One of the most overlooked ways to monitor a business’s online reputation is in forums and groups. Before social media entered the scene, forums and groups were the dominant places where people with similar interests gathered to share information. And although social media may have overshadowed them, forums and groups are still alive and kicking.
As a small business owner with a limited budget to spend on online reputation management, you can take advantage of free resources that will help you monitor what people are saying about your business online. Some of these resources are automated meaning that once you set them up, you don’t need to touch them again while others are more manual in nature. One free automated resource that is easy to set up is Google Alerts.
Quite naturally, a lot of small businesses don’t particularly like reviews sites and who can blame them. While customers can get an opportunity to publicly endorse and thank a business for a good job done, review sites tend to attract those who want to voice a negative experience. So while review sites need to make changes to authenticate reviews, review sites are here to stay because they provide the much needed social proof to the general public about a business’s reputation.