Tag Archives: online communities

Online Review Sites Gain Importance in Tight Economy


I recently read a fascinating  interview from econsultancy with Laura Nestler, Community Manager of Yelp. Yelp is an online review site that started in the US in 2004 and recently launched in the UK with new features. It is interesting to see how the site has been continually developing and adding new elements over the years.5-24-2009 10-03-54 AM

The most interesting aspect of the new version of Yelp is the additional functionality that gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviewers favourable or unfavourable reviews.  This is a key development and I believe much overdue. The ‘two way dialogue’ model that forms the foundation of Social Media needs to occur to ensure continual dialogue and transparency.

So what else is new for Yelp? as with many online applications they have now launched our most recent iPhone application – Yelp for iPhone – and they expect to roll out further apps for other devices in future.

Review Sites in a Tight Economy

As the economy tightens consumers are spending more time on the internet researching product purchases before they buy.  Online product review sites are one of the leading types of user-generated content on the web today and their role will become increasingly important.

The following figures show the significance of review sites for consumers.

Does your website have a review element?  it might be a great way to start engaging with your customers today.

Review Statistics

  • Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
  • 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
  • 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
  • Article of note: Tips on building your review site

    About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy .  Enjoy the article? please subscribe to the RSS Feed


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    Filed under online communities, online review sites, seo, social media strategy

    Five Eras of the Social Web – Part 2 – What does it mean for market research?

    In the first post (below) I discussed the recent Forrester study and how they described the Five Eras of the Social Web.

    The five eras not only relate to social media marketing but also the discipline of market research.

    Innovative market research companies have already tapped into the fact that market research methodologies need to change in a web 2.0 environment- become more online and more ‘social’.

    The following are  a list of agencies that are currently using innovative approaches:

    • The Digital Edge – the only Australian company to have facebook-style community software that enables a highly interactive online and highly ‘sociable‘ research experience – referred to as MROCs or market research online communities. (Era 1 & 2)
    • Peanut Labs, runs  surveys across widgets on social networks. (Era 2)
    • FreshNetworks build online communities for innovation and consumer advocacy – with the ability for insight collection (Era 5)
    •  Australian online communities provider Resonate Solutions builds communities for organisations with potential for market research/insight gathering (Era 5)

     The Social Web touches many disciplines from knowledge management, to pr and marketing and market research. The agencies that innovate to recognise the change  and use it to drive their future methodologies will survive while those that don’t will become increasingly irrelevant.

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    Filed under Market Research