For small businesses, generating online and offline buzz is essential to reaching and capturing audiences. Getting people to talk about your product or service keeps your business relevant, attracts customers, and ensures they remember your name.
Not all noise is good, however. Business buzz can go two ways: put your business in a positive light or give it a bad reputation.
No Publicity: Better than Bad Publicity?
The saying “any publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right” might be true in show business, but not necessarily accurate for small businesses.
All kinds of publicity matter in the business marketing arena. Customers, after all, can be very vocal about how happy or dissatisfied they are with a product or service online. In fact, their reviews can make or break a business. A Harvard University research proves this, saying that a 1-star difference in reviews produces a 5 to 9 percent gain or loss for businesses.
Surveys also show that online reviews influence customers’ buying decisions. In fact, 88 percent of respondents in a Dimensional Research survey said they read both positive and negative reviews before following through with a purchase. Similarly, a 2016 survey by Pew Research Center found that 82 percent of adults read customer reviews before buying a product or service for the first time.
Strive for excellence so that your business gets no negative reviews. In this case, having zero reviews is better than accumulating one-star or two-star ratings on your Google My Business or Facebook page.
Take Control of Your Online Reputation
It’s not possible to have complete control over what your customers say online, but you can influence them to leave positive reviews by maintaining the high quality of your products and services. Doing so prevents customers from saying something negative about your business.
If your business has been around for a while and is already getting mixed reviews, consider online reputation management. It involves several strategies, like content marketing and paid advertising, but the most important is monitoring and responding to customer reviews.
Saying thank you to positive reviewers, for instance, establishes your presence. It proves you interact with customers, which could encourage others to leave their feedback. Meanwhile, apologizing to negative reviewers and addressing their issues shows your dedication to quality.
There’s more to learn about reputation management and its impact on small businesses. Precision Internet Marketing can guide you through them. Get in touch with our team today.