Some of you may know that I just got back from a long road trip. While we were away, dropping off my son at his new college in the farmlands of Ohio, we stayed at a local B&B. It was a very nice family run inn located in a quiet, traditional town so I was surprised to see receive a follow up e-mail from them this morning.
Even more surprising was seeing this in the e-mail:
“Feel free to share with us and future guests what you enjoyed most about your stay. Click Here to rate us on Trip Advisor...”
You may have seen something like this before, but I have not and I certainly hadn’t expected this from such a small establishment. The e-mail was a slight surprise, but opening themselves up to my public social comment on Trip Advisor, a platform out of their control? That’s some confidence… and some smart thinking.
Two things are critical here. The first is the recognition that the star ratings bring. Its probably the most primal and effective forms of social media out there. We all have had the experience of making purchase decisions based on reviewing star ratings for products. What’s amazing about this is we do it based on pure trust of people that we don’t even know. If social media is about recommendations from people we know this basic form of anonymous social recommendation is just as powerful, just as social and it can last forever.
The second is the key social strategy of providing an environment for social interaction. By providing the link in the e-mail they nudged me one step closer to creating a review, something I had never done before, by making the task one step simpler. So I went ahead and reviewed them, (4 stars)
It doesn’t take a lot to leverage the power of social media for our clients. We just have to think of the proper application and make sure that we make it easy for our audience to become participants in defining our brand. Even the smallest contribution, made easy, can help tremendously.