A company’s reputation can be made better or damaged by what others find on social media. According to an article reported on the PR Newswire website, 88% of small businesses do actively monitor their online reputation. Because of the increased competition for the attention of present and potential customers, having an online presence today is essential. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp and others allow businesses to monitor their reputation, and most do so at least on a quarterly basis.
According to a survey released by top B2B research firm, Clutch, that while most small businesses will monitor their online reputation on a regular basis, those who don’t are at risk. For those that decide not to do so, they are allowing third-party sources – whether the feedback or reviews, for example, are dissatisfied customers or competitors – to define their brand for them. Clutch surveyed some 529 small businesses across the United States in a variety of industries.
Clutch found that the tools that small businesses used to keep track of their online reputation were as follows:
54% relied on In-House employees
34% utilized online reputation management tools such as Google
27% used an online reputation management firm
26% regularly monitored third-party review sites like Yelp
22% used social media tools such as Hootsuite to keep track of their online reputation with consumers.
The research clearly shows that as our world gets more connected through the Internet, consumers will look for more information online before they actually make a purchase of a product or service. Bright Local conducted a survey in which they found 86% of consumers will check the online reviews of a business before frequenting it. It also found that 57% of consumers that participated in the survey will only use a business with four or more stars.
It is also important to note that 81% of consumers will read what a business’ response is to those who submit reviews on websites such as Yelp. Small businesses take the time to address concerns to past customers and do what it takes to “make things right” can reassure potential future customers. It can go a long way to show those who read such reviews that the business owner is engaged and committed to the needs of those customers.