Why Customer Reviews Trump Social-Media Marketing

Here’s a great article that appeared in Inc.com which highlights how consumers decision journey

More and more businesses are pouring time and money into tweeting and posting on Facebook. But there’s a better way.

Sometimes, it seems like it’s all social, all the time.

But are companies really getting everything they need from the social-media conversation?

Absolutely not.

There’s ample customer engagement in the social scene, but for many organizations, it’s also a loud and noisy cocktail party, with lots of guests all clamoring for the host’s attention. It’s hard to hear precisely what’s important–and there’s little mechanism for aggregating information into usable intelligence.

Yet companies continue to pump precious amounts of time and money into social. The number of small businesses that have increased their social-media budget has quadrupled, and 43 percent of small businesses now spend more than six hours each week dealing with social media.

But as time progresses, I’m willing to bet companies will find that online reviews offer them a more concentrated customer conversation, one that’s easy to listen to and that opens a window into the invisible consumer–the one that got away (and went online to tell about it). Even more important, it’s how businesses acquire new customers–after all, when people want to check out a business, they often go to review sites as a first stop, not a Facebook page.

To see the full article and the evidence Michael’s firm used to come up with the findings on the growing impact of customer reviews in local marketing, go here.