Reputation Management may sound like a big business process that your small business doesn’t have to worry about, but that just isn’t’ true. Whether you are a dentist, lawn service, barbershop, pizza shop, or shoe store, your online reputation is winning or losing customers every day.
Living in the digital age, a business’s reputation is increasingly tied almost exclusively to its online presence. Where we use to find a plumber by asking our friends and neighbors who they use, now all the information we could want is just a few clicks or voice search away.
Whether you have created it or not, there is a lot of information on the internet about your business. Your reputation is built upon all this information, and whether you like it or not, customers are making buying decisions based on a tiny glimpse of what you do and how well customers say you do it.
A Positive Online Reputation is Vital to Business Success
In your area, there may be bigger businesses with wider selections, lower prices, and even bigger marketing budgets. However, your small business can still dominate your local market with proper reputation management. A local search for a product or service will turn up dozens of results, and search engine users are looking for the best option – not the biggest, most well known, or even the closest when all results are within similar proximity.
In fact, your online reputation is so vital to the prosperity of your business that if it is not well-managed new customers will either hold off on making a decision until they find proof yours is a good company or choose a competitor with a better online reputation.
Do you want to risk losing more sales while watching your competitors grow? Then it would be best if you got to work on your online reputation management.
What is Online Reputation Management – ORM?
Online Reputation Management or ORM is the process of cultivating the different aspects of your online presence to build and grow a positive reputation. This includes online content other people outside your business create like reviews, blog posts, social media mentions, articles, and competitor comparisons. Add to that your website, blog, and social media content, and there is a lot of information free-floating around the internet.
With an ever-growing reliance on our devices, everything posted about your business online can have a huge impact on a customer’s decision on whether to buy from you. Proactively creating positive content, gathering and responding to reviews, and monitoring brand mentions (mentions of your business and signature products/services) are the reputation management activities that will ensure your positive online reputation is working hard for your business.
Reputation Management Services for Small Local Businesses
Most small business owners put off adding reputation management to their overflowing to-do lists. But implementing an Online Reputation Management strategy gives you a series of solutions that will minimize the impact of negative reputation content and maximize the effect of the positive content that convinces customers to choose you over the competition. With online reputation management, you are ensuring your reputation is positive and stays that way.
There are a few ways to handle your Online Reputation Management:
- In-house or DIY
- Freelance consultant
- Local agency
- National agency
Whichever way you choose to tackle Online Reputation Management for your business, it’s important to start with a reputation audit to assess whether your online reputation is positive or if there are issues that need to be addressed.
Reputation Management Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated
Your online reputation is vital to the future success and growth of your business. Don’t risk leaving your online presence solely in the hands of any person with wifi, a free minute, and an opinion about your business they want to share.
Protecting your online reputation doesn’t have to be complicated when much of the process can be automated to take a lot of the work out building a positive business image across the web, wherever your customer base is looking.
Start today with ORM, and you will be able to more effectivley market your business and attract those new customers and clients who use online searches and reviews make their buying decisions.