Reputation Advocate – Online Reviews the New Word of Mouth Advertising

September 30, 2014 in Steve Wyer | Comments (0)


internet-reputationOne bad review is all it takes to send potential customers to the next listing, according to the team at Reputation Advocate.

“You can’t be passive when it comes to online branding,” says Steve Wyer of Reputation Advocate. Many small business owners believe that their storefront and current customer base will be enough to attract new business, but this isn’t always so. Today, it is estimated that 80 percent of consumers turn to the Internet before asking for personal references when looking for a new product or service. This is true of every industry and for businesses of every size.

Businesses that fail to claim their digital real estate – websites, social media pages, reviews site listings, etc. – run a greater risk of being adversely affected by negative reviews online. However, those business owners that maintain an active presence have the tools to present themselves in a manner that more accurately describes their operation.

According to Reputation Advocate, many customer experiences posted on the Internet are not from actual customers at all. Sometimes these reviews are authored by competing businesses, scorned current or former employees, or an acquaintance with a personal vendetta. Regardless of how or why it was posted, a negative review has the ability to push customers away. Likewise, a lack of positive information can be just as damaging.

Internet marketers agree that digital image upkeep is just as important is having a quality brick-and-mortar business. This doesn’t just mean writing a few blog posts a year, says Reputation Advocate ’s Wyer. In order to influence consumer decisions, a business must present accurate and transparent information, continually respond to market changes, and interact positively via social or networking sites. And, all of this information must be readily accessible via both desktop and mobile browsing technology. As users turn to phones and tablets more often for information, keeping a mobile site updated with quick references to address, hours, and reviews, is becoming increasingly important.

Reputation Advocate suggests that businesses claim all relevant listings of themselves. Many fail to realize that sites like Yelp – one of the nation’s leading review sites – create listings based on public records information. Maintaining a proactive approach with these and other consumer driven sites allows a business owner to better achieve his or her end goals of attracting – and retaining – customers.

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