The Internet can be a scary place. Creating a website, social media profile or leaving a comment can be done by anyone these days. With the ease of opportunity available online, no person or business’s reputation is safe. Reputation management has always been a concern for small businesses. Now, with the Internet providing such an easy and powerful channel for negative feedback, it only takes a matter of seconds to tarnish a small business reputation. Here are a few of the areas your small business reputation is at risk:
- Social Media Chatter – Ingrained in our daily lives and accessible nearly 24 hours a day is social media. People turn to Twitter, Facebook or other channels to vent frustration, express concern or give praise. This chatter is usually public, providing businesses the opportunity to see what is being said about their company. Successful companies then meet this chatter head on and resolve issues publically or quickly take them “off air” to make the negative comments as discreet as possible.
- Review Sites – When a person feels passionately about a business, they oftentimes take to review sites, such as Trip Advisor and Yelp. One unpleasant experience by a customer splashed on one of these review sites has the potential for long lasting impact on a business’ reputation. The best response to this is to react quickly to the customer’s negative experience and do whatever possible to fix it publically.
- Blogs and Bloggers – The blogging community runs rampant and bloggers love having their voice heard. When a poor experience with a company ignites a spark to give a business a poor review, bloggers frequently take to their own websites, or to other blogs, to express their critique. This is easy to track and, when allowed, you should respond to via a public comment on the blog. If your small business receives a poor review either by a commenter on a blog or by a blogger themselves, it is essential to respond quickly and compassionately.