REAL STORIES: Business Tip | How NOT to Ask for a GOOGLE Review

image-clock-how-not-to-ask-for-online-reviewStern PR Tip: Right Way to Ask for Review

By Susan Stern —  Online Reviews, the good and bad, can make or break a business. So, positive reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Manta and Merchant Circle can be key to business success.

Asking for an Online Review

That said, before a business asks a client to consider penning a review, companies must clearly understand what they can, and can not do.

I draw from two real life stories that recently happened. In a nut shell. I noticed two Omaha retailers violated social media sites’ terms and conditions, and one business did worse. So herein, I shall discuss how not to ask customers to write online reviews.

Offering Discounts for Review – Major NO NO

Recently, I purchased a service at one Omaha retailer (I was very satisfied). While standing in line, I spotted electronic signage that stated:

Write a Google review, get $10 OFF your purchase and $5 OFF for a Facebook like.

Hmn… The business, albeit innocently, is in violation of Google’s terms and conditions.

Google’s business review policy hints at using “incentives”:

Don’t offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or write negative reviews about a competitor. We also discourage specialized review stations or kiosks set up at your place of business for the sole purpose of soliciting reviews. As a reviewer, you should not accept money or product from a business to write a review about them.

So, here’s what I did to help the business. With professionalism and a smile, while handing over money for services rendered, I gave the friendly sales manager a candid heads up: “Thanks so much for great service. Just an FYI. You might want to consider taking down that signage offering a discount for reviews and likes.” I explained why.

Later, the owner called, thanked me for the advice, and the retailer removed the signage. A great end to story #1.

Don’t Pressure Customers
DO NOT Make Sale Contingent Upon A Positive Review

My 2nd example shocks and awes. One metro-area commission-based retailer recently crossed the line before a transaction closed – making me feel very uncomfortable. Here’s what went down:image-ethics-business-tip-how-not-to-ask-for-online-review

The business owner, with quivering lip and red face, had the nerve to state something like, “I will NOT sell the product to you unless you promise that you are satisfied, that you’ll only write a positive review.” To reiterate, the pressuring business owner demanded assurance that I would only write a positive review OR no sale.

What?! Oh my goodness. The demand was nauseating.

I responded with professionalism and candor:

“Number 1, as an Omaha Marketing consultant, who represents business, I don’t recommend you say that to customers. I’m well-versed on online review ethics. It is improper to base a sale on if I pledge to only write a positive review.”

“Number 2, due to the nature of my business, I tend to steer clear from writing negative reviews: I understand that a bad online review can damage a company’s reputation. I empathize and rather not be involved. So no worries there.”

“Number 3, I haven’t owned the item to know if I works right.”
(Note: What I didn’t say, but I had thought: the salesman left a really poor impression. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. 🙂

I also told the retailer:

“Number 4: If I choose to write a Google review, I can, like anyone. It’s called free speech. It’s my 1st amendment right.”

With my stress level exceedingly high from the conversation’s nature, the business owner left the room, discussed the matter with a level-headed staffer, before the pair returned with a new attitude.

I closed the sale because I really, really wanted the product. I shook hands with the business owner, thanked him and left. No, I was NOT happy with the owner’s “customer service in total,” but the product that I bought is spectacular.

Hopefully, this local retailer learns a lesson from our exchange.  I assume some customers might not be so nice.

This Author Shares Story to Educate Business Owners

Will I write a negative review of either business? No, like I said before…

Instead, this Omaha marketing consultant seeks to share these real stories to educate business owners – how NOT to ask for a Google review. Many do not know the rules of the road. Customers should be aware, too.

Right Way for Business to Ask for Reviews

stern pr omaha website design companyWhile obvious, no business should demand to know if you’re satisfied and that you would only write a positive review or no sale.

It is also a no, no to buy Facebook likes or offer product discounts for reviews. Doing so violates social media terms and conditions, and is just bad business.

Instead, do this. After a transaction is complete, if you sense a happy client, thank them, shake hands and politely say: “if you’re pleased with the product/service, please consider writing an online review. We appreciate feedback. Thanks for your business.”

That’s it. That’s all you should do – to ethically seek an online business review!

Comment below. Share Your Stories.

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To inquire about Omaha Marketing consultant services, contact Stern PR Marketing™ today at 402-212-7489. We help business grow. Please visit official website now>>

Susan Stern Public Relations :: USA Campaign Consultant Achieves!

snap shot of stern public relations firm omaha nebraskaOmaha Public Relations Firm
Handles It All

(Omaha, NE)  —  If you have a consumer or industry-specific campaign your group, organization or movement wants to launch, count on Omaha Public Relations Practitioner Susan Stern to take your idea and transform into a newsworthy, full fledged USA campaign – which garners support and attention nationally, regionally or locally – netting quantifiable results!

Stern PR™ Touch
With the Susan Stern copywriting touch, your issue shall garner news media coverage online & off. Yes, the solution to Omaha-based campaign development/implementation IS indeed Susan Stern.

“I love the work I do. I am a passionate person through and through. I care and work very hard to do an outstanding job with the mark of total professionalism,” remarks Susan Stern.

Located in Nebraska, Omaha PR/Marketer Consultant Susan Stern basically operates as a one-woman band for clients, per se.

Intense Copywriting & Research
Former Journalist Susan Stern was called upon by two USA cattle ranchers to develop a National campaign to raise consumer awareness of controversial cattle feed additives called beta agonists that are under industry scrutiny. The process began with Susan Stern conducting ****extensive hours of industry research, followed by copywriting, back-and-forth client proofing and logo development. Susan Stern developed the campaign name: Beef Additive Alert™ and purchased the domain, too. Susan also handled the videography and graphic design, plus:

A Noteworthy Thank you for Beef Additive Alert™ News Coverage
We commend the “Lincoln Journal Star” & Agricultural Reporter Art Hovey who has done a thorough job of covering these controversial beta agonist issues which are important to the USA Beef Industry, Consumers and Youth show ring programs. Hovey quoted Stern PR client Gerald Timmerman, a prominent Springfield, Nebraska cattle rancher. The reporter called Susan Stern based on the news release (s) Stern PR developed & distributed locally, regionally & nationally.   Read PR Web News Release

Other news coverage, thus far:
Beef Magazine
Sioux City Journal
Lincoln Journal Star
Wall Street Journal
KPTM Fox 42
Livestock Market Digest
Nutrition News
Reuters

Notes of Appreciation

Stern PR™ wishes to publicly commend Canyon Texas High School Ag Science & FFA instructor Jeff Klose for presenting a project to his classroom on the controversial beta agonist cattle feed issue. Klose asked us to answer a series of questions, to which we did. We wish more teachers would recognize the importance this matter is to consumers, youth show ring competitors and the cattle industry. Cheers!

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As you can see, Susan Stern, Stern PR™ nets results for her clients! A one woman band, per se, Omaha PR Practitioner Susan Stern offers everything under one roof. All in all, expect personalized service from someone who really cares about her clients. “I have a vested interest in client satisfaction. I understand that If you succeed, I succeed,” notes Susan.

Contact Susan Stern direct (402) 212-7489. Visit Official Website

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Article Originally published on Aug. 22, 2013
Updated on January 23, 2014

Cutting Edge Omaha Marketing & PR Firm

(Omaha, NE) —  Stern PR Marketing. A cutting edge Omaha Marketing and PR firm providing start-ups and established companies with smart solutions to propel your brand forward. Call Susan Stern direct (402) 212-7489 | Read Stern PR Reviews
Visit Official Website

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Stern PR | Omaha Copywriter | Omaha Website Design Marketing

(Omaha, NE)  —  A keen business owner knows that a 21st Century website alone – isn’t enough to drive quality traffic. You need, not only a tech-savvy Omaha website designer, but a professional Omaha copywriter, too. The ideal choice is to outsource your Omaha website content writing to a professional in both Search Engine Optimization and aesthetics. Writing for the ear. Pleasing to the eyes. Active verbs, descriptive adjectives. No extraneous terms! Here in Omaha, Stern PR Marketing handles Omaha website design + Omaha copywriting. Streamline a company image with industry-appropriate words that are also SEO-friendly to help boost Google, Bing and Yahoo rank by “Stern PR.”

Did you know? Most Omaha website developers are technical only. They are not professional Omaha copywriters with a strong background in broadcast TV/Radio writing – like Susan Stern. So, what you get from most Omaha website developers is stale copy, to be candid. That’s not superior name-branding for your Omaha company image,” remarks Susan Stern, “Stern PR” an Omaha Marketing Consultant.Stern PR | Omaha Website Design

Inquiries? Contact Susan Stern Direct (o) 402-212-7489
Visit Official “Stern PR” Website for more informationStern PR | Official Website

Stern PR™ Video Debut

(Omaha, NE) — Attention, attention. The Susan Stern Stern PR™ 2012 Video is on the editing floor & ready for a public debut – the week of March 20! “I am super excited about publicizing this all-new video production. It shall contain the latest examples of my Omaha marketing work for such companies like Best of Omaha’s Heartland Lawns, CKF Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces, All Clear Windows, Snell Heating & Air Conditioning, among other great local businesses,” says Susan Stern Stern PR™.

“I am especially proud of some of the equipment upgrades in which I have invested – from a high-definition professional video camera, a few extra still camera lenses, top-notch pro lighting equipment and some superior computer software, that makes my job a heck of a lot less complicated and more polished. Clients seem to love the clarity of both my videos and photography. Good equipment is a wise investment.”

“Looking back, I remember starting my marketing business on a shoe-string budget with no extras. You know, with an ok, do-the-job, low-resolution video camera, and a computer that held hardly any memory. Boy, did it crash a lot. I still worked around it – and through it. It’s a fond memory. That said, thank goodness those good old days are behind me. Since then, thanks to great customer reviews of Stern PR™, with clients returning again and again, I am on my 4th computer, but this one has a superior processor and plenty of memory. So, I am crossing my fingers, that this may last several years.”

So, stay tuned for the debut of the all-new ‘Stern PR Video of Services 2012’

Visit the Official Website Corporate Video Portfolio Page Now!

Content Is King SEO

(Omaha, NE)  —  Have you heard the phrase ‘content is king’? The saying refers here to the ABSOLUTE necessity of outsourcing SEO – regularly updating your website & other online company listings. Notes Omaha Internet Marketing Consultant Susan Stern, “you gotta do it. High-quality SEO copywriting and periodic re-writing is SEO 101. Your business MUST regularly update content to maintain position & boost your website search engine ranking. If you just do nothing, let your website sit, trust me, your website will continue to fall further down the search engines. I tested the approach or lack there of and your website will get lost.”

How important is  “the most up-to-date” content? On Google’s blog post, there is a clue,  “Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven, or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh….”

The website content writing & re-writing process is not do-it-yourself. SEO writing is for experts…only. The process involves complicated keyword analysis and implementation that a layperson can not do. Equally as important, just because you hire a professional SEO writer, FYI, be aware that most SEO companies offer one, not two services. They are NOT professional copywriters (writing for the ear). So, the writing is stale and unprofessional.

To reiterate, in the world of SEO firms, you’ll find many are web programmers only. So, you’ll want to find a web content writer, an Omaha Internet Consultant who offers both: SEO & creative writing for business. Not common. Rare.

Susan Stern Stern PR™  an internet marketing consultant in Omaha writes for SEO & aesthetics. “I have over 20 years experience writing for broadcast and print journalism, corporate communications, commercial broadcasting, and so forth. My writing is fun to read. Clean. To-the-point. I use vibrant verbs – appealing adjectives.”

As for how often to refresh content? Once a week, every couple of weeks or at the minimum once-a-month – is recommended.

Again, to maintain and build website ranking, you need fresh content updates by Stern PR™. Your best investment is to sign a “Content is King” Annual Service Agreement. Call Susan Stern Now. 402-212-7489

With an estimated 150,000,000 million active websites on the internet, the task of sifting through searches is insurmountable. So, Google uses a math equation to organize. The keywords written on your website & elsewhere is what Google’s algorithm searches out. Fresh content = better ranking.

So, yes. ‘Content is King,’ for a website business owner. After all, being listed prominently on Google, Bing or Yahoo can result in a big boost in website site traffic – and achieve the ultimate objective – propel profits.

Contact Stern PR™ –  Omaha Internet Marketing Consultant Now…