Life moves fast. It is a fact. Everyone is always busy and taking the time to try something out is risky. When you go out to dinner and are looking for a new restaurant, do you ask a friend for a recommendation? If your friend had a terrible experience, why would you take the risk on the one night you and your special someone get to go out?

Social Search programs like Yelp and Google Local are huge networks of reviewers determined to separate the good from the bad. As a business you are probably already on these programs and may already have reviews. A positive presence here could help you attract new business while a negative one can hurt you.

Here are some tips to help you manage your online presence.

  • Find the programs: The first step is to figure out on which sites your business appears on online. The main ones are Yelp, Google Local, and Yahoo but there are plenty more depending on your industry such as Trip Advisor, Manta or CitySearch.
  • Take Control: Most of these programs allow business owners to claim their profiles. Once you have claimed your profile, you will have access to changing your business information, adding photos and responding to reviews.
  • Monitor your presence: Develop a system and monitor your online presence. If you can catch a bad review and respond before potential customers are turned away, you will save potential business.
  • Negatives: Respond quickly to negative reviews but make sure you take some time to develop a well written and thought out response. You will undoubtedly be offended and probably a little mad at first. Responding cynically or aggressively to a review will not help your cause and will likely add fuel to the fire.
  • Positives: Do not be afraid to thank your customers for positive reviews and helpful feedback. Also, do not be afraid to ask those loyal patrons to review you as well.

I hope these tips will help you manage your online reputation and encourage business. If you have any questions about Social Search please feel free to contact Red Egg Marketing. Also feel free to write a good review!