Only a small percentage of small business owners believe their social media strategy delivers all they need. In my opinion, a trusted adviser should inform SMB customers about ways to leverage this online technology in their favor.
Reputation management is crucial when utilizing social media. Google Alerts is a service that allows you to receive updates about what is posted online about your products, personnel and company as well as your competitors. You can have updates delivered immediately, daily or weekly to allow you a chance to respond to any issues quickly.
Business owners should also monitor the sites that rate businesses and read all negative and positive comments. These sites include ResellerRatings, Ripoff Report and Angie’s List. You should attempt to satisfy any customers that write negative reviews or at least respond to their concerns.
Your goal is to create an interactive online community with two-way communication between the company and its customers. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn are the most popular sites but many small businesses ranked Google+ the highest for being the most helpful in a recent industry study by Vocus.
StumbleUpon was ranked between YouTube and LinkedIn as far as being helpful, but it ranked low in the number of small business owner users. Foursquare and Pinterest are two more effective social sites for building community.
A blog is another useful tool but it requires a bigger time commitment than other options.
The business owner can decide whether to set up a landing page directed to a specific item or a home page. Careful analysis of results is necessary to determine if the strategy is reducing complaints, increasing traffic, raising community awareness and bringing in new customers.
Allocating traditional media resources to interactive media strategy is one way to deal with the cost. Many businesses decrease spending in print ads and direct mail.
You must let your customers know that a social media marketing strategy is effective with a solid plan, execution, evaluation and revision when necessary.
There are many things that you will need to do to perform online reputation management. One tool that can help you do these tasks is Google Alerts.
The reputation of your company is one of the most valuable assets that you company has. If it is a good reputation, then it can bring a large market share.
Meanwhile, if it is a bad reputation, it can severely diminish the size of your market share. It has such a big impact on the success of your business that it is critical that you monitor it and try to improve it whenever possible.
You can do this through online reputation management. Online reputation management is where you go online and look up what people are saying about you.
Then, you reply to them in an appropriate manner. For example, if they complimented something that you company did, you might tell them thank you.
On the other hand, if they criticize you, you will need to apologize and perhaps provide compensation. One of the best ways to perform search engine reputation management is to sign up for Google Alerts.
What an online reputation management company can do for you
A reputation management company might do this for you if you have hired them to perform your online reputation management services for you. Google Alerts is a free program that allows you to enter a keyword, such as your company name.
Then, every time that someone says that keyword, Google Alerts will send you an email containing what they said. This makes it much easier to respond because you will be able to know what they said and where they said.
When you know these things you will be able to reply to their complaint or their compliment. You can enter any keyword related to you or your company into this program that you feel may be effective in helping you manage your reputation.
After you receive an email containing a post that was critical of your product or services, you will want to make sure that you stay calm. If you are angry, you need to take a minute to walk around the office or squish a stress ball until you have calmed down.
One of the greatest mistakes you can make during reputation management is replying when you are still angry. Even if you try to be polite, your anger will come through and your apology will not sound sincere.
This will make a bad situation even worse because the commenter will not take you seriously. It is critical that you avoid arguments with others online at all costs.
Even if you end up winning the argument, the negative comments about your company will stand out more than the positive ones. Your best chance for resolving an issue quickly is to stay calm and reply in a polite and sincere manner.
Take a second to think about what would be the best way to reply before you begin typing. This could save you a lot of regrets.
Of course, you will want to make sure you act quickly in responding as well. This means that you want to check the email that Google Alerts is set up with at least every day, if not several times a day.
The faster you can respond, the less likely it is that the negative comment will take off and spread across the internet. You can avoid serious damage to your company reputation by responding quickly.
Too many people put off checking this email because they do not want to have to deal with all of the negative, hurtful comments. However, this will be even more damaging in the long run.
Do not give into the temptation to check this email only once a week. It will not bode well for your business.
Another thing you can do to protect your reputation is to make a website. When people hear about you, they are going to search for you online.
The first thing that should come up should be a website created by you. They should not see a forum where someone commented on a bad experience they had.
If they do see this, then they will be severely misguided concerning your company because you did not take the time to stand up for yourself. Every company has customers or clients that do not like them, no matter how hard they try to serve them well.
You should try to constantly update your website with positive, educational information so that people will like the experience that they have there. This will help them begin to trust your company more and perhaps decide to make a purchase.