New Research Shows Businesses Aren’t Proactive Enough When It Comes to Managing Online Reputation

October 01, 2019

A recent survey suggests that businesses aren’t doing enough to proactively protect and build their online reputation. Small businesses need to take active steps to promote their own brand online, including regularly monitoring their online reputation, responding to reviews, and promoting their own brand online. 

WASHINGTON, DC, October 2, 2019  – To stay ahead of potential crises, most small businesses (88%) monitor their online reputation at least quarterly, according to a report by Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. 

Monitoring is only one part of an effective online reputation management (ORM) strategy, though. Clutch’s research shows that small businesses should be more proactive by:  

  • Managing reviews
  • Promoting their brand on social media
  • Diversifying their communications strategy

Respond to Reviews and Ask Happy Customers to Write Positive Reviews 

Responding to reviews is important, but businesses can do more to grow their collection of positive online reviews.

Only 40% of small businesses encourage customers to leave positive reviews. 

According to Alan Rabinowitz, CEO of SEO Image, an internet marketing agency, a positive review can go a long way in building a brand’s reputation. 

“It’s not hard to get a happy client to write a review, but it does take a little bit of nudging,” Rabinowitz said.

Promote Your Own Brand on Social Media Through Valuable Content

Social media is an effective tool for businesses that want to monitor and manage their online reputation, but it can also be an invaluable brand-building tool. 

Most small businesses, however, use social media as a reactive rather than proactive tool: Only 44% of small businesses promote positive content about their brand on social media. 

While positive content may include highlights of positive reviews and testimonials, it can also include original or curated content that addresses the needs and interests of the target audience. 

“You want to help your target audience make the best decision for them - not just say how great you are,” said Lauren Elliott, marketing communications manager at TheeDigital, a web design and internet marketing agency. 

Use Multiple Communication Channels

Small businesses should also consider adopting an omnichannel communication strategy that includes online and offline channels

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses (64%) share announcements with customers using 2 or more communication platforms such as email, social media, and direct mail. 

Businesses should consider their audience, the message they want to convey, and the message’s call to action when deciding where to communicate a particular message to consumers. 

A business’s online reputation starts with consistent monitoring but it doesn’t end there: In 2020, small businesses need to encourage customers to leave positive reviews, promote their own brand on social media, and adopt an omnichannel communications strategy. 

Clutch surveyed 529 small business owners and managers in the U.S. 

Read the full survey report: https://clutch.co/pr-firms/resources/5-online-reputation-management-tips-small-businesses

For questions about the survey or a comment on the findings, contact Toby Cox at [email protected]

About Clutch

Clutch is the leader in connecting global service providers with corporate buyers from around the world. The ratings and reviews platform publishes the most extensive and referenced client reviews in the B2B services market. Clutch has grown by 50% or more every year throughout the past five years and is ranked #412 in Inc.'s 2018 and #773 in Inc.’s 2019 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. and #27 in LinkedIn's list of the top 50 startups. Clutch helps companies from the U.S., Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Contact

Toby Cox
[email protected]
202-905-0610