3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT May 17, 2019 | Business Tips , Marketing , Social Media | client satisfaction , small business , Google By Stepha Vesper Managing your online reputation across social media platforms and review sites is a crucial part of being a small business owner in our tech-savvy, Google-driven marketplace. It’s also one of the most challenging. Here’s how you can streamline your approach to online reputation management and get the most out of your customer feedback. 1. Consistency is key. Like most things related to owning a small business, consistency is the key to successful online reputation management. Once you have all of your social media accounts set up and a good system for posting on a regular basis, monitoring your reputation is something that should always be at the back of your mind. Setting up Google alerts and being on top of your email notifications is a great place to start when it comes to overseeing activity. Make it a habit now so that you don’t struggle with squeezing it in when business picks up. And if you find yourself spending an hour or more a day on reputation management, consider hiring a part-time employee. 2. Respond to all negative reviews - and preferably positive ones, too! Receiving a negative review is tough, and we can’t promise it’ll get any easier as time goes on. Criticism, especially in a public arena, can leave us all feeling defensive, angry and confused, but putting aside your own feelings and posting a polite response is one of the best things you can do for your online reputation. Remember, your response isn’t just for the disappointed client. It’s for anyone who happens to come across your page in the future, and you’ll want to make it known that you’re a polite, professional and helpful small business owner with your customers’ best interests in mind. We recommend taking it a step further and responding to both negative and positive reviews. As a bonus, Google gives those businesses that respond to reviews a boost in ranking. 3. Be patient - building up a strong online reputation takes time. There’s no such thing a as a quick fix for your online reputation. It takes time to build a following on social media, gather client reviews or achieve a higher star count once a negative review has hit your account. Never turn to fast solutions, like soliciting fake reviews or diverting negative reviews away from major review sites—these are against terms and conditions. Know that there’s nothing you can’t overcome in terms of your online reputation. Countless giant corporations with household names have worked past major reputation roadblocks and come out the better for it. The corporate team at National Property Inspections can help you succeed in the business. For franchisees who'd like help with reputation management or crafting a response to a customer review, don't hesitate to contact the NPI marketing team ! For those interested in starting their own home inspection franchise, call Julie Erickson at 1-800-333-9807 x 24. We help you build your business from the ground up. About the Author Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her basset hound, Frank, and husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.