6 Ways to Make Food Reviews Work for You

Never underestimate the power of a well-crafted customer review! Not only can reviews serve as a persuasive form of word-of-mouth marketing, but you can leverage for use in your social media and print marketing as well. Although restaurants are most likely to get reviewed, a quick spin through the food section of Amazon will show that people have opinions about pre-packaged foods as well, so these tips can be used by anyone in the food and beverage industry.

Disclaimer: Before utilizing any of these tips make sure you have the right to use the reviews you’re sharing in your marketing!

There are a variety of ways that reviews can be used in your marketing, ranging from simple to complex. Read on for a few ideas.

  1. Let it happen organically. Simply rely on good reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor and other sites to build your reputation. If your marketing budget and time is currently tied up in other initiatives, you can let your reviews work for you without giving them any thought.
  2. Share snippets from your favorite reviews on your social media accounts. Let people know what your customers are saying about you, what dishes they especially enjoyed, or how they’re using your products at home in their own kitchens. To encourage customers to write reviews, you can consider occasionally rewarding reviewers with free products or discounts on future purchases.
  3. Include quotes from reviews on your print media. Do you send out menus, fliers or catalogs? Consider incorporating reviews. A simple “***** Delicious!” or “Best Pho I’ve had in New York!” is easy to work into the design and let potential customers know what others love about you.
  4. Take the time to respond to reviews. Address both the positive and the negative. See if problems can be addressed to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. This requires having a dedicated marketing person with great communication skills and a level head, especially when dealing with snarky Yelp reviewers, but it can really boost your signal.
  5. If it fits your company culture, you can even put your negative reviews to work for you. I’ve seen local restaurants share quotes from their 1 star Yelp reviews on their marquee. This can work for companies that have a casual “we don’t take ourselves too seriously here” attitude.
  6. Speaking of company culture, reviews can be a great way to see how your customers view your company and how well you’re portraying the image you want to portray. Rather than just looking at individual reviews, pay attention to the big picture and look for themes. If reviewers are complaining that they expected a romantic date spot but found an energetic party crowd, or if they say they’re eating your breakfast bars for dessert, consider what this says about how you need to adjust your current marketing strategy to give a more accurate picture of your business.

How will you make reviews work for your food business?


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