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Delton Childs

Smoke Shop Blogger at Head Shop Hero
Delton Childs smoke shop enthusiast and product reviewer. D loves talking with friends about new products and innovations in the smoke shop industry as well as hanging out with his schnauzer Einstein at the park. Be sure to give him a shout on your favorite social network.

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If you think product reviews are just helpful consumer info for other people and it goes no further, you’re wrong.  Reviews are key to ranking well in the search engines, having others find out about your products or services and curating a professional image for your smoke shop online.

Getting reviews can be tricky though and you can just focus on getting reviews for one site either, you need facebook reviews, google reviews, yelp reviews, who knows what website will be top next year.  Yes, you need reviews at all these places.

#1.  Ask Customers for Reviews

I know, I know, this can feel like a hastle.  But it’s not.  Asking for reviews can be anything from, “Hey, Review our shop on Google if you get a chance” as you’re finishing up on a sale.  Some smoke shops I’ve worked with have a computer set up in the shop & they call it “The Hook Up”.  It’s one of those “hook me up and I’ll hook you up” deals. Here’s how it works.

Don’t Focus On One Review Site But Ask Customers To:

  • Like You On Facebook
  • Review You On Google
  • Check-In At The Shop on Social

I recommend that in return you offer them something.  Several smoke shops I work with give out free (cheepo) glass pipes, some give 10% Off whatever their purchase is.  Yes, you always run into those people who  delete their reviews afterwards or hide things from their timeline but who cares.  I feel like the majority of customers are just as honest and forthright as your business is with them.  You deliver value to the customer and they won’t have a problem promoting your brand.

I said not to focus on one site.  Fads come and go.  Yelp won’t be around forever, weather we like it or not, facebook might give way to something much better in 5 years.  We want to have an equally strong presence across all social network.  Which one’s is a discussion for another article but don’t try to be all things to all people.  Choose your networks, don’t do them all just because you feel like you have to.  Chances are, your customers are on more than one social netowrk also so you won’t really miss that connection just because your smoke shop isn’t on Pinterest.

#2 Put Links On Your Website So People Can Review Your Smoke Shop

Yea, OK… this can be a double edged sword but if you count of positive person to person interaction as one way to grow your business, like most businesses do, this can be an essential step to spreading the message about the good work your staff is doing at the shop or at the dispensary.  For Facebook you can even link directly to the “reviews” page on facebook for instance.  Here’s a link to my personal reviews page which has been instrumental in gaining new clients as a marketer and web designer.

So maybe you don’t have reviews enabled?  Here’s the official facebook documentation on how you can enable reviews.

Google Reviews are another story.  Google reviews are curated by a picky algorithm.  I’ve worked with many smoke shops that have used Google Reviews to help get their shop raking better but after a certain point it becomes harder and harder to generate those quality reviews and some reviews simply won’t show up at all.  I actually had to do a bit of research for a client to find out why, after all, you don’t want to put investing your time and marketing effort into something that never shows up… right?  this is what I found out about google reviews and why your google reviews will probably get filtered:

  • Can’t spell — Filtered
  • Bad grammar — Filtered
  • Bad or excessive punctuation — Filtered
  • Not respectful — Filtered
  • Too Short — Filtered
  • Shows contact information — Filtered
  • Includes link — Filtered
  • Identical review on another website — Filtered
  • Excessive CAPITALIZATION — Filtered
  • Profanity — Filtered

Some businesses I know have had success on Yelp and some of the smoke shops I work with have reviews on yelp.  To be honest I feel like the Yelp audience is a older demographic but some smoke shop customers do use it.  I find more reviews on google and facebook for smoke shops than I do on yelp but it can be an important listing for your Shop or Dispensary for some added exposure and a few (more) positive reviews never helped anyone.  A little tip though.  Take the time to fill out your Yelp profile for your business.  Don’t hurriedly rush through it.  Take a breath, write meaningful and helpful things about your businesses.  This is one of the big mistakes I see a lot of businesses do.   I don’t know whether business owners are just buys or don’t know better but what you write, how it looks and including photos of your shop is key to having a well planned listing on all these sites.  At Head Shop Hero, we work hard to make sure all our client listings look great.  It’s all tied together, really.

It’s Not Just About Buzz

You’ve got to remember, you’re bound to get a negative review at some point.  A lot of online articles will tell you to try to reach out to the negative reviewer and try to make good on your shortcomings.  If you do, you stand a better chance of having that person document that.  But when you do get bad reviews you need to look at it like a little hint for your business about something you can improve upon.  If it’s about customer service… woe to he who has a bad customer service review, that just shouldn’t happen.  It’s a business and all businesses have to foster good customer relations so be sure your shop employees understand that and approach each customer with a helpful attitude and stay away from the shady smoke shop clerk image, you know what I’m talking about… the employee that barely grunts at customers or worse yet just ignores them.

Each customer should be greeted and welcomed into your smokers circle as a friend. 

Do me a favor!!  We have thousands of website visitors know and our last podcast got tons of plays… allas… our social media channel on Facebook is a barren desert.  This might be because while everyone loves a smoke shop… only smoke shop owners can appreciate the service we offer.  I would be great if all you bad asses would show some love to good ol’ head shop ero.  Take a second to like us on facebook so we wouldn’t look so lame online!  😉

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