5 ways you can ensure that your small business has a positive online presence

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Anita Ginsburg

The public relations game isn’t the same today as it was in decades past. Today, companies can succeed or fail purely based on things that are said on the internet. Due to social media and the viral spread of shared information, your business could be devastated by negative online word of mouth. Things like poor online reviews could even cause your revenue to dry up. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that your small business has a positive online presence.

Avoid politics

To the annoyance of the vast majority of the American public that are not obsessed with politics, politics has invaded the marketing of many once nonpolitical companies. Whatever your views on politics may be, about half of the consumers in the United States probably disagree with you. If you don’t want to lose their money, restrain your company as well as your employees from making politically tinged public statements, joining in on politically related hashtags, taking sides on politically divisive issues, or doing anything else politics related that could alienate paying customers.

Implement online review monitoring services

To ensure your company retains a positive reputation online, you can’t be ignorant of what is being said about you, your products, or your employees. However, most business owners don’t have time to look up everything that is being said about them. This is why you should consider implementing online review monitoring services. Such services can comb through the internet for you to find reviews, mentions, rants, and more that you don’t have time to find on your own. They can also help you to assess whether your online reputation is moving in a positive or negative direction and can make suggestions for improving your internet PR.

Address customer complaints

Even if most customers and the general public have a positive opinion of your business, not every customer is going to have a perfect experience every time. Perhaps your employees didn’t offer the type of customer service consumers expect to see or perhaps you sold a faulty product. Often, those customers will do much more than cease buying from you. They will also tell everyone they know, including everyone online, to avoid you as well.

When you do get a customer complaint, either directly to your company or left as a review online about your business, do your best to address and resolve the issue. Maybe you need to improve customer service training for new employees. Maybe you can offer a replacement product and some in-store credit towards future purchases. If you can peacefully resolve the issue, you might be able to turn a poor review into a repeat customer.

Keep your social media profiles professional

Many business owners are preoccupied with running their companies. As such, they tend to think of social media management as an afterthought. They give the title of social media manager to some young person in the office they perceive as “hip” and more in-tune with the goings on of Twitter and the internet at large. This may be a mistake.

While many of the younger generation are more familiar with social media than their predecessors, they may not actually have the training they need to make your social media accounts effective. They may make the accounts entertaining to read, but memes and jokes are not always appropriate for a professional account, and they may even be off-putting to some customers.

Instead, entrust your social media accounts to those with digital marketing know-how along with their social media experience. They will help use your accounts to reinforce your brand and promote your image.

Improve your product and service

Overall, there is only so much you can do to curtail the negative things said about your business online. To truly solve the problem, you need to address the core roots of these sentiments. If you offer an excellent product and fantastic customer service, there will likely be less negative to say about your company online or anywhere else for that matter. Legitimate issues do tend to result in negative feedback after all.

Today, what is said about your business can have a huge impact because of the power of social media and the interconnectivity of the internet. Do not ignore the status of your business’s online reputation. Instead, actively manage your online presence so your company can improve its reputation and its bottom line.


Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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