Greg Sterling writes about online reviews today… lots of good stuff.
Adding to the mounting evidence that online reviews are now critical for both consumers and businesses, comScore and the Kelsey Group released online survey data (n=2,090) last week showing that 24% of consumer-respondents used online reviews in the context of looking for a local service business (during the preceding three-months)…
PQ Media issued a new report that estimated “word-of-mouth marketing” has become a $981 billion business. In addition, the report says that among consumers surveyed, 80% rely on friends and family for recommendations. This phenomenon is now moving quickly online… [lots more]
Taken together, these data all show how significant online reviews are becoming – as an extension of traditional “word of mouth” – for both consumers and local businesses. As the stakes get higher, which all these data suggest they will, the risk is that there’s more gaming and manipulation of reviews. Note that 30% (of the 24%) in the comScore data wrote reviews because they were asked to do so. (And see my recap of the SMX panel on user review content.)
Reviews and recommendations are a large part of the Front Porch Forum postings. Most arrive upon request from a neighbor.