6 Ideas for small businesses to monitor and maintain their reputation online

When it comes to business success and overall survival, reputation plays a vital role as it can be your most defining marketing asset. Sustaining your standing in the market is tricky, and therefore it is difficult to maintain a good reputation online. In this digital era, there is hardly any business that does not have an online presence. The increased trends in the use of social media have furnished an open expression of opinions on online forums. Although marketing experts advise business owners to direct their focus towards managing ratings online and garnering good customer reviews, there is no denying the fact that the kind of impact that your reputation makes is not one that can be saved simply by analyses and feedback.

Every brand has to face criticism, especially online. The trick to dealing with this is a good management strategy: make sure you respond effectively to them, so your business does not get overshadowed by your competitors. So how does a small business monitor and maintain its reputation online? Following is a list of 6 tips that you can use to build and monitor your business reputation.

Brand reputation
  • Pay Attention to Reviews

Reviews are all around us. When people search for any business online, there are many reviews that come up discussing the company’s product or service; some are good, others not so much. It is best to acknowledge the presence of these reviews and then move forward with a development strategy of how to confront them. Many times we have to deal with feedback that we do not necessarily appreciate, but it is the negative reviews that enable us to work on our shortcomings.

  • Reputation Market Audits and Monitoring

Online reputation monitoring is an understated and rather crucial aspect of a business strategy. You must first know about what is the general consensus about your business. Google your business and brand name, website URL, product links, and much more to get a proper insight into the general established opinion. After concluding all the results, you can start to actively work on monitoring your company’s reviews and the online word-of-mouth.

There are many tools that you can employ to help you with this task. These tools inform you with alerts every time a review has been generated. Specialized marketing software programs also help in online reputation monitoring and management.  Get to Know your customers’ views about you by setting up alerts and respond to them immediately, in case something negative comes up.

Audit tools
  • Address both the Positives and the Negatives

Before investing their money into something, consumers first look into what the business has to offer and therefore encounter reviews. As a business owner, you must ensure that you generate positive reviews that are both relevant and find a place in the highest spot to increase visibility. The chances that a customer will read a review on top, as opposed to one lost somewhere in the middle, are obviously high. Ensure that the positive reviews are somewhat recent because no one wants to read an outdated version. If the most recent reviews on your website are positive, you are already half way there in terms of bagging that client.

Negative reviews shake a consumer’s trust. The most effective way to deal with an unfavorable review is to respond to it as actively as you can. Addressing them publicly and efficiently enables your client to feel cared for and also make them feel like their opinion is valued by you. Diffuse the situation privately and upon resolving, politely ask them to make amends to the initial negative comments. Do not let even a single remark hold you down.

  • Claim Local Listings

Claiming your local business listings will allow you to keep an eye on what others are saying. Make sure that the information regarding your business is correct because directories like Yelp and Google My Business provide your consumers with a platform to leave their reviews about your business. Claiming listings on online business directories and review sites will enable you to stay up to date with the latest ranking of your online presence.

  • Ask for Feedback

Asking for reviews is not a bad thing because your customers make for the best advocates. After doing business with them, ask them for their feedback. This will allow you as a business owner to better comprehend the consumer’s needs and thus work on those lacking aspects to instigate improvement. This gesture also makes your customer feel valued and important as you are prioritizing their satisfaction over everything else. A little note at the end or a pop-up survey to address the question always helps with this task. Be sure to watch out for too many evaluations as this may spark an anti-spam algorithm that can filter out your reviews by mistaking it for spam.

  • Social Media Promotion

Everyone loves good feedback, so when you do get one, make sure to save it. Posting customer reviews not only gives you and your company the much-needed confidence boost, but it also adds to your credibility as a brand. People often tend to misunderstand ratings for fake reviews. To put an end to that misconception, use proof from your positive analysis and do not be afraid to add your sentiments to it as well. Promote your work on social media and let your market know how important you are to them.

Reputation management is unfortunately something we cannot opt out of. Many businesses fail to grow simply owing to the lack of good online reputation monitoring and management. A rapidly expanding sector of online marketing strategy, online reputation management can make or break a business; be it in terms of generated revenue, repairing damages or in the form of a neglected online presence. Start working on your business repute management plan today to help your small business evolve into something bigger.

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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