We all work hard on our business, but do we all keep an eye on the reputation of our business in the community? When you're a very small or micro-business, adding that "one more thing" can be next to impossible, but it doesn't have to be.
Entrepreneur.com recently posted a great article about three ways to manage your online reputation. It highlights the need to use images, soliciting reviews from your clients and customers, and sharing the personal side. All three of these are great, but how do you actually go about it? What tasks are involved? And how does that all tie into your Web presence?
If you try to do it all, you're going to get overwhelmed. Start small and work your way up. If you find that something isn't driving the results you need, stop doing it and try something else. If you're an ecommerce site, post product photos and (positive) images of your work site. Show your audience that you're getting things done. If you're looking for other businesses for B2B relationships, start posting on Linked in. You don't have to blog on your own site (though that helps with your search ranking), but you should be getting yourself in front of your audience.
Once you've got a rhythm down for that one new task, it shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes of your day. Add in a second targeted task after you get a pattern down. For a small or micro-business, you don't need to be active everywhere, you just need to be active in the one or two places where your customers most frequently interact with you. Use Hootsuite to help automate the social media interactions and make sure that your blog auto-posts to social media. In doing so, you just need to write the blog and the software will do the rest for you.
What's Web Got to Do With It?
That heading is probably a lot more fun if you put it to a Tina Turner song, but I digress. If you aren't tying your reputation management activities into your Web site, people won't necessarily find what they need to know about you. Link to your Yelp or Google location page so customers can see all the amazing reviews you have, or leave one of their own. Automate posting to social media, as I mentioned above, with a great extension or plugin for your site (personally, I like RS!Blog) that automatically posts your blogs. Finally, and probably most important, make sure your team is handling quality control. If you shop on price and someone is 50% to 100% more than the other bids you've received, chances are they're including significant quality control over what they deliver. It's important to find out what's included in the price and the cheaper outsourcing firms are going to deliver either a cheaper result or it's not actually going to do what you want.
Once you've got your online reputation under control, let us know how we can help you with automating some of your processes by contacting us for an estimate.