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10 Online Reputation Management Tips for Local Businesses

October 4, 2021

What is one online reputation management tip you have for local businesses?

To help local businesses manage their online reputation, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders for their insights. From setting up focusing on reviews to setting up Google alerts for your company, there are several strategies you can use to manage your local business’ reputation online.

Here are 10 things you can do to manage your online reputation:

  • Focus on Reviews
  • Showcase Social Proof in Customer Photos
  • Prioritize Customer Service
  • Maintain Relevant Social Channels for Your Audience 
  • Show a Deep Sense of Care in Your Work
  • Have a Genuine Company Voice
  • Take Time to Listen
  • Set Up Google Alerts for Your Company
  • Never Fight Online
  • Equip Your Team With the Right Tools


Focus on Reviews

Focus on gathering certified customer reviews. Use an internal team or external service like Swell to reach out to customers or patients regularly throughout their journey. We find this type of outreach so helpful because we post positive reviews on our website with a link to all online reviews. Getting feedback not only helps us gain new patients but also helps us retain them.

Henry Babichenko, Eurodenture

Showcase Social Proof in Customer Photos 

Having a local business means keeping your online reputation in top shape is going to be of the most importance. For your online face, definitely make sure that you're forefronting the testimonials and reviews that you're getting from your existing customers. People want to see that the product or service works. Adding space for pictures is always a great idea because potential customers will be able to see what the product could look like in their day-to-day life or how it can help them other than just what you're marketing it as. The proof is in the photos and customers, so show that off. 

Carol Bramson, Side By Side

Prioritize Customer Service

We prioritize customer service at Insurist. Constantly holding our level of customer service to a high regard ensures that we deliver on our client promises. Getting our clients approved quickly at the best price is our focus. Our company also has access to senior underwriters, who can help determine approvals and rates 一 this is a service unique to our company. We know that just one negative review can deter potential customers from seeking our services, so prioritizing our customer service is a critical part of how we manage our online reputation.

Brian Greenberg, Insurist

Maintain Relevant Social Channels for Your Audience 

Local businesses can optimize reputation management through a relevant online presence. Not only does this mean keeping your website up to date, but also incorporating multiple communication channels that vary in use depending on your audience and topic of discussion. We use multiple social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in addition to email and contact forms on our website. These applications provide us with the ability to tailor which method of communication best fits the message we are sending out to our respective audiences. Our online reputation management techniques allow us to maintain current clientele while simultaneously attracting potential customers.

Allan J. Switalski, AVANA Capital

Show a Deep Sense of Care in Your Work

As for online reputation management, trying to focus on the positives is always a good idea. Whether it's sharing successful customer testimonials or something like showing off the diverse employees you have, painting the good that you've done is always going to be beneficial. Don’t ignore the bad. In fact, work a little harder to correct those so that you can turn a negative experience into a positive resolution. Keep striving to find the silver lining and show a deep sense of care in your work. For us, we are always careful to show care and sensitivity to the situation at hand for all our mothers and families. 

Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center

Have a Genuine Company Voice

We manage our online reputation by consistently delivering high-quality results, being transparent, and presenting our company with a voice and tone that speaks to our target audience. Part of our reputation ties into our policy of using only the best lash products and only charging for the time spent in an appointment. Our company’s voice is not only relatable and welcoming but genuine. I believe that this business creates a sisterhood of strong women, lash artists, and clients alike. When you think of your team and customers in this way, unmatched customer service, authenticity, and positive online feedback follow.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash & Sugar Company

Take Time to Listen  

There’s no doubt that presenting a positive brand image is essential for online reputation management. But, to maintain this image, listening is crucial. Utilize social platforms and reviews to gauge public sentiment around your brand. Actively reading through online mentions of your company can help you steer messaging in the right direction and preempt PR missteps before they get out of hand. Just as you take time to schedule posts and craft messages to the public, make time to hear what they are saying. Then, form communication strategies accordingly. 

Claire Routh, Markitors

Set Up Google Alerts for Your Company

My tip for online reputation management is to set up Google alerts for your name and your business name because you can’t manage what you’re unaware of. Once you do this, Google will alert you whenever it notices something posted about you on a website, blog, and other places on the internet. Knowing what’s being said about your business online gives you the power to act. If someone says something good about your business, you can send them a thank you message, ask them to refer someone else, or offer an incentive to do more business with you. If you are alerted to a negative comment, you also want to respond, just differently. Offer an apology, and work with them to correct what went wrong. This has the potential to save the relationship and also demonstrates to potential customers that you care about their experience, not just the sale.

Francesca Nicasio, Payment Depot

Never Fight Online

Too often, when a small business gets a bad online review, they feel the need to defend themselves — especially if they feel the review was unfairly negative. They respond to the post in a defensive manner, which looks bad. And if the reviewer replies in an antagonistic way, the business doubles down and starts an online argument for all to see. And this looks really bad. If a business gets a negative review, apologize for their frustration (even if you feel you did nothing wrong) and offer to discuss it in a phone call or in person. Often, these discussions lead to the person deleting the negative review or commenting positively on how you felt with their complaint.

Eric Rutin, Marketing Mentor

Equip Your Team With the Right Tools

You’re only as strong as your reputation is amongst your customer base. It’s critical that businesses have a knowledgeable and communicative customer service team who can respond to inquiries and concerns. Ensure that your team is equipped with the right tools and training that enables them to respond to customer questions, comments, and reviews in a timely and efficient manner.

Liz Tomic, Flying Embers

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