By Karen On December 20, 2018

Why and How to Maintain Review Websites Like Google Business For Your Tasting Room

 I know how much businesses love to hate Yelp, Google Business, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and countless other websites but you can make maintaining these sites less stressful. Follow these steps to take control of third party review sites, but first! Why you should care.

Why? Because You Must. ☝

The obvious answer to “why” is age-old customer service on the internet. When someone whines on a review site, you respond right away by showing the customer and anyone else reading how well you can handle an escalated situation. But the lesser known “why?” is that third party websites, especially Google Business and TripAdvisor reward you for maintaining your page.

It’s no Pepsi lawn chair, but hey, I’d take it.

You can do this by responding to comments, posting photos and updating menus. For example with Google Business, you can actually draw in new customers with photos of your products or favorite menu items — pictures show what’s unique about your business, and you can add as many to your Google Business Profile as you like. What’s the reward? You have more visibility to users  — meaning they are more likely to walk through your tasting room door.

How? Keep It Simple. ?

Maintaining review sites is like paying down credit card debt. Choose one or two sites that you will actively engage your customer reviews and post, and choose only one to focus on actively seeking reviews. How should you decide which websites to focus your attention?

1/ Look at which website has the most good interaction from customers with your brand.

2/ Avoid competing too hard with competitors unless you have the time. For example, if your competition is dominating TripAdvisor, attempt to dominate Google Business to better use your resources.

Before engaging make sure your “chosen” websites are as complete as possible with photos, descriptions, links to social media, descriptions about your business, what products you sell, etc.

Ways to engage and keep your page active:

  • Thank customers for positive reviews
  • Respond to negative reviews promptly
  • Upload photos of new products
  • Post about new cocktails on your menu
  • Add photos of your tasting room

Actively Seek Reviews ?

I recently received a cocktail book in the mail that I ordered directly from the author. When I opened it, there was a little illustrated note inside explaining how an Amazon review would be appreciated (even if the book wasn’t purchased on Amazon). I actually reviewed the book. I was also in a restroom at a bar recently and there was an eye catching poster in the bathroom with the sole purpose of soliciting a review on Google. Here are some more ways to offer a polite nudge without actually having to verbally ask:

  • Use a hang tags on bottles sold in your tasting rooms
  • Offer swag or stickers for a review
  • Ask your subscribers on email mailing list for a review
  • Reminders on posters, signs, social media or handbills
  • Friends and family (watch out for that uncle who takes reviewing too seriously)

Need help maintaining review websites for your business? When you work with High-Proof Creative for social media you can roll it all up into one plan. Email us at


Karen Locke is Founder of High-Proof Creative. She has written about booze for magazines like GQ magazine, Bon Appétit, Thrillist, Sip Northwest, Chilled, and more. Additionally, Karen has many years of creative, and marketing agency work in Portland. She believes the darker the bar, the better.

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