Web Awareness 101 for the Business Owner

“A customer called me over and asked me to read this blog. I felt horrible after reading it. I’m personally sorry.”

Wow; this is from a conversation at Mike Sansone’s ConverStations, and the best thing every business owner could do for themselves this weekend is read the whole story that Mike shares. The quote above will be found down in the comments; it is fascinating how it played out.

Blogging is not for everyone, and Mike wrote another great post on why/when you shouldn’t do it just to keep up with the other business owner Joneses. However, whether you blog, or read blogs regularly or not, you must realize that a lot of your customers do, and that they are the ones talking about it!


Are they talking about you?

Do you need to listen in?

So at the very least, you better be Googling yourself pretty regularly (i.e. search for your company name in any search engine, not just Google’s), or learn how to subscribe to a Technorati watchlist — send it directly to your inbox so you can respond quickly.

Update: Mike has this one to help you too: Technorati as a Research Tool

In fact, consider creating a single web page so at the very least, bloggers can find you, even if the only thing you have on there is,


“ We are ______________. We try our best to please our customers, and do what’s right by them, and we know we’re still learning. If you have a suggestion for us, please do send it our way! Here is how to contact us __________________. Thank you!”

Then respond!

Reason for this last suggestion, is that when bloggers write their posts about you, they will search for a link to identify you as a courtesy to their readers, and to ethically a) give you a trail to them, and b) give you the opportunity to speak into your side of the story (well, the bloggers worth responding to will).


Ho‘ohana Community Shout-out
: Can you share more suggestions for business owners to be more web-savvy? What’s easiest as a quick study, but still effective?

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t think this is just a case of not being web-savvy Rosa, I actually feel that this business would have still been ignoring the message if it were in the local newspaper, in a traditional letter of complaint or a telephone call.
    These days the web is just another form of communication, and in order to be a savvy web communicator the main things you need to be able to do is the same as it has always been in business – listening (first) and communicating clearly(second).
    I agree that blogging is not for everyone but you should at least be listening via some of the tools that are available. I have a number of Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts) set up with both my name and the business name as well as keeping an eye on other phrases that are of interest. Keeping up to date without a blog or RSS reader in site :-)

  2. says

    Unfortunately for this business, it does seem you are right on the mark Leah. Mike covered it pretty well on ConverStations, so I thought I’d take this in another direction.
    Your Google Alerts suggestion is a great one, for mention blogs and RSS to many business owners and their eyes start to glaze over … another unfortunate thing!