For almost every small business, there’s a fine line between success and failure. In many cases, this is based largely on reputation. More specifically, your company’s online reputation.

If you have a strong online reputation, current and prospective customers will come across plenty of appealing tidbits about your company when searching online.

Conversely, if your online reputation is poor, it could quickly chase away new business.

For this reason, it’s imperative to have a solid plan for maintaining and growing a positive online reputation. Here are three areas that deserve your immediate attention:

1. Reviews

This is the “bread and butter” of any company’s online reputation. While you’re sure to receive negative reviews from time to time, it’s your goal for every customer to share a positive experience.

Not only should you stay current with all new reviews, but you should also respond to each and every one. This holds true regardless of if the review is positive or negative.

Anyone interested in doing business with you is likely to head online to dig up more information. And, for most people, online reviews are where they start.

2. Social Media

Go back in time 10 years and you didn’t have to worry too much about your reputation on social media. However, in today’s business landscape, this is an absolute must.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the “big four,” but don’t hesitate to use any other social media platforms that can help grow your business.

When it comes to social media, take the same approach as you do with online reviews. Spend time every day checking your social accounts for feedback. Taking this one step further, spend time searching the most relevant social media sites for brand mentions.

Once again, engage with anyone who has something to say about your brand, either good or bad.

3. Press

Did a local newspaper recently publish a positive review of your business? Did a nationally recognized online publication mention your brand in a positive light?

Good press is always worth sharing. From social media to your blog to your newsletter, don’t hesitate to push this out through as many channels as possible. Doing so will expand the reach, ensuring that a larger audience digests the content.

Final Thoughts

Online reputation makes all the difference to a small business. If you’ve yet to devote resources to this part of your business, now’s the time to do so.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!