Category: Digital

What You Didn’t Know About Facebook Ads

Facebook may have started out as a way for teenagers and college students to easily connect, but it’s become much more than that.  Much More.  Today, the social network’s 1 billion user base is a goldmine for businesses looking to grow their brand.People continue to connect with other individuals on Facebook but they have also connected with brands and businesses.

While traditional marketing in newspapers, television, and other forms of media can be focused onto desired target audiences, their focus is quite limited. A law firm that markets their business in a business newspaper or TV channel will be limited to just one certain audience: business people. Other than knowing that the ads are going out to a business audience this example law firm wouldn’t be able to target their audience in any other way. Not to mention that determining exactly how many people viewed newspaper or local TV advertisements is difficult and not accurate.

With Facebook Ads, this same law firm would be able to laser focus their target audience. They would be able to choose the location of people to advertise their services to, their age, their gender, education level, interests, behaviors, language, income, and even relationship status.

One behavior that a law firm might want to include in their Facebook target audience is “small business owner” or “highly likely investors.” The law firm might also want to advertise only to people that are interested in “company mergers” or “corporate defense lawyer.” If this law firm decided to start handling divorce cases, they could also target “married” or “divorced” users.

Laser focusing a business’s target audience is instrumental in lowering marketing costs, as well as boosting conversion rates. Separate ad creative on Facebook that target certain audiences are also going to convert much better than general creatives that might be seen in newspaper or TV advertisements.

In a newspaper advertisement a law firm might have to stick to a generic headline like “Are you getting a divorce? Make sure you’re legally protected!” This headline would have to apply to women and men.

On Facebook Ads, a law firm could create an advertisement that goes out to men between the ages of 25 and 55 that are married or divorced, and the headline could say “Do you need legal help divorcing your wife?” It’s obvious how such a targeted approach would result in lower marketing costs and increased conversion rates. However, not all local businesses are aware of Facebook ads and how beneficial it can be to their marketing campaigns.

Versatility of Facebook Marketing

With Facebook Ads, businesses can market their brand, products, or services in four distinct placements that can have their own efficiency and lead quality benefits.

Desktop News Feed

Advertisements that show up on target audience news feeds will look like the content they see from friends and pages they like. The only difference between their friends’ content and your business’s ads is that the word “Sponsored” will show up underneath the ads.

Advertising on news feeds is effective because business ads ads are integrated into the content the user is browsing.

Mobile News Feed

These type of advertisements are displaced in the same way desktop news feed ads are, but they are only seen on the mobile version of Facebook. The mobile version of Facebook refers either to the native app used on iPhone or Android, or the browser mobile version.

Right Column

Right column advertisements will show up under a “Sponsored” section on the right column of Facebook. This ad placement isn’t as integrated as the ad that shows up in the news feed, but it is much less expensive because of that. Testing both desktop news feed ad placements and right column ads is paramount in finding the most profitable ad placement for your business.

Partner Mobile Apps

Apps that are partnered with Facebook will display your advertisements within their content or at the bottom of their user interface. Advertising on mobile apps isn’t really something most businesses test, but it’s an option that’s available for them when they are running profitable campaigns and are looking to expand.

The Advantages of Building a Facebook Fan Base

Facebook Ads can be used to reach Facebook users that are in your business’s target audience. The ad may incite Facebook users to redeem a coupon, visit your site, share your content, or even place a call.

However, Facebook Ads can also be used to grow your Facebook page’s fan base. This may not sound that important at first, but it’s essential to a marketing strategy of a business that needs to lower costs in the long-run.

A business with 5,000 fans for example can post something on their Facebook page and have it appear on their fanbase’s news feed. At regular times of the day most Facebook pages reach the 10-20% of their fan base: this is because not all fans are online at the same time of the day.

Unlike paid Facebook advertisements, having a large fanbase makes it possible to market to your fans for free after acquiring them. The best part about Facebook fans is that you can earn them just by asking existing customers to like your Facebook page. You don’t necessarily have to invest in Facebook Ads to drive likes and fans to your Facebook page.

After a fan likes your page you’ll be able to reach them with your posts again and again for free. Not to mention that having a fan base makes it extremely easy to share special offers and news with previous and future customers.

If you ever sell your local business, you’ll be able to sell it for much higher if it has a fan base and is loved by customers. Business owners invest based on value, and a fan base that can be tapped into regularly for future marketing holds a lot of value. Even if you’re not selling your business you’d want to take advantage of Facebook Ads to boost sales and lower marketing costs.

Facebook Success Stories

If you think that Facebook advertising is only for the big companies like Dell and Dominos, then think again. Facebook Ads success stories range from brick and mortar stores all the way to national Saas solutions.

One prominent local business which succeeded with Facebook ads is State Bicycle Co. By using Facebook ads for marketing coupons and offers, State Bicycle Co. was able to increase annual sales by $500,000.

State Bicycle Co. was also able to reduce their cost per click by 80% compared to the other advertising platforms they used for online marketing. A major part of this cost reduction was brought on by the laser focusing opportunity gave them. State Bicycle Co.’s target audience included people with interests in “big shot bikes,” “Missions bicycle,” and “track bikes,” which were exactly the sort of bikes the company sold.

In addition to boosting sales with Facebook Ads and decreasing marketing costs, State Bicycle Co. also increased awareness of their brand and grew their fan base.

The Power of Optimization

Traditional marketing across newspapers and televisions makes it hard to test various creative quickly. With Facebook Ads your business will be able to tweak creative as often as desired, to achieve the exact results required as soon as possible.

If you have an ad creative with a certain headline, but want to test which images boost click-through rates, then you can just add multiple images to that campaign and Facebook Ads will split test which performs the best.

Testing various headlines and ad text is also efficient with Facebook Ads: simply duplicate your business’s ads, and then add in the new headline or ad text tests. The creative version of the ad will be different, but you’ll be able to keep the same targeting and audience parameters.

Instead of having to spend thousands of dollars on testing campaigns before knowing if they are worth continuing or not, Facebook Ads lets you do that at a fraction of the cost at a click of a button. This is exactly why Facebook’s marketing platform is effective for local business.

The other advantage of Facebook is the cost. After setting up a dozen or two ads for testing and setting the budget of each add to a few dollars, you’ll be able to see how ads perform. The highest performing ads can then be scaled with higher budgets, and larger targeting locations, to grow at a pace that’s right for your business.

This insures that you’re never investing so much into marketing that if the marketing campaign fails, your business will be in hot water too. It also insures that campaigns aren’t so successful that they sound thousands of customers to your business and you fail to fulfil orders or services because you can’t handle the rapid growth. Facebook Ads lets your business grow a pace that’s right for your marketing budget, but also at a pace that’s right for your business’s growth goals.

The 7 Best Social Media Tools for Small Businesses

Owning a small business can be the most exciting thing that any person can possibly do. The challenges of reaching out to customers, successfully identifying and entering markets, and keeping a competitive edge over the competition can easily take over every waking moment.

However, the stress can easily become too much over the long haul. That is due to the never-ending need to engage with clients while also handling the administrative tasks for your business. Who has the time to handle everything?

Thankfully, we live in a time where technology has advanced enough to provide us the tools to automate most communication tasks, while simultaneously allowing your company to reach new clients without adding any additional cost.

Here are seven social media tools that are taking the small business world by storm in 2014.

Hootsuite

Imagine you are sitting in your car. In the dashboard are dials showing the status of nearly all of the systems in your car. Oil pressure? Gasoline? Miles? Check, check, and check.

Hootsuite takes this philosophy and applies it to social media. On a single screen, you can see all of your social media profiles, and delegate certain accounts to different people or departments (if your company is getting big enough for that sort of thing.)

Beyond delegation, this service enables you to see which profiles are garnering the most views, allowing you to see with a single glance, which is worth continuing to invest in. This saves you time and money by eliminating the need to run annoying feedback programs asking clients to take time from their schedules to inform you how they found your company.

VerticalResponse

The digital equivalent to the old-fashioned mail campaign is unknown, unimaginatively perhaps, as an email campaign. There are numerous companies out there promising to help create the best email campaign for their clients, though few has the track record for success as VerticalResponse.

As a company dedicated to helping small businesses succeed, it will guide you through every step of the process. Appearance is vital for these messages to be successful. VerticalResponse takes this responsibility seriously, designing some of the most beautiful and informative email advertisements possible.

VerticalResponse even works with you on social media, by formatting these advertisements to work with popular social media sites such as Facebook. Finally, it will create sign up pages designed to attract new people interested in learning more about your company.

CrowdBooster

CrowdBooster is a social media analyst tool, designed to inform business owners about what is, and what isn’t, working to improve your social media presence.  Beyond that, it collects data as to what time the most viewer’s access your posts, informing you as to when to release your next batch of campaign marketing material in order to have the greatest impact.

Industry luminaries, such as the Los Angeles Times and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, use this company. If it works wonders for them, imagine what it can do for your small business.

This company is not designed to help you reach new consumers or formulate an advertisement. It is designed to inform you as to when you should do something, not what to do.

SproutSocial

SproutSocial is designed to make managing your social media presence easier by congregating all of your messages into one seamless interface. The goal of this service is to reduce the amount of time you have to use collecting feedback from users, thus allowing you to maximize the time spent helping improve your company’s products and reputation.

SproutSocial breaks down messages on a demographical basis, enabling you to see with a single glance which particular group is responding more. For instance, when deciding on a new gender-specific product, it is a good idea to know who is more enthused by your company.

Information is power, and by understanding who is saying what, you can get ahead of any trends and profit accordingly. What separates this from Hootsuite is that it is designed for companies with just a few employees. One person can manage everything with this service.

Postling

Up until now we have only dealt with traditional social media, email and sharing sites. However, there is another arm of the digital tree that needs to be carefully cultivated if a company is to survive in this digital age.

Like with the tools listed above, Postling monitor social media sites for new messages and demographic trends. What sets this company apart is the expansion of this monitoring to product review sites, such as Yelp.

Knowing what customers are saying about your company on these review boards is vital in order to maintain a positive company image in the local market. More and more people are going online first, to see which companies are worth their time and money.

Do not allow your firm to be ruined by a bad review. Receive notification of it immediately, and take action before it becomes widely read.

Argyle Social

Argyle Social is one of the larger, and more successful, companies in the social media tool industry. It is designed to automate publication of material put together by you, or your marketing team.

The company prides itself on being at the forefront of data collection, identifying new and powerful ways to give its clients the information needed to reach out to consumers without having to worry about wasting time and precious company resources.

It is one of the more expensive options on this list, starting at around $300 per month, but the experience and dedication found in this company is guaranteed to make the investment worth it at the end of the fiscal year.

Post Planner

Post Planner is a Facebook management tool that helps automate the sharing of content to your Facebook page.Like others, Post Planner will handle everything in the queue and automatically post out based on pre-configured times.

In addition to having all the normal page management features, such as scheduling, insights, it also comes with a secret weapon. What separates Post Planner from other management and posting tools is their content discovery engine.  This feature finds you the most popular, most shared content in your industry and then you can add that content to your queue to post later on.

By finding the best content to share, you will increase your engagement level, shares and social mentionswith your audience and save time doing it.

Social Media does not need to be a chore for the small business owner. By taking advantage of the tools available, it is possible to leverage the Internet and create a new stream of customers for your company.

Take the time to look over and look over our reputation, and imagine the possibilities. Reach out to these teams, and learn what can be done to improve your company’s image on the web, and see what new profits and opportunities can be had for those willing to take the plunge.

You do not even need to be fully digitized to benefit, numerous companies utilize social media instead of traditional websites due to costs and convenience issues. Seize the day!

What are your favorite social media tools to use? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Say Hello to Google My Business – Quick Start Guide

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing an online presence. Without and well-built website and a presence on social media, your potential customers are driven to your competitors. But how can you be sure that you are reaching a local audience? That’s where Google My Business comes into play.

So What Is It?

Google My Business is a new tool for small business owners. All of Google’s tools are located in one, easy to use location. Even better, the service is free. This means that you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you. Here’s what you can do with Google My Business:

  • Google + – Maintain your presence on social media site Google +. You can update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your business page.
  • Reviews – You can manage your page ranking and reviews from one main page.
  • Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps.
  • Hangouts – If you choose, you can hold video chats with colleagues or customers.

These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business. But more than what you can do, what is important is how it helps you.

What It Does For You

With Google My Business, you can respond to negative reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see how what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.

You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, information, and maps on one platform. This allows you to be sure you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.

As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can see where your customers are located and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.

Learning Curve

The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform to be not only a benefit to your business, but you will find it to be an extreme time saver.

To sign up with Google My Business, simply navigate to the platform and click Get on Google. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.

If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!

Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now

As you have read, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You’ve got to use it! So what four things can you do right now, right from the comfort of your desk? These:

  1. Set Up Your Profile

Take the time right now, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Get On Google” tab on the http://www.googlemybusiness.com site.

  1. Add Images

Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos, or your staff on the job.

  1. Manage Reviews

You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.

  1. Leverage Insights

Take a look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search. You will also see the amount of activity on your Google + page and the demographic details of your audience.

What Local Search Experts Have to Say – Do You Agree?

As with anything, everyone has an opinion. Now that Google My Business has had time to sink in to the minds of the masses, local search experts are offering their opinions. Here’s how some of the experts are weighing in:

Street Fight: According to Street Fight, GMB is a step forward, but more dedication to simplicity is necessary.

SIM Partners: Google has shown that it is committed to local business space. A bulk upload process would be helpful, but Google has shown its interest in serving the needs of the small business owner. http://www.simpartners.com/google-my-business/

Mike Blumenthal: While Google My Business is a strong step forward in the service of the SMB, users may be left wishing for specific upgrades.

The Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore

Think that you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:

  • Growth
  • Authorship
  • Search Engine Recognition
  • Flexibility

There are more than 500 million users registered with Google +. If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers are being driven to your competition that has chose to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredibly flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner should be making the most of.

5 ways your website is costing you new business

Modern technology has improved at an alarming rateover the last decade, with the internet at the forefront of each and every single one of these advancements. Smart phones and tablet devices are now a part of everyday life, and you can even now use them to do your banking and to pay for items and services. You can even pay for items and services using digital currency, namely the bit coin. Yes, technology is most certainly king and for that reason, if you want to stand any chance of succeeding within the business world, you need to embrace it and get with the times.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business may be, the simple fact of the matter is that if you want to stand any chance of succeeding, you will need to own a website for your business, and if you want your business to flourish in these new times, your website will need to do more than the days of old.  It will need to work for you. If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed this could potentially be costing you thousands in lost revenue every single month.

If your business is suffering and you’re not quite sure why, maybe, just maybe, your website could be to blame? Here’s a look at 5 ways in which your website could potentially be costing you new business.

Your site does NOT have a clear call to action

One of the best ways of actually getting what you want is to ask for it, and in simple terms, that is essentially exactly what a “call to action” is. On your site it is your job to encourage, or even to direct your customers towards exactly what it is that you would like them to do once they’ve finished browsing your services and/or products.

Exactly what you require them to do will of course depend on what your business is all about.  Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? If so, a simple hyperlink linking to the “free trial” page, with the text ‘Click here for your free trial” is all that you need to do. Do you want them to browse your service or products? If so, ‘Click here to browse our full range of products/services’ etc. Place these clickable links strategically throughout your website’s content, ensuring you don’t overwhelm the customers with too much text or content.

It’s essentially the same as using bait while fishing. A few carefully placed links with simple call to action text will bait customers into clicking them, seeing your products, seeing something they like the look of, and purchasing it whilst making you a tidy profit in return.

Your site layout sucks

On average, a new visitor to your website only spends six seconds evaluating whether to stay on your site or to click the back button and go somewhere else.  If your website’s most important information is buried under the fold, then there is a pretty good chance it’s not being seen. The layout of your website is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when creating a new site for your business. Although there are a number of “create your own” websites out there that cost little to nothing at all, it is advisable to always hire professional web designers to create and design your website for you.

You should think about what you want each page to say, and then look for ways of saying it using as minimal text as possible. Hey, if you have a knack for writing, that’s great that’s what your blog is for.

But most our potential customers will be visiting your website to browse your products and services, not to read long walls of text. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Make sure you keep the text to a minimum, don’t try to include too many images, and make sure each page is well balanced.

Your design is outdated

A great website design can validate to consumers that your business is a legit, professional business that they want to patronage. It can either boost your reputation or turn potential consumers away.

If you’re trying to save money by doing it yourself, you could actually be losing potential customers, and in the end, losing money.By taking design into their own hands, small business owners cause themselves more headaches and risk by ending up with a poorly designed and planned out website.  Not surprisingly, 41% of small business owners who are unhappy with their current website say design/aesthetic is one of their top priorities

So do it right the first time. Hire a professional web design service and make sure your website looks contemporary, attractive, and allows customers to easily engage with your business.

You don’t have any social networking links

Social networking is now a part of everyday life, and whether you like it or not, it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future. First off, if you don’t have several social networking pages created for your business, you need to consider getting them set up ASAP. Social networking is ideal as it’s a great source of free, or very cheap marketing and advertising, millions upon millions of people use these pages, and it’s an ideal way of potentially drumming up more business.

Once you do have several social networking pages created, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc, you will then need to ensure that you provide links to each page from your website. Linking to social networking pages is ideal because it allows you a way of keeping in touch with potential customers, and keeping them up to date with what’s going on. So let’s say you are having a sale.  People love sales right? By promoting this sale through social networking sites, you have a direct line of communication to people who are already interested in what you’re selling.

Your friends, fans and followers then see the amazing deal your offering and will likely take advantage of it because you’re speaking directly to your target audience. We spoke about calls to action earlier and social networking links are prime examples of how effective a call to action can be. Simple text such as “Stay Informed by liking us on Facebook” with a direct link to your Facebook page is all that is required, and it’s proven to be extremely effective.

Your site is not mobile-friendly

As mentioned previously, smart phones and tablet devices are now extremely common, with close to 50% of all US citizens actually owning at least one of these devices. For that reason, more and more people are using these devices to browse the web, rather than laptops or computers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then you need to rectify this issue as soon as possible, as again, you could be losing out on a lot of customers.

Websites that aren’t user friendly show up incredibly small on the screens of smart phones, forcing the user to have to enlarge the text and to then scroll left, right, up, and down, every few sentences. If there are any clickable tabs or links on the page, they often inadvertently get clicked by accident, which is extremely frustrating for the user. Rather than spending 10 times as long as normal to simply read a few paragraphs, the user will instead search for a much simpler alternative, namely one of your competitors with a mobile friendly website.

Mobile friendly websites recognize when a user is browsing via a smart phone and will display the text in the perfect size for your device’s screen. This means you won’t need to enlarge the text, you won’t accidently click on the wrong page, and you won’t need to scroll left and right every few words. You simply read the text and scroll down as you go. It’s simple but it works and works so much better than the non-friendly alternative.

Your contact information is hard to find

Studies and expert research have both found that including your contact information on every single page of your website is the most effective way of maximizing your potential to increase and boost your sales.

Many businesses make the mistake of placing their contact information solely on their ‘contact us’ page, or sometimes not at all. Visitors don’t want to navigate through different pages just to find a telephone number or email address.  Visitors want to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.  You can easily eliminate any frustration by listing your business phone number, your operating hours and business email address situated at the top and bottom of every page.

For further benefit make sure to include links to your social networking pages with your contact information. The easier you are to get hold of, the more likely you will be to land yourself extra leads, and sales. You get the results you want, as does the customer as they easily get to find exactly what it is they’re looking for without wasting time by navigating through page after page.

4 Simple Steps to Protecting Your Reputation Online

Unfortunately, the Internet is full of misleading information and untruths. When these untruths involve your small business, your reputation can suffer. Sites like Rip-Off Report do not spend time vetting the information they are fed. This makes it incredibly easy for competitors and others to leave false information that can ruin your company’s reputation.

What’s worse than a ruined rep? The fact that many of these sites will charge you money to defend yourself. That’s right! It’s free to leave a negative review, and it can cost money to reply. This makes it very easy for a disgruntled ex-employee or unscrupulous competitor to ruin your company in just minutes.

What Research Shows

Research conducted by Bright Locals has shown that up to 79% of consumers report that they trust online reviews. This means that having no reviews online, or having only negative reviews, can drive your potential customers straight into the waiting arms of your competitors. So how do you ensure that your brand is a positive one among the online community?

Four Steps to Protecting Your Name

There are four easy steps that you can take to not only building a positive reputation online, but to protecting the reputation you build.

  1. Set Up Profiles on Social Media
  2. Build Links
  3. Online Reviews
  4. Google My Business

Social Media

Create profiles on all of the major social media sites and maintain your profiles. Build pages on sites like Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. After you have taken the time to build a profile, be sure to update it regularly. Having a stagnant presence on social media can be as damaging as having no presence.

Update your pages at least once each week. Respond to questions that you receive about your small business daily. And, if you receive negative comments, don’t delete them. Instead, use negative comments as an opportunity to provide exceptional customer service.

Link Building

Guest post on other sits and include a link to one or more of your social media profiles. Link building costs you nothing but a small amount of time, making it the perfect solution for the small business owner without liquid capital. If you don’t have the time to guest post on other sites, assign the task to one of your employees. This method not only combats negative reviews, but it can help your profiles get more hits. It’s a win-win.

Online Reviews

Studies have shown that people are more likely to leave a negative review when they have had a bad experience than to leave a positive review for a good experience. Give your customers incentive to leave positive reviews and make it easy for them to do so.

Many business owners find that by asking for feedback, they receive it. You may also choose to offer discounts as an encouragement for customers to leave positive reviews on the sites that you point them to.

No matter what you do, do not let negative reviews be the only thing people see when they search for your company online. Be proactive in your approach to combating negative reviews. This is the only way that you can ensure your company has a positive reputation in the virtual world.

Google My Business

Google My Business, https://www.google.com/business/, allows you total control of your small business listing across all of Google’s features from a single platform. This completely streamlines the process of controlling your brand and your reputation. One of the best uses that you have of Google My Business is the posting of images, videos and virtual tours. Let your potential customers see exactly what you have to offer without the need to step foot in your store.

Google My Business also allows the small business owner to engage your audience. In other words, you can both monitor and respond to reviews that your customers (or people posing as customers) leave on the Web. Before you sit down to respond to any negative reviews, determine how you will do so.

Any comments that you make in response to any type of review should be nothing less than positive. Keep in mind that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. It’s cliché, but it’s true. Negative reviews are to be expected; how you handle those reviews will speak volumes about your business to others.

A Few Facts About Online Reviews

  • On average a consumer consults 11 online reviews before they make a purchasing decision.
  • Negative reviews can help your business. 68% of consumers are more trusting of reviews that are a mixture of positive and negative than those that are all positive.
  • Bad reviews that are based in fact provide a learning opportunity for you and your employees.
  • Responding to reviews shows potential customers that you care about exceptional customer service.

Handling Negative Reviews and Protecting Your Reputation – Doing It Right

You know that your reputation is gold. As a small business owner, your reputation means everything. When your reputation is stellar, you not only beat out your direct competition, but you don’t have to look for that big box store or large service provider hanging over your shoulder.

You understand that you need to handle reviews properly. But what is properly? Here are four tips for handling negative reviews in a way that will leave your small business shining in the minds of your potential customers.

  1. Be professional – always! Do show that you care and do show that you are prepared to solve the problem.
  2. Actions Speak! Show your customer that you are ready and willing to solve the problem. Phone calls, emails or even a certified letter in response to the review speaks volumes.
  3. Handle it yourself! Do not delegate the task of handling negative reviews to an employee.
  4. Document it! When you are responding to a negative review, be sure to not only tell your side of the story in a professional way, but detail the steps you took to try to remedy the problem.

The small business owner’s goal online should be to build a strong reputation. When you follow the advice outlined in this article, you are sure to not only build your reputation but to protect it. After all, your reputation is the lifeblood of your small business.