10 Pro Online Reputation Management Tips For Local Businesses

Online marketing experts have spent a lot of time providing advice on managing online ratings and reviews for local businesses — but reputation can have much broader impact than your reviews in Yelp and Google.

Online Local Reputation Management

There’s hardly a business out there that doesn't have an occasional issue arise with a customer. Ideally, you can resolve things before it reaches a point where a customer believes they can only get satisfaction through a public forum or feels they ought to warn people about your business. The internet has made it so the barriers between one customer and another are far reduced — word-of-mouth can now travel almost literally at the speed of light!

Online Local Reputation Management

Having the best local rankings in your area may not help your business if your reputation has been trashed.
But, if you've prepared and planned for how to handle online criticism of your company, the impact of one or two complaints can be much reduced, and you may be better able to respond effectively and rapidly to minimize monetary impact.

You Can’t Opt Out Of Reputation Management

For many small businesses, the complete lack of proactive reputation management leaves them in the position of a sitting duck. With little more than just a website to represent you online, you’re in a precarious position if anyone creates a site to target you or even just posts something on social media, as those items could rank for your business name searches. For established local businesses, people may frequently be searching for you by business name — so, having bad stuff rank in branded search results can directly impact your bottom line.

Online reputation management and repair has been a burgeoning segment of online marketing for years. My company has worked on numerous cases of reputation repair, and it’s quite clear to me that if a business doesn't invest in developing their online presence and reputation proactively, they will more than likely pay considerable costs later in terms of lost revenues, repairing abrupt damage, and developing out the presence they neglected.

For businesses tied closely to the identities of their proprietors/founders, the names of their executives may be another area of reputation that needs to be managed proactively. I’ve run across a good many executives who desire to keep a low profile and thus have avoided all forms of social media out of a desire for privacy. Again, with zero assets built around the executive’s name, they may be a sitting duck for some reputation damage the instant someone decides to take them down a notch.

Perhaps the only thing worse than under-engaging in online media is handling social media badly. No one can damage you as seriously as you can damage yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Entrepreneurs and small business employees sometimes develop a major case of hubris — perhaps because those operating small businesses have to be jacks-of-all-trades to some degree just to be able to run a small business effectively. READ MORE

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