Many small businesses unfortunately believe that they do not have to worry about their yet the truth is that reputation management for small businesses is one of the fastest growing industries out there and for good reason. When a large corporation receives a negative comment or is the victim of an angry customer ranting online about them it makes little difference in their overall sales. Smaller businesses, however, can suffer devastating blows to their bottom line from just one negative review. Instead of ignoring an online reputation small businesses should take a proactive approach and have strategies in place to prevent reputation tarnishing events from occurring.
Reputation Management for Small Businesses – Customer Service
Small businesses have an advantage over larger companies in that they have the ability to provide stellar customer service. With fewer customers the small business is able to personally address every criticism a customer may offer. When criticisms move online action must be taken immediately to turn a potentially gruesome reputation blow into a positive reputation builder. Through constant monitoring of social media and other customer driven websites small businesses can quickly identify, assess and respond to any criticism or negative review. Many times a fast and polite response from a business actually impresses other customers and encourages their patronage.
Reputation Management for Small Businesses – Diligent Searching
Even the smallest of businesses must be constantly monitoring the internet for any mention of the business or brand name. There should be daily searches for business name, brand name as well as product or service names. Even prominent employees’ online reputations should be monitored. There are many time saving devices out there that will accomplish this task, the easiest being creating Google Alerts which send regular reports to an email address listing all new items matching a given word or phrase.
Reputation Management for Small Businesses – Analytics
Social media can be a tricky animal when it comes to searching for instances when the business name or brand is mentioned. There are, though, many services available that do just that. Some are free and some charge. This is truly a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Most small businesses do not need to invest a lot into tracking analytics online. The only exception would be if a small business is able to get one program to handle all of their social media analytics.
Reputation management need not be costly or take up too much time, a valuable asset for any small business owner. Rather, by taking some proactive measures to protect one’s brand and business from potentially damaging comments just an hour or so a ?day is enough to provide basic reputation management for small businesses.