Tips for Online Reputation Management for Smaller Sized Businesses
Large, medium or small businesses are all prone to the occasional negative customer experience. As a small business owner, the tricky part is that you might have fewer tools at your disposal to always check the multitude of internet platforms for consumer sentiment in regards to your company.
Ideally a customer who has a bad experience would directly contact and complain in person or via a phone call. The reality is different, since online platforms have become the to-go venue for unhappy customers in order to generate negative buzz.
Managing your online reputation as a small business is a bit more difficult, still it should be done accordingly. Taking a passive approach towards managing your brand online will create an image of a disinterested business. Prospective clients will be able to differentiate a business that cares about its customers from one that is unfazed to maintain an online presence.
Show your Value
Having a blog page on the company’s website will not heavily impact your budget as a small business. However it will have a big impact on your customer’s decision making. A blog is channel to connect with your customers and provide them with valuable information about your product or service. Use it to inform your potential clients by describing common situations they might encounter either during the buying process or after using your product. Customers will feel more familiar with your product and brand leading to a shorter decision making process.
Build a Rapport
Nowadays a large portion of potential clients are on social media. That’s why your business, especially the smaller ones, should be on social media as well. It’s not about only having a profile on Twitter. As a small business you have the opportunity to engage with users in a more meaningful way. Large accounts might have a large following and they cannot even attempt to engage in deeper conversations with all of their followers. As a small business it’s important to build a small but active and loyal audience. Listen to what they say, what they need and build a positive rapport with them, as they might soon become your customers.
With plenty of available tools such as Instagram and TripAdvisor, sharing photos of someone’s experience with a certain business is easier than ever. Therefore the risk of defamation for any business is also growing. Even illegitimate feedback will impact the reputation of a business. That’s why it is crucial to monitor at least the popular social platforms where content about your business activity might appear. Regularly search for your business name, associated hash tags and see if anything negative pops up. Monitoring your brand’s mentions is sometimes uncomfortable, but is a great resource for identifying improvement potential for your business, especially for smaller sized ones.