9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Deal with your store's digital reputation like Luke Skywalker dealt with the Death Star.
Digital Reputation Management Must Be Guided Carefully
Have you ever Googled a business, found negative reviews, and quickly searched for another? Don't let negative reviews sink your dealership. Set forth with a very calculated plan to curate warm reviews for your business on Google and Yelp. Take action. But plan first. Think like Luke Skywalker as he prepared to take on the Death Star. Circumventing a gargantuan defense system of turbo laser batteries, ion cannons and swarms of angry storm troopers, Skywalker brought down the massive planetary spaceship with a single pair of carefully-guided laser beams. Your dealership should employ a similar strategy. Plan your attack carefully. You may not have The Force at your disposal, but there are plenty of things you can do to ensure good reviews.
Google and Yelp: Watching Out for Repeats
You can’t fire automated or mass email-generated reviews at Google and Yelp, because these Internet gatekeepers keep a careful watch on what comes in. Google and Yelp will obliterate spammy-looking reviews like the X-Wing pilots who tried to penetrate the Death Star’s daunting defense system.
The search engine giants Google and Yelp will watch out for and block reviews that contain certain types of repetitive data, such as:
- IP address: multiple reviews from the same computer
- Time of day: multiple reviews submitted within a few minutes (such as the response to an email campaign)
- Phrase: multiple reviews containing a certain phrase that may have been an option in a survey (another culprit of an email campaign)
Guiding Your Reviews
So how can you guide your online reviews like Luke's laser beam? Reach out to satisfied customers with a personalized approach. Find customers who bought a car from you, and ask them to share their experiences. Scoring good reviews is a huge boon for your dealership.
- Avoid automation: Automation triggers spam filters, as we mentioned above. Be wary of any type of automated software. If you decide to hire an online reputation agency, thoroughly research their tactics. If they lean on automation, go in a different direction.
- Don’t request reviews en masse: Don’t send out an email blast. You’ll leave yourself wide open to a potshot from someone who may have had a negative experience at your dealership. Instead, find a satisfied customer who purchased a vehicle, and reach out and ask for a review or testimonial. Ideally, ask a sales rep with whom that customer had a good rapport to call with this request.
- Send reviewers to your site, first: For any email review requests, set up a reply system on a scale of 1-10. Send the customers who choose ratings of eight or higher to your site. There, you can show them instructions on how to copy and paste the review and submit it to Google. You can segment your reviewers here; those who choose lower numbers can simply be thanked for their time.
Your business needs positive online reviews to survive in the carefully curated world of digital reputation management. Get good Google and Yelp reviews, and you will be the hero of your dealership. Just like Luke Skywalker.
Want more information about how to guide your online strategy? Have 9 Clouds assess your business for free by clicking below.