There is no escape from reputation management. The reason is there is no way to escape from other commenting online about a business or, for that matter, your personal life. Granted, most negative commentary is business-centric. People may be less like to mention items about someone’s personal life out of fear of karma. Posting bad reviews online, however, is not all that difficult for most people to do. Small businesses have to be aware that their reputation is subject to public commentary and scrutiny at all angles. So, assuming reputation management obligations can be avoided would be a very poor strategy.
Small business owners who have been around long before the massive online commerce revolution of the past decade might think they can conduct business as usual. An attitude of this nature sets the stage for online marketing problems. The small business owner may dismiss the negative impact bad reviews or commentary are having, but potential new customers are not. Eventually, neglecting the creation of a positive online reputation catches up with such an owner.
Sometimes, online reputations are created exclusively by third parties. This happens when a small business has a basic website and no blog or social media accounts. The internet becomes a blank canvas in which others are able to come in and create a perception. A business owner loses total control of messaging and branding when this is the case.
Allowing disgruntled consumers and, possibly, competitors to define a business is going to be nothing short of disastrous. Taking action and building up the venues necessary for creating a strong online reputation are responsibilities small business owners must embrace without delay.
Not all of the steps required to perform these actions are even complicated. Launching long overdue social media profiles would be one step necessary to mitigate reputation issues. Being active on social media platforms is also advisable since doing so supports effective online marketing and brand building. Both of these approaches do come with reputation benefits. By defining yourself and creating your own strong online presence, you diminish the ability of others to create unhelpful perceptions of you.