4Hoteliers
SEARCH
SHARE THIS PAGE
NEWSLETTERS
CONTACT US
SUBMIT CONTENT
ADVERTISING
Why Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations Matter.
By Robin Houghton
Sunday, 31st May 2009
 
Let's say you've got a great product or service and you want to promote it using social media, you know you can't approach the social web as if it were old-style marketing.

Targeting prospects, talking about consumers and audiences, crafting and broadcasting your messages - that's not the way it works. But as you explore social media sites and communities you can see what it's all about. Successful brands are the ones that get recommendations and positive reviews and ratings.

Ratings

Wherever there's content, there are the tools to rate it. Think of all those buttons you see asking you to 'rate this' - be it a product, service, article, video, comment or just about anything.

All online communities have their own rating tools and ways of encouraging people to use them. Blip.fm is a free music service where everyone's a DJ and is encouraged to 'give props' to other DJs if they like their music selections. On LinkedIn, members are invited to respond to the queries of other members, who then rate the answers according to how useful they are. On Ebay and Amazon Marketplace, after you've made a purchase you're invited to rate the seller on a scale. A high rating on social bookmarking sites such as Delicious or Digg is taken by many as a measurement of good content.

The effect of these tools is to 'label' stuff in terms of its value. It doesn't matter if it's a person's expertise, a hotel, a handbag or a photo of your pet dog, whatever you flaunt on the social web, expect it to be rated.

Recommendations

Less rigid than a rating, recommendations are more the online equivalent of 'word of mouth'. Recommending extends the notion of sharing, the basic juice which powers the social web.

The immediacy of Twitter is well suited to the giving and receiving of recommendations. Sometimes communities create their own tools to standardise this and a good example is 'followfriday', a way of recommending others to follow on Twitter.

When you recommend something, you're sticking your neck out. A recommendation from someone who's already built a reputation for social value is extremely valuable in itself. However, a recommendation for a product or service in which it turns out you have a vested interest, without having disclosed that fact, will devalue your social net worth in no time at all.

Reviews

If you've ever bought anything online you'll be familiar with customer reviews, especially on travel, hospitality and shopping sites.

I often hear the opinion that reviews are too easily infiltrated by competitors posting negative comments. This may once have been an issue but my feeling is that we're all a bit savvier than we were a few years ago and fake reviews are easier to spot. It's also now an offence for over-enthusiastic PR firms to masquerade as ordinary consumers online, so it's less of a free-for-all. Besides, even if you read ten positive reviews and one negative one about the same service, by people you don't know, why would you only believe the bad one?

Mail order fashion retailer Boden encourages customers to rate individual products and happily displays both positive and negative comments on its website, using the feedback to improve its product development process. That for me is the sign of a retailer who's not only confident in its products but open minded enough to listen to and learn from customers.

So, in a nutshell:

  • Find interesting content created by others, share it and be seen to share it
  • Create interesting content of your own, relevant to whatever it is you're selling
  • Give people the tools & encouragement to rate, review & recommend you/your content/your business
Eggbox Marketing - www.eggboxmarketing.co.uk
Premium Links @ 4Hoteliers.com ...[Click for More]
 Latest News  (Click title to read article)




 Latest Articles  (Click title to read)




 Most Read Articles  (Click title to read)




~ Important Notice ~
Articles appearing on 4Hoteliers contain copyright material. They are meant for your personal use and may not be reproduced or redistributed. While 4Hoteliers makes every effort to ensure accuracy, we can not be held responsible for the content nor the views expressed, which may not necessarily be those of either the original author or 4Hoteliers or its agents.
© Copyright 4Hoteliers 2001-2024 ~ unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved.
You can read more about 4Hoteliers and our company here
Use of this web site is subject to our
terms & conditions of service and privacy policy