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Free ways to monitor your online reputation: Review Sites

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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 at a business much more than those who had a great time there. In addition, review sites can be manipulated by disgruntled current and former employees and even competitors with false reviews.

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. How to monitor these consumer reviews is a critical component that affects any small business’s bottom line.

So how can a small business monitor what people are saying about it on review sites?

The best way is to actually set up your own profile. This is because someone else can add your business to the review site so it is critical to build your official profile and control it.

Major Reviews Sites to set up your small business profile

Here is a list of major review sites you need to set up a profile on:

Other review sites worth considering

While there are major review sites like Google Places and Yelp, there are also niche specific ones and location specific ones too that may be more relevant to your small business.

  • Restaurants -FriendsEat,
  • Medical physicans-MyDocHub.com, InsiderPages.com
  • Travel /Hospitality businesses –TripAdvisor

By setting up a profile, you can use your profile RSS Feed to get Google alerts so that you monitor any profile changes such as  the latest reviews when they are submitted. In this way you can quickly respond to negative reviews and handle an aggrieved customer or thank those who posted positive reviews and include them on your website and other PR materials. Without staying on top of your reviews, your company will be playing catch-up in damage control.

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