In the constantly connected world that we are living in today, we are often challenged, influenced, motivated, impacted, inspired, or manipulated for that matter by a gamut of factors present around us in the social media space. Most of these factors dictate or determine our ways of living, working, entertaining, and finding means of achieving joy through whatever is around us. They influence the way we dress, the way we eat, the way we travel, the way we engage ourselves with others, and the way we spend our hard-earned monies in a myriad of ways.
As human beings, while we believe what’s in our minds and do what we believe in, our thoughts and beliefs are more often than not, severely influenced by ideas, visuals, practices, traditions, observations, thoughts, and behaviours of those who are around us either directly or remotely. This connected world offers us an opportunity to peek into the minds of people through their expressions and representations of brands across products & services and make up our minds for a buying decision.
Interestingly, reputation building can be done through numerous things, which include good business practices, offering superior quality products, providing great customer-oriented services, having robust support management among others apart from having great cult-like followers, reviewers, and commentators talking about the goodness of your products and services.
Usual referrals and closely related word-of-mouth that traditionally existed have now metamorphosed into the whole world becoming a channel of spreading ideas, opinions, experiences, and explorations. Today, most consumers before making their buying decisions usually undertake an extensive search on the web about the concerning products and services. They follow the web chatter closely, they look at user posts available on the social media handles, they look at comments, feedback of existing users in the social media space, they go through the reviews of products and services, and make their assessment before engaging in the shopping.
Reviews are nothing but experiences, whether good or bad posted by the actual users of products and services in the online environment. Reviews create rankings, not only on the device screens of the potential consumers, which they use to access the social media platforms of brands and but also in their minds. These reviews and rankings create, build, affect, nurture, grow, or on another extreme probably damage and destroy the relationships created by the brands with their customers.
Businesses eventually need to ensure that their brands continue to grow in the mind space of consumers, thereby generating sales and profits for them. On one hand, brands work tremendously in creating unique content, giving a unique experience to their users, and occupying unique mindshare among their customers, on another hand they must continuously monitor the users’ experiential feedbacks, deal with negative reviews, and course-correct their brand communication strategies and messaging to ensure positive reviews and comments in the online space in real-time.
User-generated reviews have become the best sources of learning about businesses, researching products and services, seeking advice and recommendations on making purchase decisions for the consumers. These also help consumers in continuing their association with the current brands or making a switch towards new brands in the future.
Good reviews in online space help businesses in many ways including building better toplines and bottom lines, enhancing shareholder value, establishing greater brand recognition, remaining ahead of the competition, increased brand visibility, and a continuous organic build-up of followership in the social media space. Reviews and star ratings that we often see on the eCommerce sites, also help in customer retention, increasing brand loyalty, new customer acquisition, and ensuring good service delivery apart generating sales and profits for the companies.
The power of stars given by customers is simply amazing as a change in a single star or half a star can drastically impact on increasing or decreasing their revenues in the online environment!
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