When it comes to online reputation management for your local business, there’s a lot to consider. But, it’s important for any local business to monitor and manage what’s being said about them online. So, we put together this list of seven tips for managing your reputation, along with resources you can use to learn more about each area!
1) Stop Negative Reviews Before they Get Posted Online
Reputation management starts with providing a great customer experience. But, even the best businesses will have to deal with a frustrated or angry customer at some point. So, in an age when anyone can easily post a negative review or complaint about your business at any time, from the convenience of their smartphone, it’s crucial to make sure that you – and your staff – know how to deal with an angry customer directly in order to nip a negative review in the bud.
Learn More: Nipping a Negative Review in the Bud: How to Deal with an Angry Customer
2) Start with the Reputation Management Basics
Unfortunately, people post unflattering things about local businesses all across the web, whether from their personal social media profiles or on formal review sites like Yelp. But, the good news is, people also say great things about local businesses in all these places as well. Do you know if what’s being said about you is positive or negative? By understanding the basics of reputation management – like monitoring your business keywords online – you can get a grasp on what your business reputation looks like and start to make steps to improve the negative and share the positive.
Learn More: 6 Reputation Management Basics to Master
3) Ask Happy Customers for Reviews
One of the simplest but most often overlooked elements of reputation management is to ask your happy customers to leave reviews of your business online! Train your employees to ask for reviews, and include signage in your store, or create easy to hand out cards that list your review sites to serve as a reminder to your customers that you appreciate their feedback online.
Learn More: The Simple Secret to Getting More Online Reviews
4) Claim Your Local Listings Like Google Places
Another important step in reputation management is to claim your local business listings. Not only does this potentially give your business more visibility in search engines, it also helps you keep tabs on what consumers are posting about you online and gives you a formal place to direct happy customers to leave reviews.
Learn More: 4 Compelling Reasons Every SMB Should Claim their Local Listings
Learn More: HOW TO: Set Up & Optimize a Google Places Page for Your Local Business
5) Know How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Knowing how to handle and respond to negative reviews when they are posted about your business online can be a powerful reputation management tactic. It’s important to understand how to handle these situations professionally, because responding in a negative, defensive, or uninformed way can cause more harm than good. So, learn the ins and outs of responding to negative reviews online.
Learn More: How To Respond to Negative Online Reviews
6) Understand How to Respond to Negative Mentions on Social Sites
Your reputation online is more than simply the reviews posted about your business formally. When you’re properly monitoring your business keywords and mentions online, you may run across a negative mention on a social site as well. Because each site is different, responding to these types of negative messages differs somewhat from replying to negative reviews. So, learn the ins and outs of responding to negative mentions on sites like Twitter.
Learn More: How To Respond to a Negative Twitter Reply or Complaint
7) Learn How to Approach Fake Online Complaints
Since many review sites allow anonymous reviews, not all reputation management issues your business may face necessarily stem from actual customers. How can you tell if a review is fake or not? Learn more about fake complaints and what you can do to address them.
Learn More: Fake Complaints Hurting Your Business? Try These Tips