Small Business Reputation Management: the dos and don’ts

Managing the reputation of your business can be a tricky venture. Here are some top tips to help you stay afloat in a crisis.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, except when you’re a business, especially a small business. Reputation management is crucial to your survival, which is why more companies invest money into hiring social media managers these days. If you’re afraid of making mistakes, here’s a quick dos and don’ts guide to help you out.

Related: Reputation tops list of business priorities

Do ask for feedback

Asking consumers what they think about you can be a great way of improving things, as well as proving you’re a humble company that is always looking for more ways to help their consumers. Have a reviews section on your website to make it easy for people to contribute their opinion.

Don’t be spammy

Nobody wants spam in their lives, so don’t be the company who is cluttering up people’s mailboxes or with numerous advertorials on social media. Firstly, Google looks for people like you and then penalises your website for not doing things correctly and secondly, it’s an ineffective way to draw people to your website.

Do get branded up

Brand reputation isn’t just online in this modern era. Think Coca Cola, Eddie Stobart and Nike, all big brands that we immediately recognise from logos and colour schemes. It’s a risk putting your brand out there, Eddie Stobart lorries have a responsibility to drive well to reflect the brand and accidents can look bad on the company. But you can put your brand out there too, whether it’s encouraging employees to wear the company name on their t-shirt while completing a charity run or offering branded fleeces to keep them warm in the winter when out and about.

Do hold onto your talent

Reputations are run on who you are as a company, and that means your employees count too. ‘Top talent looking for a position will ultimately do research on the company and gauge the brand’s reputation before making an application.’Keeping your reputation squeaky clean will mean access to the top talent out there. Once you have that talent it’s important to keep them happy as high turnover rates can negatively impact your business.

Don’t get angry

We’ve seen it before, restaurant owners replying to unhappy guests on Trip Advisor in caps lock because they’re displeased with the review. This always ends badly and is a big ‘don’t’. If you have received negative feedback somewhere on social media, reply when you’ve cooled down in a professional and calm manner.

Do create great content

The Entrepreneur blog writes, ‘Gone are the days when a catchy jingle alone could draw in customers. Now, consumers expect a certain level of effort to be put into any content they consume, especially if it’s designed to turn them into paying customers.’ With this in mind, review the content on your social media accounts and website and decide whether it needs a rewrite. You may need to hire a professional content writer to get it up to scratch but it’s a worthy investment.

Further reading on reputation management

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Reputation management

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