching!
Do exactly what you want the world to think about your brand.
As someone who works in the SEO space, I can tell you that a bad review with tons of social interaction is far harder to bury in the search results than one with a polite response that you hit head on is to raise to the top.
On Site Testimonials
This is an option of course.
Here’s the thing. If people know that they have no possible way of confirming this testimonial, at least in their own mind, they won’t believe it.
If they can’t track it down to Facebook, Google, Yelp, Twitter or wherever, they consider it a fake.
Quite frankly, neither of us can blame them. If I see a crappy site with testimonials that the author had to type in, I become a skeptic.
That’s where social proof comes in. If that quote is attached to a human, with friends, we buy into their story. We might even be connected.
Take every possible effort to ensure that your testimonials come through a social media profile of some sort.
Hand Written Reviews
I almost forgot.
There is one more way that I can think of.
You could request hand written testimonials and take them with you in a cute scrapbook when you go and offer a quote to your customers.
If you do that, please send us pictures!
Protect Your Company Testimonials
You back up your website and everything on your computer without even thinking about it. At least you should!
You should also save testimonials for your own use (ALWAYS).
Think about it. Do we own Facebook, Google, or any of them?
If they close their doors, you know you don’t technically own the stuff on your profile right?
They are not going to “fire the site back up” just for us to grab our user’s thoughts.
Of course I know Facebook isn’t folding anytime soon, it’s just good practice.
Tons of bloggers have been flocking to Medium recently due to the high domain authority that their website carries. It gives their posts a lot of power right out of the blocks.
Now Medium is in trouble and all of their efforts will wither into a digital pool of quicksand.
The point is simple.
Keep your quotes held tightly, even if just a screenshot from the site they were posted on. They will always serve you even if nobody can go there to see them. If a social site falls, everybody will know about that. And where those testimonials were posted before, based on the look of them.
Most importantly, strive to make customers happy at every possible step of the journey.
It’s hard to get someone to leave a positive testimonial, but when they do it carries tons of weight.
Getting a poor review is simple, and unfortunately very hard to get rid of.