The other day I was talking with one of my Web design clients about social media, and he adamantly informed me he ‘didn’t believe in all that stuff.’
(“Stuff,” by the way, is a nicer form of the word he used!)
Anyway, he’s a long-time businessman, so I probed a bit further to learn the reason behind his aversion.
Turns out, it was something I’ve wondered about for a long time.
‘One bad review can ruin everything you’ve tried to accomplish,’ he told me. ‘Your good reputation, your business — everything could be wiped out by one person who, for whatever reason, isn’t 100 percent happy with you. And that’s wrong.’
Yes, it is.
It’s like online bullying.
And I don’t know how to combat it.
Everything I’m reading tells me a business, especially a small business, needs a Web presence. Whether that’s a blog, a Facebook or Twitter account, a profile on LinkedIn, pins on Pinterest, or some other avenue, is really up to the owner.
After all, it’s the owner who’s going to have to make sure his message is:
And most owners are so busy trying to run their business that they have little time for anything else (like tweeting or blogging).
I can only advise them to make time. Or hire someone they trust to manage their online reputation.
Reviews are out there, and all small businesses have come across a dissatisfied customer.
Someone for whom nothing we do is going to make right the perceived injustice they feel.
Take, for instance, my client’s experience:
Not long ago, he’d had a young customer who threatened to take to Facebook her dissatisfaction with his business. When he called her bluff, she backed off.
Still, the fear persists.
I realize it’s a full time job to monitor who’s talking about you. Or your business.
- Google Alerts
- TweetBeep keeps watch over your Twitter mentions.
- And you can set your LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts to see who’s searching your profile there.
- Marketing Zen
It doesn’t hurt to know what people are saying about you online (well, some of what they say might be hurtful, but wouldn’t you rather know and deal with it than be in the dark?)