Biggest Reputation Management Challenges that Small Businesses Face
Does your online business have a reputation management strategy? If you don’t have an online reputation management strategy in place, you’re waiting for an accident to happen! Most of the small business owners believe that only large brands need to worry about their reputation. And this is a big mistake!
In today’s digital era, the internet gives consumers numerous opportunities to air their views and opinions easily. If people are sharing a bad opinion about your products or services online, the survival of your business is at stake. Whether you have a restaurant, spa, dental clinic, or any other kind of business, online defamation can take a toll on your business. You might be offering good products and services but a few negative reviews online from some disgruntled customers are enough to take away your five-star rating.
Online reputation acts as a word of mouth and is a more serious concern for small business owners. This is because unlike big businesses, small business owners have a comparatively small customer base and people would trust a business if others recommend it. As such, it’s crucial to diligently monitor online reviews, BBB complaints, comments on social media, and other content that affects your reputation.
Why Reputation Management Matters for Small Businesses?
Online reputation management is more important than ever because reviews, testimonials and social media pages hold heavy influence over a prospect’s likelihood of becoming a customer. With the advent of the internet, more and more customers are searching for businesses online to learn about their products, quality of services, customer care issues, and other challenges. Your potential customers look at the online reviews of your business to know what other people are saying about you. If a potential customer finds a negative testimonial or review of your business, they’re likely to move on to one of your competitors. All it takes is one unhappy customer who doesn’t receive a satisfactory response to tarnish your company’s name.
What are the Reputation Management Challenges that Small Businesses Face?
A big company can survive some unfavorable reviews online but for small businesses, this is not the case. According to researches, around 80 percent of consumers actually change their mind about purchasing a product if they find a negative review online. Here we present you the 3 most common reputation management problems that small businesses face and how to address them speedily before they can impact your reputation.
- Negative Reviews on Third Party Sites
The key element of reputation management strategy is dealing with negative comments. The unfavorable reviews on third-party sites like Yelp, The Better Business Bureau, and Google can severely damage your small businesses because it’s quite hard to monitor all such reviews. There are various such review sites and these website rank higher in search results. When people search for your business or for related keywords, they’ll come across reviews that can affect your reputation in minutes.
Every business is willing to receive as many reviews as possible but you’re not always going to receive positive feedback. This is where you need an effective online reputation management strategy. So, if your consumers leave negative reviews on third-party sites, here’s what you should do:
- If you find negative reviews on third-party sites, try outranking it using the right keywords. In this way, your website will rank higher on search pages and the reviews will be pushed down on the page. Your customers will be first exposed to your content rather than those reviews.
- You can’t remove online testimonials but the way you respond to it can make a difference. You may receive an extremely harsh review but how you reply to it says a lot about your brand. A polite and professional response from your end leaves a good impression on other customers that you hear their complaint and are taking steps to address it.
- Sometimes, due to a personal grudge, people post false or abusive reviews. If you come across any such false or misleading review, you can defend yourself. The aim of review sites is to protect customers and not businesses, but still, you can report false testimonials. You may contact the site administrator and sites like Google local business page and The Better Business Bureau also gives you a chance to make a good case.
- Another option to dilute the effect of negative comments is getting more positive ones. Ask or even incentivize your happy customers to leave positive reviews about your business. One or two negative reviews will likely go unnoticed in between twenty positive ones.
- Unfavorable Comments on Social Media
Social media has emerged as a powerful tool over the past few years. People more often share their views regarding a product on social media which can have a huge impact on your business. Within minutes, the posts on social posts can go viral and things may get out of control before you even know what’s happened. This can become more problematic if you aren’t tagged in the post which means you won’t be alerted to it.
One negative post on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram can tarnish your brand’s image. To prevent this, you need to know what people are saying about you publicly on social media, whether you’re tagged or not. There are some mention-tracking softwares that will let you know every time your business is mentioned online. In case, you find something wrong regarding your business on social media, use the same considerate, polite approach that you used for handling third-party site reviews.
To make sure that your website is fully guarded against all possible attacks, hiring an experienced SEO company that specializes in reputation management services is the best solution. A professional SEO and SEM expert will also help get positive reviews online and even connect you to some influencers to rebuild your reputation. It is noteworthy here that if the complaint is genuine, admit your fault with dignity and make an apology.
- Bad Media Coverage
Another challenge faced by businesses is the negative testimonials written by bloggers or editors, and bad news online mentioning their business. If there’s unfavorable media coverage about your business, again try to outrank that website. You can use tools like SEMrush’s brand monitoring tool to find out keywords that the website is ranking for. By using those keywords, you can outrank them and bury the content. However, for doing this you need SEM skills, so contact a reputation management specialist to manage this situation. The professionals will also distribute your press releases and minimize the impact of a negative one.
March 14, 2019
February 1, 2019