Online reputation is quickly becoming essential when you have a small business. Customers are beginning to rely on customer feedback, reviews, and ratings of products and services provided by small businesses with more frequency. According to Opinion Research Corporation, 84% of shoppers in America rely on online reviews for their purchasing decisions. Promoting and marketing tactics now must include gaining experience in building your small business online reputation, learning how to manage it properly, and using various methods to improve it.
Having an excellent online reputation is crucial for many small businesses, especially those with online shops that sell their products or services. The following are five important ways to manage your small business online reputation.
Conduct research on your company name to find out what’s currently online. In other words, Google your company’s name plus “review”. Through your research, you should be able to determine if there are any positive or negative reviews or feedback on your overall business, products, or services — and if your business has reviews or comments in blogs or online message forums.
2) Be Active
If you haven’t been an active participant online, now is a good time to start. Become more involved in various social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google + in order to provide the public and potential customers with new content on a regular basis, as well as becoming more interactive with your current and prospective customers or clients. Not only will you build a stronger clientele by being more active, but your business website or blog will start to rank higher on the search results with the increased new and fresh content you create.
3) Encourage Feedback
Take extra steps to encourage feedback from past customers to post publicly on your blog, website, or reputable review website. This can be done in a variety of ways, including adding a friendly note requesting feedback from a customer following their purchase or by having a testimonials page on your website where customers can post their review and feedback. Positive feedback encourages potential customers to make their first purchase, and shows that you stand behind your previous success.
4) Implement a Positive Online Marketing Campaign
Take your online reputation plan a step further by implementing a positive online marketing campaign. You can do this by becoming an advertiser, which gives you the ability to reach more potential customers. By choosing to be an advertiser, you’re helping to take control — of at least part of — your online presence.
5) Don’t Panic at the First Sign of Negative Feedback
No matter what type of business you operate, you’ll probably end up with negative feedback at some point. When you receive your first bit of negative feedback it can be frustrating and put into a state of panic. Instead of letting it derail your success, use the feedback to improve your business in the future, and resolve any issues previous customers have had with your product or service.
By using these essential tools you’ll have the ability to play a part in managing your small business online reputation. Nowadays, more so than ever before, shoppers are relying on the reviews and feedback from previous customers before making their final purchasing decision, which only further reiterates the importance of a great online reputation.