Most small businesses have been approached by online reputation management companies at some point. As beneficial as these services can be, the reality is they’re not a necessity for every business.
Since online reputation management can be a pricey investment, it’s a good idea to consider all of your options before signing up.
Here are five situations when it makes sense to hire a reputation management company!
1. Your Company is Well Known
If your company is well known in the area, there’s a good chance people are mentioning you on social media, forums, blogs and other sites. Reputation management companies will help monitor mentions of your brand across the internet, allowing you to act swiftly if anything negative pops up, or follow up with positive mentions from bloggers or locals.
When your company is just starting out and isn’t known, there probably isn’t a lot of chatter going on outside of people mentioning you have a new location. At that level, it’s possible to manage it yourself by setting up Google Alerts or using other software. Instead of using a reputation management company, it may be better to invest in some PR to get the word out about your company in the early stages.
2. You Have Reviews Posted Across the Internet
Piggybacking off the first tip, you might also consider a reputation management company if you have reviews posted on several different websites. Most small businesses are aware of Yelp and Google reviews, but there are hundreds of other sites that allow customers to review businesses.
Most reputation management companies have a database of all the possible websites people can review your business, and they’ll monitor them for you. Remember, the larger review sites are important, but having tons of negative reviews on several smaller sites can still harm your reputation.
3. You Suspect a Competitor is Leaving Bad Reviews
Unfortunately, there are times when one of your competitors may launch a negative review campaign against your company in order to persuade consumers away from you. Combatting fake negative reviews can be a hassle, and very time-consuming.
In these situations, it’s a good idea to leave it to professionals who are experienced in dealing with fake reviews.One of the most common signs that your company is a victim of a competitor posting negative reviews is if you receive a string of negative reviews around the same time. Natural reviews generally come in over time and aren’t bias. Also, fake reviews will typically be generic and not mention specifics. A reputation management company will help you figure out which reviews are legitimate or fake, then take steps fix the issues.
One of the most common signs that your company is a victim of a competitor posting negative reviews is if you receive a string of negative reviews around the same time. Natural reviews generally come in over time and aren’t bias. Also, fake reviews will typically be generic and not mention specifics. A reputation management company will help you figure out which reviews are legitimate or fake, then take steps fix the issues.
4. You Have Several Locations
Many companies with multiple locations find they need a reputation management company because doing it in-house is too much to handle. Reputation management companies have systems in place to monitor multiple locations, which saves you the hassle of trying to manage it all yourself.
5. You’re Losing Business Because of Negative Reviews
Negative reviews can dramatically impact your business. Since most customers will look online before buying from you, reviews can be the mean the difference between someone trying you or a competitor.
If most of your reviews are below average, and you’re seeing a big drop in the amount of customers you’re getting, there’s a strong chance your reputation is resulting in lost customers. You should hire a reputation management company as soon as possible to clean up what’s being said about you.
Reputation Management Companies Can’t Fix Everything
Keep in mind reputation management companies are not responsible for issues within your company such as poor customer service. If you have several negative reviews from real customers, you should start addressing the issues customers are mentioning before hiring a service. Otherwise, it could be a waste of money.