Showing Local Businesses Love on Valentine’s Day with Online Reviews

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romance is in the air, and many neighborhood businesses – from floral shops to restaurants – will turn a profit today. If you own a local business, you may very well have Valentine’s Day specials on candy, flowers, or any other romance-themed items. And the special service you provide customers can be reciprocated. How? By happy patrons who post a review online about your business.

Why you – as business owner – should love Valentine’s Day

We tend to think of the winter holidays as the time of year when consumers spend the most (and businesses earn the most). While that’s true, some businesses might not be aware of the business potential of Valentine’s Day. According to Statista, this year’s planned Valentine’s Day sales in the U.S. are expected to reach approximately $27.4 billion – an increase of $6.7 from last year! Could online reviews have anything to do with this increase? To some extent – yes.

Online reviews and the weight they carry…

In the ever-connected world of the Internet, the posting of a review online is today’s equivalent of yesterday’s person-to-person word of mouth communication. But whereas old school word of mouth was usually confined to a relatively small number of people, online reviews are seen by thousands. And the influence reaches far. If you thought the stats about how much money is spent on Valentine’s Day were impressive, wait till you find out those for online reviews. Emily Carroll, in a post for Drive Research, pointed out that 88 percent of potential customers will trust online reviews as much as they would recommendations from someone they know. In other words, people can be influenced about a business based on the reviews online that are posted by complete strangers. Such is the power of the Internet.

Customers show their love with positive reviews.

A reputable business that delivers top-notch service feels the customer love whenever someone leaves a review online. Aside from taking pride in what the customer wrote, the effectiveness of this review is proven when new faces start to visit this business. People are visiting based on the positive feedback they’ve read online, on such sites as Google Reviews, Yelp, Foursquare, social media, or other platforms where businesses can be reviewed and rated. And high star ratings are an equally great perk. Emily Carroll noted in the Drive Research article that 92 percent of users will consider visiting a business which has earned a four-star listing. From an SEO standpoint, good reviews online are crucial. To put it into perspective, if someone types “best” in their search, Google will automatically filter out businesses with less than four stars. So, if someone searches on Google “best romantic restaurants near me,” if your restaurant as a 3.8 average star rating, it will not be in the search results. This rating can, however, change.

May tonight’s Valentine’s Day be memorable – for lovers and businesses.

Let’s say you are the proprietor of a local restaurant. Tonight, you’ll likely see more business than usual, as many happy couples have chosen to dine at your establishment. You and your staff – hosts, hostess, servers – want the overall experience for these couples to exceed their expectations. Dining at your place should enhance this romantic evening. Ideally, the couples’ satisfaction will result in big tip for their servers. To parallel this, your restaurant can also receive a big (actually bigger) tip via a positive review online. And this applies to all local businesses.

The ripple effect of online reviews.

Positive online reviews help build the credibility and visibility of your business, whether it is a restaurant, candy store, or clothing boutique. As stated earlier, many potential customers may become interested in visiting your business – all because they read a positive review online. Then these new customers may in turn write additional positive reviews. This is a ripple effect of mutual love between business and customer base in action.

If you own a local business and already have satisfied customers who’ve complimented you on the goods and services you provide, you should feel confident in building your visibility. From social media marketing to digital marketing, among other services, EGC can help make the presence of your business stronger. Contact us today to learn more.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!