Value of online reputation

How you can place value on a review.

It’s Friday, and I’m going to kick off the weekend with a pledge to write at least one weekly tip on how you can better manage, improve or work on building your online reputation. As a reputation marketer, or someone that provides tools so that people can build their online reputation, I am constantly trying to price the value of a review. Why try and place a value on a single review? Well, if you give people incentives to fill out reviews, you’ll have a much higher conversion to have that review filled out (more on this later). So how much should that incentive be? My argument is as much as you can possibly afford!
As an extreme example Tesla Motors, yes – the fancy electric sports car maker from California, recently placed a value on a bad review from the New York Times at 100 Million USD. Yes, that’s from one review! Obviously, that’s on the high end, but I consistently hear from customers or prospective customers that they’re being plagued by bad reviews. When I ask them how much they think they’re losing, they pause and give me a number in the thousands on a monthly basis. Wow, for a small business owner, or any business for that matter, that’s huge.
But let’s dig a little deeper because I run reputation reports for businesses all day long. Usually, upon further inspection I notice a theme with the reviews for a particular business, especially the negative ones. “The blonde receptionist was extremely rude” or “the lady that answered the phone was so rude” but these reviews may be scattered on a few different review sites. Chances are if you’re paying attention, you can find some very valuable insight as to easy ways to improve your business. Like fire that receptionist.
Positive reviews on the other hand are equally important and the reason is because 80% of all Internet users make their buying decisions based on reviews. Another trend that I’ve noticed is that despite being around for 5 to 10 years, many businesses don’t have more than a dozen reviews on each social review site. Six or seven reviews on Google or Yelp with 2 or 3 of them being bad is causing business owners a lot of grief, mostly because it takes so long to get people to actually accumulate positive reviews to help offset the bad reviews.
Think about how long you’ve been in business. In those years, how many reviews have you been able to acquire?  Can you place a dollar value on the reviews that you have? Because if you can, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If I get enough responses I’ll even work on figuring out an online review calculator. Would that be useful?

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