Header image for article Using Online Reviews to Grow Your Business

Using Online Reviews to Grow Your Business

February 03, 2020 by Sally Pau

Think of a time when you were deciding on a local business to visit, whether it was a restaurant or salon. More than likely you have turned to social media or online web search to view the reviews. Having reviews is one of the driving forces to increase your online presence.

Your potential clients will read online reviews before they decide to book an appointment with you. Nearly 93% of consumers use reviews to determine if a local business is good or not and 72% don’t take action until they have read reviews. This is especially the case when it comes to beauty businesses because it involves the client’s well-being.

Having reviews for your beauty business will positively influence the client’s buying decisions. Reading the reviews will allow potential clients to validate their decisions. They work in your favor to:

  • Build your business credibility
  • Increase searchability and reach
  • Connect with clients
  • Gather constructive feedback

According to Google My Business support page, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility. Reviews work to boost your business’s ranking when potential clients are searching for local beauty businesses. The more positive reviews you have, the greater your credibility will be. It works to increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.

Try to think from a potential client’s perspective. Would you rather book an appointment with a beauty business with no reviews online? Or would you much rather book an appointment with one with numerous, positive reviews?

Receiving online reviews is another way for you to connect with clients and gather constructive feedback. It allows you to see what your clients are saying about your business and services–both the good and the bad. Be sure to respond to each review, including the negative ones, to show current and potential clients that you’re paying attention to them. With any negative review, it becomes your chance to spin it into a positive one. Take them as constructive feedback and learn how to further improve your business. For this article, we will be looking at Google and Facebook reviews.

Google Reviews

As we have learned about Google My Business, it is completely free of charge and works in favor to allow businesses to expand their reach. A large portion of consumers turns to Google to find businesses near them, which is crucial for beauty businesses. If you have a Google My Business profile, you should encourage your clients to review your business.

Picture of Sammi

Lash Technician, Sammi Zhao

We spoke with Lash Technician and Owner of LashMi, Sammi Zhao, who uses Google reviews to help boost her clientele. Her Google My Business profile has 39 Google reviews and boasts an impressive 4.9 stars.

“I’ve had several clients tell me that when they were searching for a lash technician, it came down to me and another lash artist, but it was my reviews that ultimately helped convince them,” says Sammi. “I think reviews are very helpful in a competitive industry. When there are so many options to choose from, your reviews might provide the differentiating information the customer needs. Also, in an industry like lash extension where there are unfortunately many horror stories, it’s reassuring for first-time visitors to hear the positive experiences of like-minded consumers.”

Reviews of LashMi

Image credit: LashMi

Facebook Recommendations

Facebook is too large of a platform for any business to ignore. It is the largest social media platform and your clientele is probably on Facebook. Facebook reviews, which are now called Facebook Recommendations, allow clients to recommend a Facebook business page and leave a review.

Picture of Melissa

Permanent Makeup and Lash Lift Artist, Melissa Yeung

We spoke with Permanent Makeup Technician, Lash Lift Artist, and Owner of The Brow Artiste, Melissa Yeung, who has over 40 Facebook reviews and an impressive 5 stars. She is confident that Facebook reviews are extremely important and people trust online reviews as highly as personal recommendations.

“These reviews share personal experiences of my clients and also give me feedback on how I am doing with my business. Pre-purchase research is crucial before committing to a purchase, especially if it’s a large investment and in this case, a semi-permanent tattoo on your face,” says Melissa. “Reviews have the strength to gain a client’s trust and the power to influence their decision on choosing an artist. I would definitely say that reviews can also give your business credibility on your own business mantra as well–these are real people resonating what you are providing as a service.”

Reviews of The Brow Artiste

Image credit: The Brow Artiste

How to Get More Online Reviews

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

The easiest way to get more online reviews on Google and Facebook is to ask your clients. If your current clientele is happy with your services, it’s as simple as asking them for a favor. This is especially if you’ve already built a loyal client base. “Don’t underestimate the power of simply asking,” says Sammi.

“After the appointment, I tell the client about my Google reviews and ask that if they have time, their review would be very helpful,” says Sammi. “You’d be surprised by how willing customers are to help out and leave a review especially when you’re a small, local business.” She believes many clients would be happy to leave you a review if only they knew that was an option, so it’s important to make it known. Her suggestion is to add a story or post on your social media accounts. If you have a website and use email marketing, you should include a prompt at the bottom. “If they don’t know about it, then they’ll never do it,” she says.

Melissa agrees with how easy it is to ask clients to review, especially when they support your brand and work. “I usually ask them to leave me a review at the end of their session. I believe it’s great to ask when the client still has the experience fresh in their mind,” she says.

Make It Effortless

Remind your clients that a few minutes of their time will make a huge impact on your business. You can quickly explain how effortless it is to leave a review on Google or Facebook. An easy option is to create and hand out compact cards with instructions to leave a review on Google.

The same can be done with your website and Instagram profiles. We highly recommend you to use a free tool like Linktree for your Instagram bio. Instead of being stuck with only one link in your bio, Linktree will allow you to house multiple links within one page. This creates easy access and allows you to promote all your initiatives at once. With this tool, one of your links can be connected to your Google My Business profile or Facebook page.

If you have the swipe-up feature on Instagram, you can use Instagram stories to encourage clients to leave a review. This feature is currently only available to Instagram business accounts with over 10,000 followers. It’s perfect for businesses looking to share new content for their followers to easily have access to. If you don’t have this feature, don’t worry. You can just direct your audience to your Instagram bio for the link.

Send an Email

When Melissa asks her clients for reviews, she tells them that it will only take a couple of minutes. To make the process easier, she will send her clients a follow-up email and provide them with a link where they can write the review. This will ensure that each of her clients gets the message without having to print anything out.

Using email and SMS communications is great if your business is going paperless. If you use Jupiter App to manage your beauty business, you can create and automate messages to go out after each appointment. With this feature, you can send out the post-care instructions along with links to your Google My Business profile and Facebook page.

Screenshot of Jupiter

Offer An Incentive

You can provide a small incentive to encourage and reward clients. This is a great option to show your clients that their opinions matter. Your client’s time is just as important as yours, so this method shows that you appreciate their efforts. The incentive can be a discount or coupon code, entry into a content you’re running, or a small add-on at their next appointment.

Once you start getting a flow of positive reviews, you will notice an increase in your online presence, credibility, and client bookings. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to spare a couple of minutes that can help build your business. More than likely, they will be willing to help you out.

Picture of Sally Pau

Sally Pau

Sally is a Product Marketer at Jupiter. She enjoys the art of storytelling through content creation to build relationships within the online community.