A Call to Contribute

The influence of peer recommendations is difficult to quantify or to overstate. The growth of review sites as well as the impact of social media marketing can be directly linked to the priority we place on the opinions of people in our online communities. People-powered endorsement engines have become so ever-present that we can take their existence for granted. To state the obvious,

“User created content is user created”thumbs up

These reviews and tips didn’t simply appear but people like you took the time to contribute. Now it’s your turn.

Influence Revealed

When planning a family vacation or a night on the town we increasingly rely on peer reviews to guide our experience. Online communities like Yelp & TripAdvisor have given voice to a collective opinion of the world around us.

It’s interesting to note that the trust we place in these reviews extend beyond our existing social connections. While we might ask our Facebook or Twitter network their thoughts we will also take the word of a complete stranger. In fact, an multimillion dollar marketing effort might be totally discounted by one seemingly candid review from someone we’ll never meet.

Even the world’s indexer of information understands the usefulness of this created content. Google a restaurant and you’ll find a results page similar to this

gplace_page

The link to the restaurant homepage appears directly above this portion but our eyes are drawn here. Why does the Google Place page focus n smartly aggregated reviews? Because we say its important.

Empowered by the advice of friends and total strangers we make decisions of how to spend our money.

  • If you are business you should be paying attention
  • As an individual you should be contributing

Pay It Forward

Someone took the time to leave those reviews that helped you find that amazing restaurant or avoid a dumpy motel and we should return the favor. It takes time and thoughtfulness to contribute but your voice matters. Pay it Forward.

Here are a few ways to contribute:

  • Foursquare – Leave tips to suggest great dishes or ways to avoid the rush.
  • Urbanspoon – leave restaurant reviews, upload menu pictures
  • Yelp – review and rate most anything
  • TripAdvisor – Share your experience at a hotel or your thoughts on the value

2 responses to “A Call to Contribute”

  1. Bec says:

    I agree. I’m trying hard to leave more comments on blogs as well as for places I was given great (or terrible) service.
    I’ve noticed, for me at least, I use these more to gage service, price, and speed-especially for a restaurant. (I don’t know what RandomPerson’s palette is like, but slow service, especially if time amounts are given, is slow service).
    Like just about everyone (I assume) I still trust the opinions of friends and family more, but if there’s a place with no online feedback and I’ve had no referrals from friends? I don’t go.

  2. Keith says:

    I’m much the same way. The feedback on the value and experience of a place is crucial in my decision making and I try to feed my input back into the system. I think your final sentence really hits the importance of these sites to more connected customers.

    Thanks for reading Becca and really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Thank you.

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