The Recommendation Generation

When searching for products and services many of us now turn, not to our friends, family and colleagues – but to our trusty relationship with Google.

It’s pretty much second nature for a significant amount of us (76% of consumers

best selling social media bookaccording to ComScore) to turn to our devices, be they are smart phones, tablets, laptops or desktops to seek out what we are looking for.  And due to the abundance of information out there and indexed by Google, we are rarely disappointed.

If searching, exploring and researching online is therefore such an accepted part of our consumer behaviour, then it’s important that you do everything you can to encourage the people that find you – that you are indeed a safe and trustworthy option.

This is where ‘recommendations’ come in.  People are far more likely to trust what others are saying about your products or services than they are if you are simply spouting forth how wonderful they are.  You are after all the brand, the business owner, the service or product provider, of course you are going to advise your audience that you are great.

Think about your own consumer behaviour, if when searching online for a product or service you come across a site where there are customer testimonials – be they in written format or video format or perhaps it’s product star ratings you see – helping you to navigate which services score highly – do you feel comforted?

Even better are those sites which showcase independent reviews – review services such as Feefo or TrustPilot where the business can’t just showcase the good news stories and hide the bad, because the reviews are managed by the independent review service – then all reviews get shown, giving a transparent and authentic view of the service levels or product performance.

In ‘The Business of Being Social’ – we share insights and stats into the importance of testimonials and reviews – gaining trust – social proof or validation etc.  Now that people are reading and reviewing our book on Amazon - those reviews are proving to be a useful resource for others – a comfort for new consumers and a catalyst for visibility on Amazon and more sales.

If you are in the business of providing products or services, then our question to you is – ‘What’s your rolling program for collecting and showcasing powerful, transparent and purposeful testimonials and feedback?’

If the program doesn’t already exist – then it’s time to put one together.

@michellecarvill is co-author of The Business of Being Social, Director at Made Simple Group and Founder and Director of Social Media and Online Visibility Agency, Carvill Creative.