Local B2B businesses often face an uphill climb. You’re competing with regional and perhaps even global brands in your industry, and trying to take advantage of local business opportunities without limiting your reach.
Instead of looking at online reputation management as a constant battle between going bigger and staying small, use these three tips to manage your online reputation with confidence.
1. Have As Much Information Available Online As You Can Regularly Update
Customers researching their next purchase want as much information as possible, so the bigger your business, the more needs to be online. But do you know what’s worse than a lack of information on your website? Tons of out-of-date information.
Make it easy for customers to choose you and to find what they want from you by only having as much data online as you’re willing to keep updated.
Don't just stop with updating your website. Take the opportunity to use your social media platforms to highlight updated information, too.
2. Specific Location Details Need to Be Mobile-Friendly
Did you know that 79 percent of smartphone owners use their smartphones for researching prospective purchases? Whether they are performing product or industry research, that’s more than 142 million people in the United States that could be seeking a connection with your product or service.
You also need to consider your local search engine optimization since 73 percent of the time, those users are looking for your location information. Customers looking forward to working with your business or making a purchase want easy and frequent access to your company’s information.
If it’s hard to find, they’ll simply move on.
Help them find you by prominently featuring your business location’s address and phone number in mobile-friendly plain text, activating "Click-to-Call" capabilities on most smartphones. Don’t miss out on business because of bad design, with your information hidden in an image file or Flash media.
3. Use Bad Reviews As A Jumping-Off Point to Give Customers What They Wanted in the First Place
The reason you’re good at what you do is because you don’t skimp on the small details. Online reputation management should follow the same formula. It’s not just about countering negative reviews on websites like Google Places for Business with a defensive stance -- it’s about encouraging those reviews to happen in the first place and making a positive out of a negative.
Have you received a negative review? Do everything in your power to track down that reviewer and offer them an incentive to come back.
Are you struggling to get reviews at all? A great way to counteract negative reviews online is to bury them with positive reviews. You might choose to send links to your Google Places for Business page and ask for a rating at the bottom of your email newsletter or blog email notification.
Instead of fearing online reputation management, embrace it. It’s simply an extension of the customer service you provide in person and through your services.
What does your business struggle with the most when it comes to online reputation management?