Long before Google and social media platforms made it easy for customers to leave reviews about any type of business or organization, most reviews revolved around the arts. In addition to restaurants, reviews focused on theatre productions, record albums, books, movies, and TV shows. It’s only natural that performing arts organizations would be showcased in online reviews.
Of course, early reviews came from well-known critics. They didn’t talk about things like parking availability and the experience of buying tickets. Today’s online reviews come from regular people. Reviews are more about influencing purchase decisions rather than determining a nomination for a prestigious award.
Google Reviews in particular represent an enormous opportunity for arts and cultural institutions to make their events more successful and build support for the organization in terms of ticket sales, donations, and positive word-of-mouth.
Why Google Reviews Are Important to the Arts Community
Google Reviews are included in the knowledge panel, which appears on the righthand side of search results when you have a Google My Business profile and someone searches for your organization.
From a search perspective, a large number of Google Reviews shows credibility and engagement with customers. This can improve your search ranking. A large number of positive reviews also shows Google you’re good at what you do. In fact, when someone uses “best” in their search inquiry to describe what they’re looking for (best restaurant, best attorney, best electrician, best family musical, etc.), Google will only include organizations with ratings of four stars or more.
Not coincidentally, Google users are influenced by the number and quality of reviews. These reviews allow people to cut through marketing claims and get the real story behind your performances from people who actually attended a show. Reviews offer more transparency and objectivity than advertising.
Strategically, Google Reviews enable you to engage your customers, who could be potential donors. You can learn from their feedback and improve the quality of your performances and operations. You can also address negative reviews to improve customer retention rates and show readers of reviews that you care about your customers.
Ultimately, a high number of positive reviews can be enough to convince somebody to buy tickets to your show or attend your event before they even visit your website!
How to Get More Google Reviews
A request for a Google Review should be as automatic as a “thank you” email within 24 hours after receiving a donation. Here’s how we at Adventix recommend arts and cultural institutions should ask for Google Reviews. This approach has been extremely effective for our clients.
Timing is critical. For example, if someone saw a Sunday matinee performance, they should receive an email Monday morning. At this point, the performance is still fresh in their mind. They remember the details. They’re talking about it on social media.
The email should sound something like this:
“Dear (first name),
Thank you for attending the performance of ____ last night at the ____ theatre. We’d love to get your feedback to share with other theatregoers! Would you mind leaving a Google Review and telling us about your experience?”
This would be followed by a button that includes a call-to-action such as “Submit a Review”. The button should be linked to the review form on your Google My Business page so customers don’t have to find it on their own.
Your email should be 100 percent focused on asking for a review for a specific show. This isn’t the place to promote future events, request a donation, or ask people to sign up for your newsletter. The only goal of this email is to get a Google Review.
Every time you have a performance or host an event, an email like this should go to attendees within 24 hours.
Need Help Getting Started?
If you’re unsure about how to optimize your Google My Business page or set up emails to request Google Reviews, contact us at (732) 535-6527 or email email@example.com to get the ball rolling.