4 Simple Ways to Harvest Reviews From Happy Customers

Removing The Power Of Bad Reviews

Many businesses worry about customers posting negative reviews online and the impact those negative reviews may have on their business. While this is a legitimate concern, a bad review is far more powerful when there are no good reviews online to out weigh the bad. Positive customer testimonials and reviews posted online can significantly outweigh a few bad reviews and show that the majority of our customers are happy customers, hopefully very happy customers. Most of us are not surprised with a business having an occasional negative review – sometimes it can even make the more positive reviews seem more credible. But this only holds up if negative reviews are far outweighed by reviews from happy customers.

Managing Your Online Reputation

Where negative reviews are a serious problem is when the bad reviews are running anywhere near to neck-and-neck with the positive reviews. This tells people “this company is bad news, don’t even think about doing business with them.” Or when the only reviews available are bad reviews. Unfortunately, the latter is often caused (bad reviews only) by one of two things:

  1. The business really isn’t one you want to deal with.
  2. The business is not being proactive in managing their online reputation.

In the #2 scenario, rather than inviting happy customers to provide them with testimonials and share their positive thoughts online, they leave their online reputation in the hands of the Internet. Not good! Today, business owners who want to have a say in how their business is reported online MUST be proactive in managing what is being said about them online. In a world where most of us, at least in North America and Europe, go online regularly to find out about products, services, brands, etc., we need to be actively harvesting feedback from happy customers and sharing this ‘proof’ of who we are online. Continue reading

The Secret to Making Anything Go Viral

Creating a ‘viral video’ is like setting out to produce ‘an Oscar-winning film.’

You can look back at some of the most-shared videos, trying to fathom some sort of recipe for success, but if you try to replicate those vital ingredients your video will most likely feel flat and formulaic. If a movie producer tries too hard to re-create an award-winning film, putting together a big budget, an epic storyline, some top names, it can still be a flop. What movie-goers want is passion, great acting and a sense that everyone involved loved what they were doing: they want to feel something. Movies that make people feel something win awards. Videos too must speak to a brand’s followers if they are to be shared.

Content is shared because it provokes an emotional response

Two University of Pennsylvania professors analyzed the New York Times’ most-emailed list, and came up with a list of factors that contributed to content going viral. They discovered that posts inspiring feelings of awe, anger or anxiety are shared more often than others. Now, businesses will want to stay away from inducing anger in their audience, but awe clearly works well, if it is appropriate to the brand, and humor is another strong emotion that is safe for brands to play with. For brands, making people gasp in astonishment or laugh out loud are safe and popular goals.

But the material to inspire these emotions has to be original. Once something has been done before, move on: don’t imitate. Think back to your company’s history, your company’s mission, why your loyal customers love you – and draw from that. Continue reading

Google’s Crawler Now Understands JavaScript: What Does This Mean For You?

Googles Crawler Now Understands JavaScript: What Does This Mean For You? image googlebot crawler javascript indexing illustration 300x78Last week Google announced a significant change to their crawler’s behaviour. The “Googlebot” finally has the ability to interpret JavaScript, the last remaining core construct used to create and manipulate content on web pages (HTML and CSS being the other two).

In an official post on their Webmaster Central Blog, Google shared that when it first began crawling sites, the Internet was a very different place. Sophisticated JavaScript wasn’t really commonplace; instead, it was used to “make text blink”.

The Internet and the way we use it evolved over time and JavsScript’s unique ability to essentially reach into web pages and pro-grammatically manipulate content became increasingly recognized. For the past decade or so, web pages have become dependent on the ability to use JavaScript, and although it’s best practice to have them degrade gracefully so that users who disable JavaScript can still use the page, to say that that doesn’t always happen is an understatement. Continue reading