In today’s world, there are endless advertisements telling you where to eat, what to buy, and how to think. While these ads absolutely help in creating awareness of new locations and fads, they are often not enough to convince someone to invest their time and money. When in doubt, most people look to their peers for opinions.
There is absolutely no difference in this and in how people choose to become members of your organization. A business is much more likely to join your chamber and a person to join your association if they know others whom they trust are also members. This is where testimonials come in handy, but how do you get them and how do you use them effectively?
Three ways to get testimonials:
- Survey your members. At least once a year, you should survey your members on all aspects of their membership. Make sure that one question asks them why they are members. If you host events, after the event, in the follow-up survey, ask them why they attend. Phrase the questions in such a way that will help you garner valuable testimonials.
- Review Sites. Many organizations, even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are on sites such as Yelp. Members, event guests, and more can leave comments and rankings. Another great place for your members to leave reviews is on your Facebook page. A great feature is that Facebook highlights the reviews of the “friends” of the viewer, because once again, the best recommendations come from those you trust. Check out Institute’s Facebook reviews for an idea of the kind testimonials that can be left (and maybe even leave one yourself).
- Ask. If you want something specific, ask for it. Feel free to ask the most vocal of your organization’s cheerleaders to create a short video, write a few words down, or post a comment or two on a website.
Three ways to use testimonials:
- On your website.
- In marketing materials.
- In social media.
One last tip:
Make sure to get permission to modify their comments. This allows you to alter for grammar and length.