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Why You Should Be Using Customer Reviews in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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The stars of the social media world are all corporate B2C brands: businesses like Airbnb and GoPro are killing it with user-generated content. The companies have all found a natural fit for expressing their brand message within social media.

Of course, social doesn’t always come naturally for B2B organizations. Rightly or wrongly, many B2B groups view social media as not “serious” enough for their message. And they struggle to visualize their ideal audience—it can be difficult to categorize organizations or members into marketing personas.

However, if you’re reading this article, we’re assuming you’ve overcome those initial barriers and dipped your toe into social media—now you’re looking for ways to improve your strategy and convert content into memberships.

Professionals Trust Peer Reviews

Reviews are a powerful social media tool for B2B organizations precisely because they reflect the way professionals make decisions: namely, by imitating what the other guy is doing. Ninety-four percent of surveyed professionals say they trust peer reviews above other sources of product information. In another study headed by Google, 60% of participants said they read peer reviews when search for new business technology.

B2B customers and members are understandably more skeptical than B2C consumers about pulling the trigger. Instead of choosing a laundry soap or a pair of jeans, these professionals are putting their professional reputation—not to mention hundreds or even thousands of dollars—on the line every time they make a purchasing decision.

However, making those choices can be something of an uphill battle for potential members. Marketers are pretty good at making a product or service sound good—sometimes to our detriment. Clients often have to sift through volumes of marketing material to get to the point: will a product or membership provide a value for their organization?

The statistics above indicate that professionals are eager for user-generated reviews from peers they trust. The bottom line is, the more you nurture that kind of feedback—soliciting reviews and sharing relevant user-generated content—the more you facilitate that step in the information gathering process.

Reviews Are Also a Valuable Source of Feedback

Meanwhile, monitoring user-generated content—particularly reviews—can provide valuable insight into how well your service is working. For instance, we often use information shared with us in TrustRadius reviews to improve our site and services. This information can serve your organization internally when making decisions on how to move forward, but it also offers value to potential members or buyers before they come on board.

The cost of membership is a huge pain point for professionals looking to join nonprofit groups and professional organizations. When software provider Abila looked at overall nonprofit member engagement, they found that one in five memberships lapsed or was canceled within a year. When asked why they dropped their membership, most respondents said the high cost was the motivating factor. This indicates that many organization members are looking for more bang for their membership buck.

Peer generated reviews provide a free service to professionals as they evaluate your organization’s offerings—free being the key word. But they can also help to foster community among users, particularly if you keep the lines of communication open between your organization and your reviewers. Be sure to respond to reviews or thoughtful comments—even the critical ones—to keep the back-and-forth going.

Users often share technical, industry-specific details in reviews. That information can be used by readers not just to evaluate your association and the worth of a membership, but for their own professional purposes as well. For instance, a reviewer discussing their experience with your service, tools or community may educate future users on how they can use your offerings effectively for their organization. By encouraging a culture of sharing among users, you’re helping customers and members build a community, while demonstrating that your service is worth the price. It may not be all that memeable—but it will definitely sell your value to your audience.

Erin Vaughan currently resides in Austin, TX. When she’s not outside enjoying a hike through the Texas hill country, she writes about the latest technology and tools for TrustRadius.

Photo by Philipp Kämmerer on Unsplash

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