Have you ever considered that your reputation may be tarnished and you don’t even know it? What are people saying about you offline and online? Are all your markting efforts being sabotaged by a disgruntled employee or competitor?
All your fancy TV ads, blog & Facebook posts, Tweets, and direct mail are for nil if bad reviews keep popping up all over the place. This is where reputation marketing comes into the grand ole’ scheme of things.
Reputation marketing is still relatively new and is growing leaps and bounds as more and more search engines and citation sites are jumping into the review game. And don’t expect this game to get any easier anytime soon. It’s heating up and just getting interesting.
In my previous post about Local Marketing I mentioned the foundation. This is usually where the trouble starts, but not always.
Sometimes there’s a rogue element like someone in the business or associated with it who is having a bad streak or is possibly disgruntled. The foundation is really strong but this one person is wreaking havoc, leaving a trail of dissatisfied customers, lost opportunities and plummeting sales.
Could it be you, the owner or manager, who is creating all the collateral damage? Or maybe your partner or senior manager?
These are the questions we need to ask you, the small business owner, because your online reputation can and will have an impact on your company moving forward.
Simply just posting reviews online is not going to make it all good. You need to have a simple plan for building your reputation online and then the foundation to support the plan.
You see it all comes back to the click and mortar again, doesn’t it. In the offline world you, your partner and your staff need to do the work to keep the foundation intact. From answering the phone and emails to posting on social media sites and meeting with people in person. It all comes together as people create their opinions about you and your company and then spread the word, good or bad.
If this seems too simple that is because it really is. This is not rocket science here but there are best practices and ways to do accomplish the plan and grow your business.
The bottom line is that every prospect and lead you come in contact with can either have a positive or negative impact on your business. These people you deal and work with everyday are the ones who will post and share their experiences online with other people.
Reputation marketing, or what some call reputation management, is the key. Yes, it is the key for small businesses to attract and connect with new prospects and existing customers. Reputation marketing (I prefer this term) is where small businesses can make it or break it online.
That’s why you need to be working on your foundation and reputation at the same time. It’s an ongoing process that requires work and planning.
So get started now and touch bases with the Small Biz Mechanic if you need a little help fixing the foundation or bad reviews.
To your reputation marketing success!