Facebook is considered essential to any business’s online marketing campaign. You simply can’t have a business with an online presence without having an active Facebook account. Many businesses, however, think that Facebook is enough. It’s not. The truth is, Facebook is steadily losing users and declining in popularity. While it’s still at the top of the social network chain, it may not always be that way.
If the trend continues, other, newer social networks will be even more prominent and popular than they already are. When it comes to tracking customer opinion and your business’s online reputation, closely monitoring your Facebook posts is not enough. Google-ing your business has never been more important. Of course, there are dashboards that will help you keep track of your business on the web without actually having to Google yourself all the time. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of broad reputation monitoring.
Establish a Presence
It’s not recommended that businesses try to build strong profiles on too many social networks at once. It’s better to have one really great Facebook page than to have accounts on 10 different social networks that are all rarely updated. You should, however, establish a presence on social networks that are gaining in popularity and update them regularly, even if it is just to post a new link every day or so. Networks like Pinterest, Path, Google+, and Instagram are growing. Having a presence on all these networks will make it easier for you to track your company’s reputation on them, as well as communicate with your customers that prefer them over Facebook.
Monitor Your Reviews
The reviews and comments about your business that pop up in places other than Facebook are extremely important for you to identify. One terrible review can really hurt your business, and you can’t do anything to mitigate the effects of a bad review or comment if you don’t know about it. You should be regularly monitoring all the major review sites, such as Yelp, Google+ Local, Yellow Pages, niche review sites, and more. You should establish your profiles on those sites, too, by claiming your listing, so that you can control the information people find about your business and so that you can respond to reviews in an official manner.
Another reason to go beyond Facebook is that it’s never a good idea to “put all your eggs in one basket,” as they say. You shouldn’t rely on your Facebook profile so heavily, because the fact is that you cannot control it. You have no say over what happens to Facebook, and you can only customize your page so much. You want to diversify so that you won’t be too devastated if anything happens to your Facebook page. This is why your business’s own website is really the most important avenue for you to market yourself.
The Internet has so many opportunities for businesses to grow – and fail – from, and reviews are today’s word-of-mouth that has a far greater reach than anything before.
Joshua Reynolds is a reputation manager and expert reviews tracker. He has recently been sharing tips for online review management with others via blogging.