Your Business – People are ALREADY Talking About You Online so You MUST Join the Conversation

"Doing Nothing is Almost Never the Right Thing" ~ Seth Godin ~

“Doing Nothing is Almost Never the Right Thing” ~ Seth Godin ~ Click image to download November 2010 Interview with Seth Godin from FearLessStories (PDF)

I speak to businesses regularly that are afraid of what bloggers might say about them. They fear what might happen if they start using social media – or let their employees do so.

What you need to know is people are already talking about
you, your business, products and services online.

Bloggers can already write about you – right now –
today – whether they ever contact you or not.

The risk is not going online – it is in NOT
having a pro-active online presence.

If you have no major online presence and someone posts a bad review or writes something bad about you in a blog – that negative information can dominate searches for your company or products.

We all know that when someone is upset they are far more likely to write a review and complain than your happy customers – and thanks to the Internet they can tell hundreds or thousands instead of a few close friends, family or co-workers.

This Statista graph shows that roughly one-third of all Internet users had posted online reviews by 2010. Today that percentage would be much higher.

U.S. Internet users who have posted online reviews for products or services in 2010 by age

Statistics courtesy Statista.com ~ U.S. Internet users who have posted online reviews for products or services in 2010 by age – Click Image to See Full Size

The wiser course of action is to be pro-active
and have a positive online presence now!

That way, when the inevitable happens – and someone is unhappy enough with you to write a bad review or negative blog post – there will already be more good online about you than bad.

This is why listening to Social Media is so important and why having good relationships with bloggers can greatly benefit you. They can provide a balanced view for others.

If influential bloggers online know and respect your business
and you typically do provide excellent products and services,
they will come to your defense when a negative review is posted.

Many businesses are afraid a blogger might say something negative or people might complain online. They may – but that only makes what they write more credible.

Reviews that are all glowing sound fake and are not persuasive
while those that are primarily positive and have specifics in them –
whether positive or negative – are more compelling.

You should not expect “rainbows and unicorns” all of the time – as one person I know would put it. There are trade-offs and pros and cons for every product and bloggers should write their truths, but do so honestly and tactfully.

One of the major reasons for the Gushcloud and UBL Small Business Marketing Blog Outreach Blogging Contest is so that I can mentor bloggers in how to write about businesses – to focus on the positive while mentioning any negatives tactfully.

It is also to encourage businesses to work with bloggers. As Google continues to divert traffic from Small Business to Big Brands, it is essential that small businesses focus on alternative ways of gaining visibility and market share.

Bloggers are the perfect way for small businesses to reach a larger audience. Bloggers have existing audiences that know and trust them – and that trust is transferable because ethical bloggers are very careful who they recommend.

Find out more about that important subject in the Free Guide to Blogger Outreach provided by BlogDash – one of our contest sponsors. It explains in more detail how bloggers can benefit YOUR business.

Seriously consider taking part in our currently
running Small Business Blog Outreach program.

It is the least expensive, easiest way to get started and you have the added benefit of being able to read what bloggers write about you BEFORE they publish so you can provide clarification and feedback.

People are going to talk about you, your products, and your businesses online. Whether you are involved or not is up to you. Your customers simply want to feel heard – so answering them sincerely is the very best strategy you can ever have.

I can not encourage businesses strongly enough to get guidance about what to do online. I offer that freely to anyone who asks and can provide as much additional reference material as you need for you to know what I suggest is correct.

Getting involved in our current project is the least expensive, easiest way to get started. Free free to contact me, Gail Gardner, directly for further information.

Small Business Review Tips:

These posts are very useful for knowing how to prevent bad reviews:

For additional information on this topic, search for “brand management”.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.

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