Maximize the power of Social Reviews to get more customers in Asia

People love to share & engage with other people. Sharing personal thoughts, sharing interests, sharing experiences or just the sake of sharing. What is sharing? And what is the purpose of sharing? And why do people love to share?

Note: This is a guest post from Patrick Nelissen, Co-founder & CMO of Tabluu, a start-up based in Singapore and offers an online review & social referral tool for business owners and organizations. He wrote this post after attending Startup Asia 2014
The New York Times has recently done a study about the motives of sharing:

– 85% of the respondents said that other people’s responses helps them to understand what they are looking at
– 73% use sharing to facilitate conversations with those who have similar interests as them
– 49% share information to help change opinions or encourage action in their friends.

People share to enrich their and others lives around them. The fear of missing information is a very strong motivator to share. Especially when it’s a benefit you definitely don’t want to miss. Whether it’s tangible or not!

Providing that small business owners have the perfect benefits to attract new customers, their challenge is to:

like_and_share_meme_2– have their content noticed
– have their content shared
– get in contact with (new) customers without paying excessive fees/charges.

Looking at this, I was curious to see if there are smart solutions and I visited Startup Asia Singapore 2014 to find out. Which smart solutions are created by entrepreneurs to help business owners to get in contact with the right target group to share their products, services, etc. for the ultimate shared customers’ benefit?

Looking at the first 46 start ups at the Bootstrap Alley list, I found these 9 start ups who are offering solutions to share/publish experiences and benefits:

StudyPact (Japan)                –> they let you earn cash for studying, paid by members who don’t
Proxperty Pte Ltd (Singapore)          –> a new generation property platform that combines social network and marketing apps for the professional real estate agent
Bindo (Hong Kong)               –> retail platform what indexes inventory in the cloud and brings    merchants online by iPad POS
ActsOne (South Korea)        –> social based ad service
Buzzelement (Japan)                        –> customers get directly instant feedback from other customers
Eyeota (Sweden)                 –> audience targeting company
FeverSocial (Taiwan)                       –> recruit, engage and convert social media fans
– (Philippines)      –> easiest way to get into the best clubs, events, etc.
– Ashadee (Malaysia)             –> social media rewards platform.
6 out of 9 start ups have 1 thing in common, they are using a “push” strategy. They are offering business owners paid platforms and/or channels to get in contact with customers.

I don’t validate these startups, as this type of business can be very succesful (Google for example). But I am wondering why 67% of these start ups are using a push strategy and how many business owners are willing to pay to get in contact with new customers.

In my opinion the new economy is an economy in which most customers decide whether they want to get in contact with you or not. Especially when it’s paid content and you are 10-15 times a day shown to them. And to make it even worse, paid content is mostly not trusted content and that’s the main difference with social sharing and recommendation by customers themselves.

There is a very simple solution and that is asking your customer for a review & letting him post it on his own social media platform! This will cost the business owner no money and it’s trusted content. Content which will be read more than when it’s paid for.

During my visit at Startup Asia 2014, I asked several entrepreneurs about this simple solution. And most of them liked it. But they have never thought about this, which gave me the opportunity to introduce Tabluu to them.

Tabluu is a Singaporean start up and developed an online feedback & social referral tool for business owners. It’s based on a combination of Changi Airports’ feedback module and Facebook.

Despite all critics about Facebook, they still hold a leading position in the social media world. Faceebook is still king, especially regarding referrals. According to Shareaholic, 21% of the online traffic is received by Facebook. Pinterest is number 2 with 7%. Mind the gap!

After visiting Startup Asia 2014 I decided to visit some entrepreneurs in the field of eCommerce, Hospitality, etc. and talked about my first impression of social sharing.

They agreed with my impression which made me decide to share this with you. I am really hoping that you will start thinking about using social referrals in a smart way without paying for this. Payments should only be made after a period of trial which didn’t result in more business.

Based on Tabluu’s experience, 50% of the customers are really posting a positive review on their Facebook page. And if you manage to get 10 posts every day, you’ll reach 1,500-2,000 potential customers every day. For free! This will save you at least USD 249 per month! So why are you paying for something which is free? You could apply a similar approach to your business and let’s see the result!

About Guest Writer
Patrick Nelissen is Co-founder & CMO of Tabluu, a start-up based in Singapore and offers an online review & social referral tool for business owners and organizations.

If you think the post helpful or cool then LIKE & SHARE it to your friends & colleagues! Southeast Asia eCommerce
Minh Bui is a seasoned eCommerce veteran from both Southeast Asian startups and corporates in online commerce and offline retail chain as well. He's also an avid Asia explorer and love to enjoy local foods and learn cultural differences in Asia.

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