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In fact, a small to medium business can spend as little as a couple of hours a week and still effectively manage their online reputation. To make it even easier, you can use a review and reputation management software like Weave. Weave can automate a lot of the processes, such as review collection to save you even more time.

1. Prioritize storytelling.

Even small businesses with a limited budget can do an effective job. Below are some of the platforms you need to monitor as a business. Customers can reach out to your brand on Twitter for support, leave a rating on your Facebook business page, and share their thoughts about you on Instagram.

With huge social media platforms being home to millions or even of billions of users—all of whom will be able to see and join in on the conversation—neglecting social media is not an option. Forums operate a little bit differently than the likes of Facebook or Twitter. Some forum sites, like Reddit, are incredibly popular.

Others, like a niche or industry-specific ones, are targeted to a smaller yet very passionate subset of the internet. Reddit has a tight-knit user base and will often talk bluntly about their experience with online services. The nature of forums is that they promote discussion, and they can be a hub for information. Fitness forums, tech forums, or car forums for example get thousands of hits a day from people seeking out advice and recommendations from people in their communities. Forums are a great place to interact with your customers, learn more about their perception of you, and gain insight into their interests and needs.

On the other hand, negative coverage can be difficult, if not impossible, to counter. Whether positive or negative, how a news site frames you will have a huge impact on how customers perceive you months or even years down the line. A huge part of online reputation management is your rating: a quantifiable, measurable number that reflects the collective perception of your brand. Most people consider reviews before purchasing a product or patronizing a business.

Since your customers can weigh in on your business—and go into detail about their experience with you—reviews are one of the most trusted sources of information about your brand. In fact, according to surveys, a good review from a stranger is almost as good as a recommendation from a friend. A business with a 5-star rating with hundreds of reviews is naturally going to be more trusted than a business with a lower rating or no rating at all. One of the biggest mistakes most small businesses make when DIY-ing their reputation management strategies is not taking a multi-faceted approach.

You need to support your online reputation in different ways to get the best results. Below are some of the most important elements of any reputation management plan. Monitor the conversations around your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media networks. Take content from all around the internet, including news sites and blogs. Get a bigger picture of how people really feel your brand and find out if there are any problems you need to address. To make the most out of media listening, be proactive and do it regularly—not just when a crisis is already unfolding.

Check industry and consumer sentiment at least once or twice a week. Better yet, set up an alert to get notifications whenever your brand is mentioned online. Whenever a new review is posted to your Facebook, Yelp, or other profiles, take the time to read through it and respond. Encourage your existing customers to leave you a review. Search engine optimization is the catch-all term for anything you do to boost your ranking when people search for your business name or other related search terms. SEO is critical in boosting your visibility, but it can also be used to influence your online reputation.

By getting positive content to rank higher than negative content, you can minimize the impact of a bad review or unfavorable coverage. SEO covers a wide range of practices, such as creating good content, establishing and claiming your business directory pages, and building quality backlinks to your website. However, there are options for you if you want something more powerful, more professional, and more convenient.

Online reputation management systems like Weave do most of the heavy lifting for you, leaving you free to run and grow your business. Want to see more about Weave?

5 efficient reputation management strategies

Click here to schedule a demo. Share Tweet Pin. Topics: Online Reviews. My advice is to be proactive and review these things weekly with your team. Something important to remember is to not offer something unless you can deliver. So stay true to your promises and give customers exactly what you say will. Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics. As a personal care product company, we thrive on repeat business. That being the case, we realized how important it was to reach out to unsatisfied customers and correct any issues or complaints.

In addition to increasing revenue, this was a crucial step in accurately forecasting our sales since it enabled us to determine whether or not a buyer was likely to purchase another product in the future.

Theo Ellis from Anime Motivation. Staying true to your word.

Avoiding Black Hat Online Reputation Management Tactics

As long as you do that, and you stay consistent while going the extra mile, your online reputation is bound to be in good hands. Steve Wimmer — TriNova. Hunt down unsatisfied customers and do anything you can to appease them within reason. James Pollard — The Advisor Coach. The biggest secret is to start with a solid foundation. It will take care of itself. Of course, there will always be a few bad apples that write negative reviews and complain no matter what you do. However, always be transparent with your customers.

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Customers understand that there are people out there who will always complain and leave negative reviews. A good reputation is built on a lot of things, but being good at what you do is the first step. If a lot of people are happy with your service or product, they might tell others, and soon enough your reputation will speak for itself.

The most important factor is to be genuinely good at what you do. The next step is ensuring your company is presented in a light that reflects its true-self. Perception will always revolve around what the world at large is saying about you, so make sure you are part of that conversation. If you do not have a business website or social media pages on the leading platforms, it is time to get involved. In the digital age, non-participation is viewed as behind the times or even worse as having something to hide.

Black Hat Online Reputation Management Tactics to Avoid

Communicate with your audience regularly, respond to queries in a timely manner and encourage happy customers to leave you a positive review. Set up your alerts across social and search engines, monitor comments, and social engagements. Take it a day at a time. Roman Daneghyan — Renderforest. Having a good online reputation is only possible by having happy customers.

What is black hat online reputation management?

If the company can serve its customers in a good way, so they will be happy all the time, then it can have hundreds of online reviews on different platforms. Jamie Cheng — Digital Alpha Agency. Use images and words that subconsciously set the tone. Flash positive visuals, words that remind them of a good experience before going for the ask.

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The right timing to ask differs from every company and customer. Some are more than happy to give a review, some are a tad bit hesitant.

Also, make sure you respond to the private messages sent from clients. More often than not if something goes wrong, a client tends to reach out to you first before going off and posting a review. No one wants a half-finished project or to work with someone who cuts corners. People are spending their money on you, and are expecting a quality outcome, along with great customer service. Mark Davis from Custom Throwback Jerseys. Success is in the details. We strive to maintain high quality with both our jerseys and our customer service. Keeping a high bar for both those areas sets your business up for success when it comes to reputation.

Marcus Svensson from Albacross. Online reputation is super important for literally every business. And for you to maintain a steady flow of customers, you need a solid reputation, especially nowadays, when it takes a split of a second for your prospects to find reviews and opinions which can easily influence their decision to either buy or not from your company.

Our secret to building and maintaining a good online presence is by upholding the quality of our service and providing outstanding customer service.