As a business owner, you already know that it’s vital to monitor Google, Yelp, and Facebook for customer reviews. You might have also researched platforms specific to your industry, like Angi if you’re a home contractor or Zocdoc if you’re a healthcare provider.
But what about platforms and apps that people don’t usually associate with customer reviews?
For example, you’ve probably visited Reddit searching for information, or killed time by scrolling through TikTok. These are two perfect examples of platforms that, while not explicitly designed for reviews, empower their users and communities to share their experiences in ways that can dramatically impact businesses.
Monitoring platforms like these can help you convert more prospects, gain insights about what customers want, and get better control of your online reputation – even if they aren’t traditional sources of business reviews. In this article, we’ll go over six platforms you may be overlooking and compare which of them have the biggest influence on consumers.
What is a Customer Review Platform?
There are thousands of websites and mobile apps where users can share reviews, from restaurants and hotel chains to doctors, attorneys, employers, and contractors. The largest of these platforms are Google My Business (formerly Google Business Profile), Yelp, and Facebook.
Among these top three review platforms, Google has experienced the greatest growth since 2020, according to BrightLocal. That year, 63% of consumers reported checking Google reviews during the last 12 months. By 2022, that percentage increased to 87%.
Part of the reason that Google, Yelp, and Facebook are so dominant is that they are generalized for all types of businesses and market segments: no matter what someone is shopping for, they can find (and write) reviews on Google. However, there are also numerous platforms that cater to specific industries. While industry-specific platforms receive less traffic overall, they still have a significant impact on the businesses within that niche.
Avvo, for instance, lets its users explore and review different law firms. Cars.com, like its name suggests, helps shoppers rate and find vehicles. And Healthgrades lets users review and rate doctors, so that patients can find the best physicians.
Some of these platforms – notably Facebook – are social media platforms that also happen to include business pages where customers can share pictures and comments. Others, like Glassdoor, combine the ability to leave reviews with features like job search tools.
Almost Half of Consumers Check These Platforms – But is Your Business Monitoring Them?
Google, Facebook, and Yelp are great starting points to monitor reviews, along with industry-focused platforms that are relevant to your business.
However, you shouldn’t stop there. As research by BrightLocal uncovered, nearly half of consumers use other “channels for business discovery,” such as TikTok or YouTube, in addition to more conventional review platforms like Yelp.
The survey included more than 1,100 participants and was conducted in January 2023. Here’s what it revealed about these alternate types of platforms.
#1: YouTube (and Local News)
Equal percentages of consumers (35%) said that they checked YouTube and, perhaps more surprisingly, their local news stations “when deciding whether to use a local business.” If your business isn’t active on YouTube, consider creating a channel and sharing video content, which can potentially get up to 1200% more shares than images or articles.
A slightly smaller percentage of consumers (32%) said that their choices about local businesses were influenced by Instagram, where businesses can showcase their best visual work and interact with their fans and customers.
20% of consumers said they checked TikTok when evaluating local businesses. And according to TikTok’s blog, “Compared to other platform audiences, [TikTok users are] more likely to engage with brands online (including asking questions and writing reviews), or to post on social apps about brands and products.”
#4 & #5 Tie: Reddit and “X” (Formerly Twitter)
Equal percentages of consumers reported checking Reddit and “X,” Twitter’s recent rebrand (15% for each).
#6: Blogging Platforms
14% of consumers said they referenced local bloggers, such as food bloggers.
About half of consumers – 52% – say they’ve never used any of the above sources to help them compare local businesses.
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid missing online discussions of – or complaints about – your brand, product, or store:
- Make sure you have alerts and push notifications enabled on each platform
- Utilize usernames (like @businessname) and hashtags (like #eventname) whenever you create a post or respond to a comment
- Consider using a web monitoring tool that checks for brand mentions or social mentions online
- Leverage a review monitoring service designed for multi-location brands and agencies
Automatically Monitor Multiple Platforms and Never Miss Another Review
It’s crucial to track and respond to reviews if you want to compete with local brands – but handling that task manually is time-consuming and inefficient.
Shout About Us eliminates these obstacles by automating the process of tracking and responding to reviews, empowering your business with tools that make online reputation management easy.
Join more than 10,000 brands who count on Shout About Us for professional review management. Book your demo today.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.