Since the beginning of 2012 I have talked with a variety of businesses about the impact Yelp and Angie’s List are having on their business.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Yelp or Angie’s List, they are websites that rank businesses on their performance. Customers can visit either of those websites and give feedback in the form of a rating and also comment about the services they have received. The company has no control over these ratings and, for better or worse, they appear in search engine results when people are looking for a particular business.
In the past month, we have been working with two different businesses to help build their online reputation. Understandably, they had concerns about the impact feedback on these sites is having on their business.
At the beginning of the year I began hunting for an apartment and really had no idea where to begin. We traveled by car to local apartment complexes and I visited one that I thought was perfect. It was in my price range and seemed to have a lot of extra benefits that really attracted me. But just before I left, the woman trying to sell me the apartment told me not to pay attention to the ratings because sometimes other apartment owners sabotage the ratings or an evicted tenant leaves false information about their experience. I hadn’t even thought to look at a rating site for apartments, but her statement made me want to see for myself what was written.
Thirty or so people commented on that apartment complex. Ninety percent of those people said something along the lines of, “Whatever you do, do not move here.” There were stories of burglaries, drug deals, shootings and no help from the administration when a problem arose. This was not a place I wanted to live.
The ratings on apartmentratings.com actively influenced my purchasing decision. I ended up choosing an apartment complex with a relatively high rating, Somerset Apartments, that I absolutely love. If you have a business where people are rating and commenting about it online, know that these ratings are affecting and will continue to affect your business.
How do you ensure people are talking positively about your business??? Hire a reputation manager.
Check back in the next couple of weeks to see our tips for building a business that excels at the ranking and commenting websites to give you an advantage over your competition.
Welborn Social Media provides social media services for small and medium-sized businesses all over the United States. If you would like more information about how Welborn Social Media can act as your reputation manager and enhance your online reputation please give Zeb Welborn a call at (909) 973 – 9089.