When looking for a new vendor, would you rather reach for the yellow pages or hear from someone who has conducted the same search? Most of us prefer firsthand accounts, and that’s a large part of why social media tools have quickly supplanted most simple directories. Social media has become the new office water cooler, town square and industry gathering. And with the rapid growth in this industry, one thing is clear: the customer’s online voice is increasingly powerful.
The challenge for small business owners is how to deal with what’s being said. In the real world, satisfied—or unsatisfied—customers often share their experiences with others. Online, however, that same customer can instantly share how he or she feels with hundreds—even thousands—of friends and followers through a variety of social media tools. Regardless of the industry, today’s small business owners must understand how to manage their online reputations.
Build an effective approach
There are many techniques and social media tools available to help—including plenty of advice here on OPEN Forum. Among my favorite articles are How To Successfully Manage Your Online and 10 Ways To Be More Likeable Online.
Likewise, there are many possible strategies and tactics, a fact that sometimes overwhelms beginners. The good news, however, is that a variety of approaches can prove successful in managing online reputation. The real challenge is getting started.
YourBuzz: A hub for online reputation management
We've heard from many business owners that they’re overwhelmed by the tasks involved in managing their online reputation. Monitoring the wide variety of sites where customers may be praising or criticizing them takes a lot of time and effort. And managing listings and communicating directly with followers can require even more time.
To address these issues, we created YourBuzz, a free app designed to help business owners:
- Manage listings
- Monitor reviews
- Connect with followers
- Gauge influential customers
- Monitor your key competitors
But YourBuzz isn’t stopping there. The app will continue to evolve and add new features. We plan to add great tools to help you purchase digital advertising for your business, reward customers with special offers and even send powerful promotions to online daily-deal sites and social networks.
So I invite you to sign up for YourBuzz for free and share your feedback. I want to hear what you think, and how YourBuzz can better help you build your online brand.