Recommendations are vital when it comes to building trust with existing and potential customers. In fact, 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. For all businesses, recommendations are an effective and free way to help customers get to know your products or services, while also acting as social proof to boost your business’s reputation.
While recommendations are a marketing tool you can use for your small business year round, the holiday season is an opportune time to get more. Whether you’re in the home services industry ready to help homeowners with winter prep and holiday decorating, or work in retail and are ready to maximize on holiday shopping, or in the food and beverage space anticipating larger orders to accommodate holiday festivities, read on to learn why recommendations are important for building customer trust and learn tips for getting more recommendations.
Neighbors on Nextdoor value recommendations
On Nextdoor, recommendations are especially effective as neighbors are eager to support and prioritize local businesses like yours. Neighbors value recommendations and look to them when making purchasing decisions. According to Nextdoor data:
- 96% of neighbors have seen a business recommendation on Nextdoor
- 72% have been influenced by a recommendation
- 71% have shared a business recommendation
- 89% of neighbors value neighbor recommendations for products and services
As the busy holiday season ramps up, you’ll want to make sure your business is top of mind among neighbors by getting more business recommendations. More recommendations means more visibility for your business and more reasons for customers to choose your business over another.
5 ways to use get more recommendations this holiday season
1. Ask for recommendations
The easiest way to get more recommendations is to simply ask for them. Let your customers know that their business is important to you and ask them to leave a recommendation about their experience. Because it’s the holiday season, you can even include end-of-the-year messaging like, “Thank you for your continued support throughout this year. In the spirit of holiday giving, please share your experience with our business. Your recommendation will help us continue to serve you through the holidays and beyond.”
There are a number of ways to ask for recommendations, including:
- Verbally, immediately after they make a purchase or when you complete the service
- Organic social media post
- Your Nextdoor Business Posts
- Email campaign
- Banner on your website
No matter how you make the ask, always remember to thank your customer for their continued support and let them know how important their recommendation is in helping your business grow.
2. Use previous recommendations as marketing content
If you already have several recommendations, let your customers do the talking. Use one or several of their recommendations and incorporate them into your own marketing content. This includes social media posts, digital ads, a banner on your website, or an email newsletter.
In the spirit of the holiday season, you can even do a campaign around your recommendations. For inspiration, think along the lines of an advent calendar. For example, X Days of Customer Spotlights. Select a number of days to share a different customer recommendation and let your audience know they can also leave you a recommendation for a chance to be featured in the future.
This not only helps establish a relationship between you and that customer, it also shows you value them by giving them a special spotlight. Make it easy for potential customers to make a decision by taking the positive words from your customers and sharing them on your marketing channels.
3. Join conversations on Nextdoor
To engage with neighbors on Nextdoor, you’ll first need to claim your free Business Page. If a neighbor mentions your business in a Nextdoor post, prioritize joining the conversation. Thank them for thinking of you, especially during the busy holiday season, and let them know they can fave your business or leave a recommendation directly on your Business Page.
4. Offer an incentive
Sometimes getting your customers to leave a recommendation requires more than a simple ask or opportunity to be featured. If you find this is the case for your business, consider offering an incentive to customers who leave a recommendation. Your incentive could be anything from a discount on their next purchase or service or a free item. You can also lean into the holiday season by partnering with a local organization or non-profit by doing a recommendation drive. Let customers know that you will donate a certain amount of proceeds for every recommendation made during the holiday season.
5. Do a giveaway
Similar to incentivizing, another way to get more recommendations is through doing a giveaway. Offer a generous prize to a randomly selected winner who has left you a recommendation. Pick your prize and decide how long you want to collect entries. Once that entry period is over, randomly select a winner. If you can afford to do a daily giveaway, consider a similar campaign as offering an incentive where you do X days of giveaways for customers who leave a recommendation.
Make the holidays brighter for your business with Nextdoor
The holidays are a busy time for both business owners and customers. Use Nextdoor to make your season brighter. Lean into recommendations and let neighbors' words speak for you and your business. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our Small Business Guide to Nextdoor Recommendations. This guide will provide you with additional tips on how to ask for recommendations during the holidays and beyond. Claim your Business Page to get started.