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Negative online content costing firms thousands

Recent research has found that small businesses are being hit where it counts because of negative online content.

An increasingly big concern for SMEs across the UK, reputation management or ‘firefighting’ is the primary online strategy focus for 20% of them. The cost of bad reviews, negative comments and a poor experience on social media is estimated at nearly £47,000 a year.

This average will be lower for many smaller firm, but with two thirds of small companies not feeling confident enough to deal with negativity online, the problem is getting worse.

The research also found that 52% of the 500 businesses in the study had been hit because of negative posts online. A tenth of respondents felt they were being unfairly portrayed on Google.

Negative comments are collectively the biggest issue, however, with 43% saying that those left from competitors hindered them, 42% saying the same of former employees, 41% citing negative customer reviews and 30% mentioning existing employees.

Companies are taking action to right the apparent wrongs but many are lacking the expertise, experience and time to make much of an impact. According to the study, 45% of firms have attempted to remove detrimental posts without success. A further 36% have also tried directly talking with the people leaving the posts. This can work, but as a rule, only if the issue is tackled in real time as it arises.

Of the business leaders polled in the study, it was clear that the importance of having a positive opinion of your company online is important.

According to the findings, 88% of firms recognised its importance. This is why many people are engaging with us at the Pressroom, to ensure that good, relevant and meaningful content is posted online regularly.

We are also being asked to manage social accounts, to get good news out there and ensure that any queries and complaints can be dealt as quickly as possible.

Steven Morris

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