By Jeff Quinn, RepCheckup

Our favorite athletes need to think about their reputation when it comes to signing bigger contracts and sponsorships/endorsements. It comes down to more than just physical attributes; but it is also their reputation off the field too. They need to make sure they are reviewed in a good light by fans and critics. The same applies to sports bars, which need to make sure that regulars and newcomers alike have a reason to come to your location.

In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about how you can increase your bar’s online review backlog to give people even more of a reason to come to your sports bar.

Why Online Reviews Matter for Sports Bars

Many people think online reviews only apply to fancy restaurants, hotels, and service or retail businesses. The truth is that online reviews could be keeping your sports bar from having even more regulars coming in throughout the week.

Whether or not someone is searching specifically for reviews about your bar, they’re going to see it. Even a simple Google Maps search on your phone is likely to bring up addresses, phone numbers, and an automatic view of the business’s rating.

Studies have shown that consumers are less likely to visit a business with a rating below three stars. Search engines have even supported this finding by changing their algorithms to rank businesses with better ratings higher on the search results page.

If you want to make sure that the most people are finding you, gaining honest online reviews from your guests is key.

How You Can Get More Online Reviews

If you want to make sure that you’re making the most out of your business’s online presence, you’ll have to create a strategy that supports online reviews.

Check out these three tips to get the most reviews routed to your business profiles now.

Train Staff on How to Ask for Reviews Personally

The bond between a bar tended and a regular is key in maintaining that relationship, so it’s only natural that your staff should feel comfortable asking customers for reviews.

Spending time to train staff on why online reviews are important, what profiles you’d like the reviews on, and how to ask for reviews is a worthwhile investment.

We recommend that staff asks your sports bars’ guests as they are checking out or toward the end of their visit. Make sure that a specific profile is pointed to in the conversation (Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc.).

For example, your staff could simply say: “Thanks for dropping by today, (name)! You’ve been here a few times before – would you mind leaving us a review on Google?”

You’d be surprised at how many people will leave a review if they’re asked.

Use a Reputation Management Tool to Solicit Reviews

One of the best things you can do to increase your bar’s online reviews is actually bringing technology in to support your staff’s efforts.

People get busy. Bars get crowded and loud. Your guests may forget to leave a review after they leave the bar.

That’s why a reputation management tool can help you touch base with customers after their visit and ask them for a review. Often equipped with customizable templates, soliciting reviews via text or email with a reputation management tool is one of the most effective methods.

Spice up Your Social Media with Online Reviews

People love getting involved with businesses that support the community. If you have social media accounts, you can take quotes from existing online reviews and share them.

Websites like Canva allow business owners to create well-designed social media graphics without needing an in-house design team.

Simply share these posts, thank the reviewer, and ask people for their own feedback to get the cycle started.

Before you know it, you’ll be using your customer’s real reviews as a trustworthy part of your brand that attracts people online and from your social media profiles!