Social Media Tools: Product Reviews Vs. Twitter

In a recent Advertising Age Digital article, Abbey Klaasen suggests Forget Twitter; Your Best Marketing Tool Is the Humble Product Review.  

Twitter has been getting a lot of hype lately, but is the product review a better customer relationship builder and product improvement tool?  The Advertising Age article has this to say:

For all the ink spilled on the importance of Twitter and Facebook as feedback and customer-service channels, there's another social-media tool marketers are increasingly finding useful, not just as an online-shopping tool but as an internal, culturally changing consumer-criticism channel: the humble product review.

Samsung used consumer reviews and insights to modify the speaker placement on its flat-panel TVs. After hearing complaints that the speakers on the side of the TV, which add a few inches, rendered them too wide for many customers' entertainment cabinets, it redesigned the product to hide the speakers underneath.

Crate & Barrel kids-furniture subsidiary Land of Nod reissued a $400 activity table with a more-durable wood when consumers complained it was too soft and showed punctures and dents from normal kid use. Even though return rates were still low — who wants to bother shipping disassembling and shipping back a clunky table? — the reviews uncovered the problem.

I am a HUGE fan of product reviews, for several reasons.   As Abbey Klaasen points out above, they are an invaluable tool for brands and manufacturers to get direct feedback on their products.  

Fit Couture uses customer feedback to improve products

Fit Couture sells women's workout and yoga clothing. They make it a priority to read customer reviews and improve products based on that feedback. Here are some examples:

–  Our longest length pant used to be 33”.  Based on reviews, I saw that there were a lot of customers that said “great length – even longer would be better.”  We added 35” inseams as a result for our taller customers looking for longer workout pants.
·   People loved the Rio Pants, but many of them asked if we could make the flare more exaggerated than just a boot-cut.  So, we added the Rio Pants w/flare and it became one of our best selling pair of pants.
·   When we released the Saratoga pants, we got some feedback from customers saying “love the look – but the waist isn’t as snug as I would like." We changed the design a bit to tighten the fit at the waist and it’s been a big hit.

It pays to listen to your customers.

 

Is there any value in Twitter for companies and brands?

One complaint about Twitter is that the feedback isn't as specific.  It could be just a thumbs up or thumbs down.   I agree product reviews are a better source of more specific information.

But I still think Twitter is important from a customer service point of view simply because folks are starting to expect brands to be available on Twitter, and when they're not, consumers feel "unheard."  

Twitter- at&t 2  

Twitter -reaching out to companies - is facebook here 

Twitter - at&t 1  

Twitter- comcast anyone here 

Twitter- comcast customer

I'm not saying it's right or fair, I'm just saying chances are your customers are looking for your on Twitter. 

Product reviews are powerful for women consumers

If you want more information on how powerful product reviews are for women consumers, check out my recent post about Lindiskin's usage of product reviews instead of product descriptions in their email campaign. 

Also check out:

Using customer review keywords to pick up women, men

Why product reviews are better than product descriptions

 

 

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3 Responses to Social Media Tools: Product Reviews Vs. Twitter

  1. Nice work dude… It is helpful for me as well as others..

  2. I agree that product reviews are great – if companies are in a listening frame of mind. And Twitter is a great way for bloggers to share those reviews. But for those companies that are not so concerned with their customer, Twitter puts the power directly in the hands of the consumer. As more savvy consumer voices put simple video tools to use and share their experiences – the rest of us can have more hope of getting the full perspective on a product or service assessment. This can help shift reluctant companies whose product our services cater to the public to be more consumer driven.

  3. Holly Buchanan says:

    Julie,
    You’re absolutely right. I’m also a big fan of video – I think we’re going to see more and more video product reviews in the next year.

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