March 2018 — Many companies will tell you that referrals are the bread and butter of their business. And how do they come about? That's simple—word spreads quickly when you offer a good product. But, it's not as easy as sitting back and waiting for that word to go viral. To keep the business coming, you have to keep the testimonials going up on social and across the internet. Here's how you can take your reviews to the next level:
Create Unique Testimonial Opportunities
The days of posting only simple written reviews are gone. Consumers want to see excitement and engagement in your company and changing up the testimonial format is a great way to show that. Let your clients choose from a variety of testimonial options so that you have different ways of promoting a review, which will also help your clients feel more comfortable.
Video testimonials are a little more personal and have a higher chance of going viral. Since social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are becoming more popular, you need to continue putting out digital content to stay relevant. These can be simple, selfie-style videos that your clients shoot themselves and then send to you, or you can ask them to pop into the office or film them in front of a branded background. Some buyers and sellers may be wary of being in front of a camera, so find out what they're most comfortable with.
Don't get rid of written reviews either. Instead, add them into your testimonial package. Give your clients a list of sites where they can post their review; it can be the same for every page, but it's important to get those words of praise on as many sites as possible. Facebook, Yelp and Zillow are just some of the sites you should be asking for reviews on. To make these a little more engaging, you can also take selfies or SOLD pictures with your clients and post them on social with their reviews.
Guide Your Clients
Even if your clients prefer to take care of the reviews themselves, you can help steer them in the right direction. A review that doesn't mention your biggest wins will end up being less valuable. If you had a great experience with a client, it's okay to let them know what you would like pointed out in their review.
An excellent way to do this is to hand out a short survey that clients can use as an outline for their review. Did you sell their home in record time? Include a question that addresses that. Did you prove your market expertise? Include a question about how satisfied they were with your knowledge of comps and available homes. And always ask them to recommend your service to friends, family or anyone else looking to buy or sell a home.
And if you're going the video route and your clients prefer to be filmed rather than film themselves, you may want to think about interviewing them. This puts you in control of the video's content and will give your clients some direction.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
It doesn't end there. Now that you have a steady stream of varied reviews heading your way, you need to market them on social media and across the internet. You can post snippets of your reviews on Twitter every week and include a special hashtag like #TestimonialThursday. Post your videos and photos on Instagram and your Snapchat Story so all your followers can see. You can even create a testimonial series or playlist on YouTube. Tag your clients, with their permission, so they can share with their own followers. This will introduce your business to a new audience, which is essential to getting referral business.
These reviews can also be promoted during your listing presentations and buyer consultations. Gather the best of your video reviews and create a digital portfolio/video reel that you can show potential clients. Include your written reviews and the accompanying photos within the documents you give your new clients, as well. You can even create case studies using your clients' experiences and reviews to showcase successful business relationships from beginning to end.
Once your social audience starts to expect your testimonial videos and excerpts, it won't be long before your phone starts ringing with new business.