Online reputation management is critical for small businesses

Although many small businesses do not actively monitor their Internet presence, potential consumers may be able to find negative information about the company online. Internet marketing can help local companies attract new business, online reputation management and improve customer loyalty.

More people are using the Internet to find information about products and services before interacting with a company or making a purchase, according to Fox Business. Although many small businesses do not have a website, there are a number of online review sites consumers can use to leave comments about their experience with a company. If small-business owners are not managing their online reputations, negative online feedback can prevent potential customers from using the organization.

Yelp is growing in popularity as a way for consumers to review and research local companies. However, users do not have to verify they are a real customer on Yelp like they need to for Better Business Bureau reviews, the source said. People can post comments anonymously, which makes it more difficult for small-business owners to determine where the negative feedback is coming from.

The importance of a strong reputation for customer acquisition and retention

Even national brands can suffer from the effects of online reputational damage. Small businesses can leverage a good reputation by utilizing Internet marketing methods to manage what customers are saying. The Internet allows for a very quick transfer of information, which means that if a small business experiences a customer service problem, a dissatisfied client could tell other people about the issue online, and it can detract from the company’s reputation, an article in Business 2 Community stated.

Small-business owners may not realize this is happening if they are focusing all their attention on traditional marketing efforts. Social media and online review sites provide consumers with new outlets to express experiences with a business, and many people are more likely to share negative feedback than praise. Owners can take advantage of reviews by managing the company’s online presence.

How local companies can benefit from online reviews

While it can be difficult to monitor online comments, many small-business owners are aware that negative feedback can detract from the bottom line, according to Fox Business. Managers need to track what is being said online and handle negative comments.

Many small companies are afraid to make the switch to online marketing because monitoring poor reviews is challenging. However, ignoring negative feedback will not undo the impact of the comments.

A website can help local companies establish an Internet presence by providing detailed product information to consumers. A company site can help establish trust in the brand. There is always a risk of negative reviews, but small-business owners can generate customer loyalty by responding to dissatisfied clients. This will show potential customers that the business is engaged with their audience.

Using Internet advertising can help small businesses both gain new clients and generate a higher degree of loyalty. By sending messages to customers after the sale, businesses can encourage positive reviews and testimonials, which will make it easier to attract new consumers.

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