The Importance Of Reviews For Your Online Business: The Psychology Of Word-Of-Mouth

As the Internet reaches more and more people, the popularity of reviews for businesses continues to rise, and is likely to do so for many years yet. Data show overwhelmingly that good reviews are one of the most important considerations for your business – substantially ahead of marketing or advertising done by you.

It has always been an often-quoted maxim in the advertising industry that word of mouth is the best advertising one can get. Think about it – if you are about to spend your money on a social media company Marlow, for example, and your friend was a regular customer – would you not take the word of your friend well above the word of the owner of the company? Would you not even take the word of a total stranger above that of the said owner?

The most likely reason for this is that we as humans are predisposed to trust the opinions reported by a person with no financial or emotional interest linked to what they are saying. When advertisements are screened on television, we are conditioned to ‘tune them out’. We know very well that the advertisements are funded by the corporations that stand to benefit from you agreeing with their message, and so we are right to treat them with scepticism.

Yet when a person who does not stand to gain financially by what they say  – such as your putative friend using the social media agency Marlow – their opinion will come across far less self-serving and therefore far more likely to be accurate or representative of your own possible experience there.

Of course, it still benefits us not to take only the word of a single friend or stranger. After all, people are inherently biased even when they do not have a financial interest. We all have our individual experiences, and different delights and annoyances affect us all differently.  For this reason, every person whose word we can hear from allows our opinion to become slightly more accurate and representative.

Since you may not have multiple friends using the social media company, or the desire to ask strangers about it, our next best bet is to turn to the World Wide Web. Research by Small Business Trends suggests that ninety per cent of people read fewer than 10 reviews in order to form an opinion about a business.



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