Bad news travels fast, and in today’s world, bad reviews travel even faster. Thanks to websites and social media platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, Twitter and many more, customers are able to share their experiences immediately. Of course, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. At Revved Business, we understand what it takes to run a small business. As a small business owner, you probably feel like you are running a marathon within your company, jumping from one project to the next with a million and one things to worry about. With that in mind, monitoring and controlling your own reputation management may seem like a time-consuming task that unfortunately you can’t prioritize. However, it is important to understand that reputation management is critical and essential to growing your business.
Understanding Reputation Management Online
The digital world we live in makes it extremely easy to share your opinion. And as it turns out, most people do regardless of whether they’re very happy or unhappy. Since the whole world can read those reviews, you need to keep a sharp eye on them and act quickly if you see something damaging. Paying attention is an important part of successfully completing your reputation management. There are so many moving parts in this internet world that you simply must have a plan. Ask yourself these questions: How do you track your reviews online? When and how do you respond to them? Who writes the responses? Do you respond to everybody, or pick and choose?
Ideally, managing an online reputation also involves getting your good news out into the public domain. By doing so, people will recognize you and your business as experts. This gives you an important leg-up on the competition. When your business is small or just getting started, it can be hard to imagine a time when people will be talking about your brand. The first few times that you search for your business, you might even be disappointed that no one is talking about you. But as you continue to expand, you will quickly find that people are in fact discussing you and more importantly, searching for what others have said about you. Therefore, you need to know and control what they find.
Where to Look
When it comes to reputation management online, there are a few main sources you need to monitor. You can start by searching for yourself and your business on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. This will help you see what information pops up when others research you. It might be useful to set up a Google Alert to notify you anytime something is published with keywords related to your business. You can set these up for your name, company name, product names, and many others.
If you have a company blog, this is another important area that should be monitored. On most blogs, you will be notified of comments on that post. This makes it easy to stay involved in the conversation. But if you are mentioned in a post that you have not created, comment on the post so that you can opt in for additional comment notifications to stay in the conversation.
Finally, we turn to the bread and butter: reviews and social media. Reviews are extremely important in turning potential customers into paying customers. Be sure to keep an eye on the major review sites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List. You’ll want to see what people are saying about your business, your products, and your services. People also frequently share their opinions about businesses using social media, such as on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you regularly check the mentions of your brand on major social sites.
Learn More about Reputation Management
While reputation management may sound tedious and unproductive, it isn’t something that should be overlooked. Be sure to keep our tips and tricks in mind as you start to monitor and manage your online reputation. If you’d like help with your reputation management, or you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our marketing gurus at Revved Business.