Online Reputation Matters
to Small Business
Online reputation isn’t just for monster corporations. It matters to small business owners, too, as our lead article shows.
1. Why Online Reputation Matters to Small Business, by Lisa Barone on smallbiztrends.com
You have a local business that draws most of its customers within a 25 mile radius. So you don’t have to be concerned about what the world is saying on the Internet, do you?
Absolutely. Barone cites a new study that showed 40% of consumers were twice as likely to stop buying a product or service they like if they hear something unfavorable about the company that provides it. Social media make it oh, so easy to spread the word, good or bad.
You have an online reputation, whether you are paying attention or not. When people hear something about a local company they start looking online for answers. Barone suggests 6 ways you can get out ahead of things and create a reservoir of favorable information online.
- Create a website (or improve the one you have – You own and control this online real estate; but not Facebook and other social media. Talk about your products, services and your team. Optimize for local search.
- Blog – Blog posts are search engine friendly, and they allow you to personalize the conversation.
- Social media – build a community around your business. Besides Facebook and Twitter, consider www.BizSugar.com, a small business networking site, and www.Pinterest.com, which features images you find online or create yourself.
- Local community involvement – speak at meetings and events, start a community project, sponsor a little league team to build your offline reputation.
- Guest blog posts – find blogs relevant to your business where you can be a guest contributor. This builds goodwill and boosts your own authority as an expert. Include links back to your website.
- Online reviews – sites such as Yelp and Google Place Pages are important. Here’s an actual quote from a Yelp review of a Dallas business: “They have done ok in the past, but I felt scammed this past time.” Ouch! Respond quickly to such posts, and encourage satisfied customers to post good reviews.
Full Article Here
2. Why email still trumps social media – Sydney Morning Herald
The journalist interviewed Scott Stratten, a successful small business owner who has 117,000 Twitter followers, but says email still trumps social media for delivering his message.
Stratten says social media followers are only “100th as valuable, or even 1000th as valuable as a subscriber” to his email list. This from a person who used Twitter to make his new book a best seller.
Here's the difference: You own your list of email and RSS subscribers, and you can reach them more directly and personally. Only a handful of Stratten’s 117,000 Twitter followers will see any given tweet from him, but everyone on his email list knows can see a message from him in their In Box.
Stratten also says small business owners should invest time one social media site and do it right, rather than dabbling in several.
Full Article Here
3. Quick Hits
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