A small business that is serving a local community may underestimate the need of a positive online reputation. After all, you are not looking for countrywide customers, so what is the big deal?
The big deal is that customers are increasingly using the internet to find information about products in their local area.
So without an enticing online presence, you run the risk of losing your business to well-positioned competitors. Having a website is good, but it’s just not enough. You need to utilize all the online platforms including social media.
Online reputation management and repair has been a common topic in online marketing for many years now. With the numerous cases of reputation repair, it is clear that if a business doesn’t proactively invest in their online presence, they are more than likely to pay in terms of fewer customers.
So What Can a Small Business Do to Build a Positive Online Reputation?
Most local business owners assume that their online reputation is being managed by their marketing efforts. Your local website and the advertisements you constantly send out don’t encompass your online presence.
Instead, your online reputation is made up of everything online, which include things like complaint forum entries, unsolicited reviews, website comments, social media comments, blog posts mentioning your business, as well as photos tagged with your company’s name.
Here are tips for creating and maintaining a positive web presence:
1. Don’t Neglect Your Social Media
If you fail to do this, your accounts/pages may not be strong enough to outrank negative postings on the same platforms.
For high-tech, B2B, and professional types of business, having the employees and the executives interact in platforms like LinkedIn may be valuable. And for visually-oriented products, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr may come in handy. Let’s not forget that your business can tremendously gain popularity via video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
2. Develop a Strategy for Responding to Reviews
Just like social media, you can’t delete negative reviews. Instead, you should have an effective strategy for responding to them.
If you come across a negative comment, do not be defensive and unprofessional. Just address the reviewer’s issues and ask how you can fix the concerns going forward. If you show that you care about their views and opinions, the reviewers may even update with a positive review.
Before managing any comments on listings and review sites, ensure that you claim your company’s profile. It typically involves verifying the address and phone number of your company and takes just a few minutes.
3. Have an Effective Listing Distribution Strategy
In fact, if your business has an incorrect listing with one of the major data providers, that wrong information can be used anywhere on the web. Even though you can manually try to change the listing, many of them are usually uneditable and change back over time. This is a huge waste of time and money.
However, with Evolving Solutions’ new system, you can enter your business information once, and this information will be pushed to all major data providers. Once your listing is verified, hundreds of listing sites on the web will get your accurate information.
From responding to reviews to creating social media content and correcting online listings, reputation management involves a lot of things. If you can’t do it yourself, then seeking the help of competent management professionals may be the best step to take.
At Evolving Solutions, we are dedicated to ensuring that your reviews glow and your listings are up-to-date. This is the only way your business can maintain a good online reputation.