Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Encouraging the Conversation

Clay Shirky suggests that in many cases, writing a review is more like writing fan mail (or hate mail) for a product, and the people who post them do not really expect it to be read.

So why do people write reviews.( As far back as 2010 24 percent of adults have posted reviews or comments online about things they buy (Hubspot, Online Product Research, September 2010) This infographic from Demandforce highlights some interesting reasons why they do.

Demandforce Infographic

But for whatever reason, it's always nice to be told that the content you've taken the time to produce actually gets read. So, it brought a smile to my face seeing this appear in my inbox this week from TripAdvisor

Trip Advisor Email

The pub I reviewed was as far as I was concerned pretty much out in the middle of nowhere so I was a little surprised to see 29 people reading my review.
Millennials infographic
Talking to Strangers

But people do, as the aptly named infographic from Bazaarvoice highlights, like 'Talking to Strangers'. This is particularly important of the Millenial Generation - that is , those born around the turn of the Century- who in a few years time will have the real buying power.

Over 84% claim that content from strangers has an influence on what they buy

Where my generation will listen to friends and family, my daughter's generation will listen to strangers ( so much for here listening to parental advice!)

So sites such as Trip Advisor need to keep that flow of new reviews coming in, and there is no better way (other than perhaps monetary rewards, which perhaps reduces the integrity of the review) than by keeping the reviewer informed of how their content is being used.

But first of all, you need to ask for those reviews.

Here is an example of a very simple approach from

Laterooms Review Prompt

Key here is the ' 100% Genuine Reviews'.

This is important because not only do Millenials listen to strangers, but they don't trust what brands say, as backed up by the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey

Nielsen Trust in Advertising

Also, an interesting option from Homebase where they have actually compiled a list of my purchases over a period of time...

But of course the bonus of this conversation encouragement is that it actually prompts the consumer to re-visit your site increasing engagement and obviously offering the opportunity cross and up sell

UGC Process

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