Small businesses have always lived and died on word of mouth. When you’re first starting out, you need to build a reputation which allows you to compete with the big corporations despite their monetary advantages. In today’s world, the place to gain that reputation and to spread that word is the internet. Online reputation management is one of the most important factors to the success of a small business in the modern world. Where do you start, though? This article from Forbes has several tips.
The first step might be a little obvious–get a website for your company–but there’s far more to it than that. You need to secure your domain name, the domain names of your products and even possible misspellings of your company or product if you really want to be thorough. Above that, though, you need to make sure that you can secure your pages on the social media sites that your customers visit. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; you should have a page on all of the megasites that your customers are using, of course, but you might also want to spread out to smaller sites, or more business-focused sites. Blogger, About.me, resume.com, yelp, wordpress, all of these sites can help expand your reach in the online world.
Having all of these pages is just the first step, though. Once you have them, you also need to make sure that you are engaging with your customers on them. This means both making sure that your customers can find them, and making sure that they are fairly active. Luckily, there are services that can be used and actions that can be taken to make this easier. The most effective is, of course, to hire someone to handle your PR online, but that isn’t always an option. When it isn’t, there are steps that you as the business owner, can take to make it all easier. To help customers find your business, you can learn simple techniques for search engine optimization (SEO), like making sure that your brands are mentioned on most every page of your site and making sure that there is content on them relevant to your customers. To help keep all of the pages active, there are services like IFTTT that can automate the posting between your various pages and help keep your pages active and your customers engaged!