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How Much Do Online Reviews Matter?

February 15, 2013

As a small business owner, a kind of reputation needs to be maintained during your term of business to sustain a positive online conversation. In a world full of critics, it’s been known that internet reviews have become the new “word of mouth” for an audience to better understand what kind of service your business has to offer. Virtually anyone could write a review and post it online for people to read, which could create a reputation that could be either based on truth and fiction, a scary realization for small business owners.

One negative review could triumph all positive reviews and the positive reviews are hardly noticed in the midst of the negative ones. The question becomes, “how is a positive reputation created?”

It is important for business owners to develop a proper skill-set; inform yourself about the best channels to promote your business and constantly stay in tuned with the conversation at hand. After all, 84% of Americans say online reviews impact purchase-making decisions (according to the Opinion Research Corporation), so you need to monitor this feedback to make it worthwhile.

Much of the buzz around your small business has become internet-based, therefore, it is imperative to understand your audience and know how they are integrated among the online conversation. It is important to focus on the good of your company and advertise and market those good contributions appropriately to build a trust and honest relationship with those interested in your business. In doubt, remember to always monitor, manage and promotethe three musts to grow your business and converse with your audience.

Reviews are posted on websites such as, Yelp, Angie’s List, CitySearch and OpenTable.

To read more, “Managing an Online Reputation” (NYTimes.com)

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