Business reviews – Fad or Necessary for All Businesses?

Business-ReviewsQuick Overview:

  1. Yelp
  2. Foursquare
  3. Google Local Listings
  4. TripAdvisor
  5. Angie’s List
  6. Yahoo Local Reviews
  7. Insider Pages
  8. Better Business Bureau
  9. Facebook

Taking the time to sign up for the following sites or services not only keeps you active in the community, it enables you to better understand your target market. While you may worry about having to constantly monitor your account activity on these sites, we would like you to point out that benefits of signing up at such sites…

  1. Yelp

Yelp! Is a consumer review site that enables customers and consumers to leave behind their personal experiences with a business, as well as rate the business. It relies on a 5 star scale and is easy to sign up (for free). It’s typically used for physical local businesses. If you own a physical business, it’s free to sign up and start responding to reviewers. Quick tip: If you do receive a negative review, respond in a positive way. It reflects better on your business.

  1. Fouresquare

Similar to Yelp!, it’s a local discovery mobile app which offers personal search results for the users of the app. Founded in 2009, the Fouresquare app is targeted towards consumers who enjoy shopping around. Businesses can use the site to help conduct their market research on who their customers are, their customer’s needs, and the products they’re most interested in. Every business should have a membership with Fouresquare.

  1. Google Local Listings

Google is usually the place we turn to the most whenever we need to answer a question. So it’s no surprise that Google Local Listings helps bridge the gap between consumer and business. From finding nearby businesses, booking cheap flights or bus tickets, or even suggesting trendy places for meals, Google has become the all in one tool we rely on in our daily lives.

  1. TripAdvisor

While not too important for local businesses, businesses that rely heavily on the tourist season will definitely want to place a business listing here. TripAdvisor may have a significant impact on sales for hotels, and restaurants.

  1. Angie’s List

Angie’s List is geared towards all service based businesses, but a membership here can be hefty. While seen as a potential downfall, consumers tend to rely heavily on Angie’s List not too many businesses are keen on trying to jump through multiple hoops to get their business listed here. This often stops less than ethical businesses in their tracks. It’s difficult to produce fake reviews on this site, which only further enhances a consumer’s trust.

  1. Yahoo Local Reviews

Yahoo’s alternative to Google Reviews, Yahoo local reviews enables users to post reviews about businesses with a choice to choose from a 1-5 star rating. While not as popular as the previously mentioned alternative, it’s still worth considering.

  1. Insider Pages

Insider Pages is a user based review site. Not only is it free for anyone to join and share their reviews on local businesses, the results are index-able by Google and the businesses often receive a good push in the local Google SERPS (which is awesome if you’re doing SEO).

  1. Better Business Bureau

The big granddaddy of all reviews or reporting systems, Better Business Bureau helps establish trust in just about any skeptical consumer’s minds. BBB takes a somewhat laid back approach when it comes to enabling reviews about businesses. Rather than promote any particular business on their site, they provide a rough overview of the business and also provide information about the company’s accreditations, and even a clear view of complaints- as well as positive reviews. Instead of relying on a 1-5 star review rating system, BBB grades businesses based on an A-F scale rating. A being awesome, and F being…well…

  1. Customer-ReviewFacebook

Facebook is hot right now, and it probably won’t be cooling down anytime soon. Not only is it a great place to connect with others, it can also be a convenient place for consumers or fans to leave their personal reviews or ratings of your business. Chances are you already spend a significant amount of your time on Facebook anyways, so why not create a page for your business anyways?

New businesses just starting out may not need to sign up for a membership to all of these sites, but by picking a select few, you’re well on your way to gaining the exposure you need to get things rolling in the right direction.