4 Reputation Management Tips for Small Business Owners

4 Reputation Management Tips for Small Business Owners

4 Reputation Management Tips for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you might think the only things you need to be successful are great products, affordable prices and friendly employees. While these are definitely important, reputation management is also a crucial factor in a small company’s success.

In this day and age of Internet review sites like Yelp, social media and other websites where people can talk about your business, it’s vital that you manage your company’s reputation online. To do this effectively, consider the following tips:

Respond to All Reviews

One of the worst things a small business owner can do is ignore unhappy customers who post their feelings online. If you spot a bad review on a site like Yelp or Twitter, immediately respond to the person with a sincere apology and offer to make things better. Even if the reviewer is confrontational, don’t get defensive and reassure both the person and potential customers that this experience is not typical. On the flip side, when you find positive reviews about your business, post your thanks and offer a coupon or small freebie. In both cases, your customers will remember the way you replied to them and will probably tell several friends about how great your company is.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media is a terrific way to spread positive news about your company, products and employees. In addition to posting information about sales and new items, use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites to announce something really cool you or an employee has accomplished. For example, if you volunteer with a local dog rescue group, post photos of a recent adoption event where you helped dogs find their forever homes. If one of your employees just earned her college degree while juggling a job and motherhood, praise her efforts on social media. These are both great opportunities to brand your company as caring and giving back to the community.

One major business that uses social media exceptionally well is LifeLock. For example, a recent post on Facebook shared how the company president, Hilary Schneider, has challenged other companies to make data protection their corporate social responsibility. Over 3,700 people “liked” this post, dozens of people commented on it, and it was shared over 130 times. In this one thought-provoking post, LifeLock managed to support its brand of data protection services while also actively engaging followers.

Start a Blog

Another great way to get your brand out on the web is to start a blog. You can purchase a domain that includes your company name and then start posting blogs that include positive information about your products and services, trends and other related topics. Because blogs tend to attract more readers than regular static websites, it’s an effective way to build your reputation and get the word out about your company.

Be Careful about Public Perception

Everyone has bad days now and then. But as a business owner, you have to be acutely aware of how you act in public. Even if a restaurant server treats you poorly, refrain from raising your voice — you never know who is sitting next to you and the last thing you want is to see a tweet about the “crabby owner of a local cupcake business” getting mad at a local café.

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