You can leverage the power of “word of mouth” recommendations through online product reviews of new products or your dealership. Briggs & Stratton is pursuing that strategy through special events where they let customers demonstrate equipment and then ask them to post reviews.

According to a story in the Journal Sentinel, Briggs set up a special 3-day event in Phoenix this past spring: “People were asked to test a riding mower, a pressure washer and other equipment. Then, on the spot, they gave a rating or wrote a review on iPads provided by the company.”

The event generated attention on Facebook and Twitter — and favorable reviews for the product — so Briggs is planning another one for late winter or spring.

Consider a similar approach to generate online attention for your dealership. Be careful that the event includes real customers or others will see through the strategy as being only promotional. And, be prepared for bad reviews.

The story includes information from the Mintel Group, a market research firm: “Consumers also use product reviews to validate the choices they've made and avoid ‘buyer's remorse.’ But some reviews are fake or wrong, which complicates things for people seeking honest opinions.”

Read more about the marketing strategy here.