State Of Search 2015: Thomas Ballantyne

Thomas Ballantyne at State Of Search 2015

Thomas Ballantyne at State Of Search 2015

Thomas Ballantyne from Bulwark Exterminating steps up next on the Local Track to discuss the state of online reviews in 2015.

He’s giving away books for the person who can guess which performer does the worst. The answer is “Snoop Dogg” based on Ticketmaster review.

  • He then notes there are 250 billion stars in the Milky Way. Harry Potter is the closest in review stars with over 15 million on GoodReads.
  • What item is reviewed the next most?
    Clash of Clans followed by Shawshank Redemption.
  • On Google Maps the most reviewed is the Eiffel Tower at over 11,000 reviews.
  • As it turns out, you can even rate your drug dealer.

And all of these things matter. User generated content makes up reviews.

And some additiona stats:

  • Millennials review before purchasing at 97% vs Boomers at 93%. The frequency is more dramatic.
  • ½ of millennials trust online reviews before friends and family.
  • Reviews are 12x more trusted than onsite descriptions.
  • 29% look for product info on social media (vs 94% usage)

The message – consumers own your brand message

  • Amazon is the largest single source of consumer internet reviews.
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said they were: “taking a different approach … we want to make every book available – the good, the bad, and the ugly…to let truth loose.
  • Amazon owns: goodreads, IMDB, Zappos,

Best Reviews …

53,000 people have rated a review (not a product … a review) on Amazon making it the most reviewed thing on Amazon. For a banana slicer.

And now he’s gangsta-readin’ a Yelp review for a fake review for Wendy’s outlining how poorly Yelp filters reviews that are clearly fake.

88% of consumers will not buy from a local business without checking out reviews though business owners feel that reviews aren’t important.

Often business owners say, “Reviews are not fair.” This is partially true as they can be bought but that’s coming to an end. And 70% of internet users have never written a review. They are not representative of the population.

Top 4 Thing About Reviews

  1. They are feedback and tell you how to take action
  2. They inspire actions
  3. They get clicks
  4. They reinforce trust

You need a chief listening officer. Someone who listens to reviews and helps isolate issues.

When you get bad reviews you don’t have a review problem … they have a business problem. So what causes negative reviews:

  1. People do not like you messing with their money. Billing problems are #3
  2. Customer service is the #1 issue that leads to bad reviews.

SMX says:

26% of users clicked the #4 result with reviews. This is a huge boost over what would be expected. Trust is currency.

For good reviews ask for them and HIRE PEOPLE WHO WILL LOVE YOUR CUSTOMERS.

As a business owner I say … WELL WELL SAID.

When asked if you can pay for a review he notes that he doesn’t promote incentivizing people to review BUT he incentivizes his staff to get reviews from real customers and finds that works far far better. Great advice.

He mentions the tool as a good tool to direct clients to Yelp through a text.