7 Ways to Manage Your Small Business Online Reputation
Updated: Apr 9
We firmly believe your business reputation is your most important asset, so why should your company risk facing online criticism by posting items on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or Twitter? Is internet presence on social media sites worth taking a chance on inviting negative opinions? It's easy to manage the awesome 5 star and even 4-star reviews. But it feels like everything goes downhill when we get that 1 or 2-star review!
How can you benefit from today’s new trends without ruining your company’s reputation? If you follow current marketing advice to appear on all sites, you may risk a few negative comments (even if you don't participate, your business will appear online one way or the other). However, trying to avoid online postings altogether could be dangerous, too. Not posting at all could leave you in the dust while competitors bite into
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So, what do you do to protect your image online?
Here are 7 tips for keeping your corporate image intact:
1. Set preferences: Check the settings on your social media sites to see if you can block comments (we only recommend this if there is profanity, spam, or not even a real customer). Keep in mind, though, that curtailing comments could make you miss great opportunities. When you open your company to both positive and negative public reviews it provides a chance to practice exceptional customer service by responding to comments of all kinds. If it is a legitimate negative review...
2. Respond to complaints: Don’t bury your head in the sand if you see an unpleasant remark about your business (humans make mistakes, business are run by humans). Respond immediately! Key in below the barb that you’re sorry someone had a bad experience. Then, list the steps you’ll take to remedy the problem and avoid similar situations in the future. Your response will show followers that you genuinely care about customers and want to resolve problems. A lot of times it can even work in your favor.
3. Repost good examples: Get some extra online customer service mileage by reposting complaints anonymously, along with your responses. You’ll show the public how you solve various problems – and promote your company’s customer satisfaction policy.
4. Request reviews: Online reviews are key to 21st-century sales. Proactively seek input from satisfied customers. Ask them to post reviews of your products and services on sites that seek customer feedback, such as:
To see guidelines for soliciting product or service reviews and online testimonials, click here to learn more.
5. Share good reviews: Thank all customers publicly as they put positive reviews about your company on various sites. Share their kind words through social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can also publish positive posts on your website, or in brochures and other promotional materials.
6. Seek additional feedback: Add a Suggestion Box and/or Complaint Department to your website where customers can enter comments, questions or criticisms. Link this feature to your email address or your Customer Service representative’s inbox. The person on the receiving end should respond ASAP via phone or email. He/she can also follow up by posting interesting Qs & As or best-case scenarios on social media sites.
7. Be aware of the public’s online opinion: Keep close tabs on all comments and views expressed online about your business – both negative and positive. At CIS we can track all your online reviews in one place. Yes - that makes your job way easier! Learn more about Powerlistings here. For details on using Powerlistings, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 616.347.6300. This service saves companies time, trouble and bad reputations!
When you react to online reviews or social media comments, you open the door to engaging regularly with customers. Adding your perspective on posted opinions is critical for reputation management. Take responsibility for each issue and respond.
Provide a problem-solving reply that shows your company is committed to customer satisfaction. React as soon as possible, but take enough time to think about the best way to address each concern.
Ignoring bad comments or undesirable reviews does not make them go away, but you can respond tactfully to neutralize their negative effect. A good response goes a long way in not only saving – but also building -- your reputation. If you know the customer who complained, you may want to call or email that person first. Then, post how the issue was resolved, along with thanking the comment-maker for letting you know about the problem.
Big names in business take social media monitoring seriously. Many of today’s most successful companies make it a point to follow what people are saying about them online. Quicken Loans, for example, employs a whole staff solely for reputation management.
The goal is to respond to all comments, good or bad, ASAP (within one to three hours of appearing online). Issues are tackled and disappointment or anger terminated quickly. The result: incredible customer service and an outstanding business reputation.
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