People are talking about you!

Chances are, right now, people are talking about your business online. You can’t stop it, whether you want to or not. You can choose to ignore it or you can choose not to engage. However, that’s really just sticking your head in the sand while your competitors come along and take your customers!

Better to welcome the conversation and be part of it.

You are no doubt familiar with the saying,“Word of mouth is the best form of advertising.” Well, it still is, except now word of mouth has gone digital! And according to Brett Hurst of Bazaarvoice, “Word of mouth online has got to become part of the central nervous system for every business.” Bazaarvoice provides customer conversation services to large corporations.

Most business owners tend to get nervous about online ratings and reviews – especially about opening up their own websites to user comments. What if somebody says something negative? What if a whole lot of people do?

Obviously, that’s a major concern however, unless you are selling a really bad product, it may not be as scary as you might think. Here’s why:

According to Hurst, most reviews are good. He claims 80 per cent of all reviews online are four to five stars. “We’ve found that the worldwide average for product reviews is a 4.3 out of 5.0,” he says.

There’s more: “We find that there’s a new version of the 80-20 rule: 80 per cent of reviews on the site of a given retailer are written by the top 20 per cent of their customers by lifetime value. We call them the super shoppers.”

The math is simple enough: People like to talk most about the products they love the most.

And bad reviews aren’t all bad! People are terrified of negative reviews but negative comments can add authenticity.

Brett Hurt puts it another way: “We see that fear, especially with people like dentists or real estate agents, businesses that are more about a person than a product. But the truth is, negative reviews increase conversion rates for all kinds of businesses, because people see them and know that they’re shopping in a truthful environment.”

If you’re selling an awful product, that’s one thing. But if your product is good (as it surely is) then you really shouldn’t fear the occasional negative comment.

The simple truth is, people are going to talk about you online anyway! On social sites like Twitter and Facebook, in forums, on review sites and in emails and instant messaging to their friends and associates. There is nothing you can do to stop them. So, you might as well become part of the conversation!

Peter Thorpe

If you would like some help with your website or online marketing, please contact me. I’d be glad to help.


* Parts of this article are excerpted from the book, ZMOT Winning the Zero Moment of Truth by Google. If you would like a free copy of this ebook for immediate download click here.

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Peter Thorpe

About Peter Thorpe

Peter created his first website back in 1996, near the start of the internet boom. Since then, he has helped hundreds of businesses, both large and small, with their online marketing. His company now has an impressive list of over 300 clients. These range from small businesses to large blue chip companies. visit: