Unless you live in a world completely disconnected from the media, you must have heard chatter about the newest iPhone and the subsequent software update ios 6. What you may have thought much about, however, is how Apple has stepped up the importance for reputation management in social media.
The latest iPhone software update has integrated Apple Maps with Yelp profiles. Now, when you search for a location in your Apple Maps app on your iPhone, search results are accompanies by Yelp profiles.
The platform even allows the user to browse through Yelp reviews without ever leaving the Apple Maps app.
Hypothetically speaking, if I am in a new town and want to find a place to get a cup of coffee, I can go into the Apple Maps app and type “coffee” into the search bar. The search results will then show me the nearest places matching that description. I click on the closest one. It has an average rating of three stars, so I decide to learn more about it by checking out customer reviews. When I land on the tab, all I see is negative comments about how poor the service is and how overpriced the coffee is. Obviously I am going to choose to go somewhere else.
To someone who hasn’t worked with brick-and-mortar brands before, it may not be apparent at first the implications of this integration. The main take-aways are:
Monitoring is necessary. This integration makes it so that ever SMB and enterprise-level business needs to dedicate some resources to monitoring its Yelp profiles for negative reviews. Companies should also work to turn those negative reviews into a positive experience by addressing customer concerns and showing that your company cares.
Reviews can impact revenue. With this further integration of social and search, negative reviews have even greater impact to upset revenue. If customers are constantly unhappy and voice concerns, others will begin to avoid your store as well. Studies have shown that 70 percent of people trust online reviews–that can be a fairly devastating decline of in-store traffic OR a fantastic increase in traffic from positive reviews.
Locations need to embrace social media. The marriage of social media and search is an inevitable shift in the way we find and interact with brands. The companies that are going to win in search are those that embrace this idea and invest time in making their locations easy to find through search/social mechanisms.
This integration of Yelp in Apple Maps is just one way that search is being impacted and changed in social. Facebook has even teased at creating its own search capabilities.
Brands need to pay attention to how their reputation is being set on various social media platforms, and actively listen and adjust to what is being said by customers. The only way to win in this scenario is to take every review seriously and position a company as one that genuinely cares what its customers think.
If you are interested in learning more about search and social, and how brands can utilize various tools to manage their online reputation, Like this blog post and I will write a follow up!