3 ways to turn online reviews into storytelling gold

Reviews influence action.

Are you willing to eat at a restaurant with a one-star rating? What about
getting a haircut from a two-star salon? It’s understandable if your answer
is “no,” but ask yourself why. If you’ve never been to these
establishments, how do you know you won’t have a better experience?

According to
BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey, 80 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal

Online reviews are changing buyer behavior, and communications pros ought
to take note of review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and G2 Crowd.

They can yield insights about a company’s products or services to inspire
buyers to act. They also can be incorporated into brand stories delivered
through earned, paid and owned media channels.

Here are three ways communications pros can use positive reviews for

1. Mine review sites for story ideas.

One way to overcome writer’s block is to read reviews on sites such as
Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp or G2 Crowd for inspiration. You will probably
find new perspectives and ideas.

More than
26,380 reviews are posted to Yelp every minute. A stream of fresh content is uploaded
daily, and any of these posts can yield a breakthrough idea to ignite your


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2. Recycle reviewers’ insights.

Use reviewer perspectives in pitches, press releases and other press
materials to ensure you are resonating with your audiences. Need a customer
quote for a product announcement? No problem. Search relevant review sites
to find a glowing endorsement for that business solution. Also, link back
to the review website, so prospective customers can read the full review.

3. Weave reviews into key messaging.

Let’s say your organization wants to drive home the message that it
provides world-class customer service. Start searching through review sites
until you find a review saying just that. Include it in the key messaging
document so your spokespeople can cite it in media interviews.

Think about how to use the testimony in other materials, or perhaps to
introduce a larger theme at an event. For super strong testimony, post it
on social media, while giving “thanks” to the reviewer. The opportunities
to push out that message from a happy customer are endless.

Adam Beeson is the director of communications at
G2 Crowd.

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