Polishing Your Reputation: SMBs Are Failing To Protect Their Online Image

Online reputation, that pesky detail that can land your emails in the spam folder, is not top of mind for small businesses.

While 88% monitor their reputation at least quarterly, they would be better off doing it daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, according to a study released Wednesday by Clutch.

In addition, 44% rely on human resources for monitoring their online reps, not digital tools. This puts them at a disadvantage if you believe this report.

Another 30% use a combination of human and digital resources, and 26% utilize digital tools only.

On another level, only 40% of SMBs encourage customers to leave positive reviews. The remainder are failing to be their own best advocate, and a disappointing 44% promote their brands on social media, taking a reactive as opposed to a proactive stance.

On the positive side, 51% respond publicly to negative comments on social media.

What’s more, 64% follow a diversified channel strategy, sharing announcements in two or more platforms such as email, social media and direct mail.



Granted, this report transcends the subject of email reputation, but trouble in one area can undo a firm in the other.

Clutch recommends that you take this holistic approach to online reputation management (and we quote):

  1. Monitor your online reputation to stay ahead of potential crises.
  2. Use digital tools to help your team more efficiently monitor your online reputation.
  3. Always publicly address negative reviews and comments online. 
  4. Promote your own brand on social media.
  5. Cater your communication channels to your audience, message, and goals. 

We’ll add one more point: Make sure your email list is sparkling clean and clear of bad addresses, and that you are sending to the most engaged customers. Bouncebacks and unopened emails can harm your reputation with the email service providers and cause you to end up right where you don’t want to be — in the junk folder.

Clutch surveyed 529 small business owners and managers in the U.S. 


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