How to Ask Online Community Members for Reviews - dummies

How to Ask Online Community Members for Reviews

By Deborah Ng

There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to bloggers, writers, and other online community members and asking them if they’re interested in reviewing your brand or community.

The difference between evangelizing a brand and doing a review is that brand evangelists don’t review: They promote, and they’re compensated in exchange for their promotion. Reviewers, on the other hand, generally work for free, because their reviews come from the heart. Once you pay for reviews, you’re actually asking for an advertisement or a paid post called a sponsored post.

If your community is a forum, people have to pay to join, so be sure to offer a free subscription to anyone doing a review. If your community is part of a brand, as opposed to a hobby community, you might also throw in some product or free service so that they can talk knowledgeably about the brand and fit in with your community conversations.

Make sure that you choose the right types of people to give reviews. If they have no interest in your brand, your niche, or your community, they’re not the best people to contact; their reviews won’t be enthusiastic and may do more harm than good, as people sometimes complain on Twitter that they received a pitch that isn’t relevant to them at all. Always research the people you’re pitching to.

You can mention in your community’s Twitter or Facebook account that you’re looking for reviewers, but you also want to reach out to people who aren’t part of your community to get honest, credible reviews from people who haven’t already bought in to your brand.

When you request reviews, you’re really requesting honest feedback. Sometimes, honest feedback isn’t what you want to hear, but don’t get defensive. Even if the review wasn’t as positive as you hoped it would be, thank the person who offered it and use it as food for thought for community improvement.