Small Businesses Should Better Manage Their Online Reputations

Small businesses need to be more proactive in managing their online reputations. A survey by business-to-business ratings and review firm Clutch found that while 88 percent of small businesses monitor their online reputations at least quarterly, monitoring is only part of an effective online reputation management strategy and there are several other areas in which they need to invest resources.

Responding to reviews is important but businesses can do more to grow their collection of positive online reviews. Clutch reports that only 40 percent of small businesses encourage customers to leave positive reviews.

Also, while social media is an effective tool for businesses that want to monitor and manage their online reputation, it can also be an invaluable brand-building tool. Positive content can include highlights of positive reviews and testimonials as well as original or curated content that addresses the needs and interests of the target audience.

Clutch also says that small businesses should consider adopting an omnichannel communication strategy that includes online and offline channels. Businesses should consider their audience, the message they want to convey, and the message’s call to action when deciding where to communicate a particular message to consumers. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses (64 percent) surveyed share announcements with customers using two or more communication platforms such as email, social media and direct mail.

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