Reputation Management: one aspect of marketing you can not afford to ignore!

 

Business Owner sues woman for $750,000 for bad review on Yelp!

 

Most business owners feel helpless in the new era of online reviews such as Yelp and Google. One business owner states he lost an estimated $300,000 for ONE BAD REVIEW on Yelp. He went as far as to file a lawsuit against the woman who he feels wrongly damaged his reputation. To read the full story, click here.

Reputation Marketing May Be The Best Place to Start

Over the years it’s always been assumed that getting your business “found online” was the most important task at hand for any business owner.  First build your website, get found and collect your riches.

You then find out that it’s not so easy to get found online.  You may have spent thousands or tens of thousands on a beautiful website and the phone still isn’t ringing.  Then you start doing a little homework and learn about On Page and Off Page SEO, Pay Per Click, Google Places, Google +, Back links, Blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Panda, Penguin…and the list keeps building. It is enough to make your head spin!

Now you realize it takes a lot of hard work and or a lot of your hard earned money to compete in this strange online world.  Some folks give up, because it’s just too time consuming.  Others spend tons of money and years fine tuning their online strategy, see some successes, only to have Google deem them irrelevant  because of a change in their algorithm. Google seems to be doing this now on almost a quarterly basis. Even if you are tempted to give up, the Internet is not going away, and with the mobile world growing, it will become more and more important to have a strong relevant presence on the Internet.

You now may have heard of the term  “reputation management.”  This term can mean a lot of different things to different businesses, but it basically comes down to managing and responding to your reviews on Google, Yelp, Insiderpages and other review sites on the Internet, and keeping bad reviews out of sight. It also means knowing just what exactly people are saying about you online…don’t be the last to know!

The business world has changed. Years ago an unhappy consumer would just complain to their family and friends.Now they have the ability to let the whole world know…literally!

 

The online world is becoming more social.  Consumers have more power and are not afraid to voice their opinions.   They want the best prices, the best service and the best overall experience from your business.  And if you fail in any one of these areas, many will let you and let everyone else online know their opinion as well. Your trusted employee could have one bad day, and damage your reputation!

So, what is Reputation Marketing?

Well, we think it’s smart to start your online marketing by setting up a system to take control of your business’ reputation, then market your reputation online.  You should actually do this even BEFORE you start driving traffic to your site.

Why?  Well, if you spend all this time and money driving consumers to find your business online and the first thing they see on Google page 1 is a bad Google review or a Yelp complaint, you just lost that customer!  All it takes is 1 poor review and that potential new customer, who doesn’t know that your business has a sterling 15 year reputation offline, clicks their mouse and off they go to your competitor. Having NO reviews will hurt you even more! You will be considered irrelevant.

Google’s purchase of Zagats now has them using the Zagat style rating system to score your business based on your reviews. This is in addition to the reviews that show directly under your business listing in a Google Search.

Today’s Internet rewards businesses with positive reviews and punishes those with bad ones.  And it doesn’t matter if those bad reviews are unwarranted or even written by an unethical competitor. A lot of us do not want to address this aspect of marketing. It is uncomfortable to ask for reviews and frustrating to respond to bad reviews when we are all so busy trying to run our business. Unfortunately, this is not an aspect of online marketing that you can afford to ignore. It is not going away any time soon!

The best strategy is to build a system that encourages positive reviews and control the negative ones.  Market your positive reviews and follow up with the consumers who have written bad reviews and make it right.

So what can you do?

 

Start by adding a Google Alert for your business name. Make sure you add multiple alerts if your business is known by more than one name. This does NOT guarantee you will know if someone writes you a bad review.  Google only picks it up for an alert if they actually mention your business name in the review, but is still a good place to start.

Respond to bad reviews, even old ones! DO NOT DO THIS WHILE YOU ARE STILL FUMING OVER THE BAD REVIEW…wait until you settle down and respond in a professional, courteous manner, apologizing for their bad experience. Mention your many years of happy customers.

Krush It! Web Marketing’s new reputation management system makes it easier than ever to get your best customers to give you reviews. Many of our customers have been frustrated trying to guide their clients to these sites, and we can now make it easier than ever for you to get them to the correct review site, review and approve their review, and then submit it. Brian and I are here anytime to discuss this new technology, and discuss which strategy will work best for your business.

Call Krush It! Web Marketing at 774-535-1458 to move forward with your Reputation Marketing Strategy.

 

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