Take Control of The Online Reputation for Your Small Business
This generation is undoubtedly dominated by technology, so it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. There are plenty of small business owners who just don’t feel interested in building a web presence, but that doesn’t matter.
If you own a business, you probably already have a presence online, and it can make or break you. You don’t need to have a website… because there are directory sites that will automatically list your business.
This can be a good thing, or a very bad thing… depending on the reviews that former customers (or competitors) leave on those listings.
The smart thing to do is be proactive and take control!
So start by “Googling” your own name and your business name, and looking through each result that comes up. It’s good to see what customers have to say about you, although negative reviews are usually more common than positive.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Put all emotion aside and react professionally. An apology for poor service will show superior customer service, which will sway public opinion to your advantage.
Negative reviews happen all the time. If you find excessive “slander” online, you may want to pay attention to the most common complaints and adjust your business policies accordingly. Without customers, your business wouldn’t exist. Right? So don’t feel defensive… listen and learn!
It’s Time To Get Social
You can remain opposed to launching a website all you want, and you can have a strong hatred for Facebook and Twitter and whatever other sites those young kids are using these days.
But you can’t deny the importance of social media, and how it affects online reputation. Take control, and be proactive, with your own Facebook page. Use it to build and engage an audience of customers.
As a side effect, the consistent brand awareness may lead to an increase in business.
Join A Forum
There is at least one forum for every niche out there. Joining in an industry-specific conversation helps you build rapport and credibility, or reach a targeted audience who never even knew you existed!
Think before you speak.
Nothing published on the web is “sacred”. You can change your mind and delete a comment, but a simple screenshot ensures that nothing disappears from the internet. Ever.
Combine that with the ability to immediately say or do whatever you want, and you’ll see why this is such an important point. If you want to keep your online reputation clean… think first! Don’t do anything that could come back to haunt you…
You know, you really should get a website…
How else are new customers going to find you when they search online for your products or services? It doesn’t matter what you offer, what matters is that your competition is getting all the new business.
So if you’ve been waiting for the “internet fad” to fade away… it’s time you give in and introduce your brand to the 21st century.