Home > Reputation Management > Part 3 of what an SMB should do now, Reputation Management.

Part 3 of what an SMB should do now, Reputation Management.

Alright, are you ready for step three in our series of the four most important things a SMB can do now, to enhance their online presence, protect their reputation, create a positive buzz about their business and grow the bottom line?

Hopefully your goal oriented website that we discussWoman sharing negative commentsed in step one is in development, and you have also started the process of claiming and updating your local search engine and directory listings as outlined in step two.

Step three concerns Reputation Management.  If you’ve started the process of claiming and updating your local listings, you have probably already come across some online reviews of your business.

These reviews are extremely important. When consumers perform a local search, up to seven businesses will usually be displayed next to a Google map marking their location.  The listings will also show links, to get more information, and highlighting the number of reviews that are available for each business. It’s not hard to imagine that the searchers eyes will first gravitate to the listing that has the most reviews.  Recent positive reviews will tend to attract consumers while negative reviews can eliminate a business from consideration.

One really bad review on Google Places, Yelp, Twitter, Facebook etc, can be seen by hundreds or thousands of consumers in a matter of hours and do serious harm to the image and reputation of any business. So, what do you do about bad reviews?  If they are recent, respond to the individual and attempt to resolve the issue.  You may be able to get the individual to take down the negative review, but if not, at least you did show that you tried to work with the unhappy customer.

If the reviews are really old your best bet is to encourage satisfied customers to write reviews on your behalf.  One or two bad reviews followed by a number of more recent good reviews will go a long way toward improving your online image and reputation.

Every business should have a policy in place to encourage customer reviews. Would you want to do business with the company that has 44 mostly good reviews, or one with 6 that are over a year old?  In this case, the business with the most positive current reviews usually does win.  This is why it’s so important to know what is being said about you online.

So how do we monitor all of these review sites and stay on top of what’s being said about us? First, there are a number of free options for the company or individual that wishes to do their own monitoring.  However, this may be another job that you would want to consider turning over to a full service online marketing agency.  The cost of such a program could easily come back to you in the business that may have otherwise been lost.  If you have questions please let us know, we can help.

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