iFrog DigitalWordOfMouthLet’s take a journey back in time to “Small Town USA”. A time when you knew your neighbors by name and your kids and their kids and their grandkids all grew up together. Everybody knew what everybody else thought about things, there was a general consensus around town about the issues of the day. You knew who to talk to, and who to avoid, both personally and professionally.  It was a great life if you had a great reputation, not so great if you didn’t. That long ago bygone era…Well, here’s a news flash for you; it’s back, only bigger and better in the form of the “Internet of Things”.

It’s no secret that the Internet is now tightly woven into the fabric of our day to day lives. You may still call Mom for a great recipe, but more often than not you “Google” it and get far more choices. Those choices are also conveniently presented by search engines in the order of their popularity or more precisely, their relevancy to the search term. When you reach out to friends and family it is increasingly through one of the many “Social Platforms” that have and continue to proliferate on the Web. In that context you can see where the Internet has not replaced the small town mentality, but has actually enhanced and strengthened it.

That is the seismic shift we are experiencing right now. When people grew up in small towns they knew who to go to for good advice; family, teachers, ministers, just to name a few. As the town and the world in general became more complicated, more knowledgeable sources were needed. Unfortunately, the number of places and people to get good advice from did not grow at the same pace as the town. Ultimately as we became more spread out, it just wasn’t practical or affordable to frequently call long distance or visit just to have a “Chat”. The good news is that much of the knowledge and wisdom we get from the Internet today is again from those small town sources, we just get it digitally instead of in person.

88 of Consumers Trust Online Reviews as much as Personal Recommendations

That information is sent and received through many different channels, but the purpose of this article is to point out the importance of taking that feedback seriously, and responding to it correctly, not to comment on the channels themselves.

In the period of years between Small Town life with its homespun values and wisdom, and the Digital Age we now live in, many people fell victim to unscrupulous individuals and businesses, primarily due to a lack of valid, timely information or access to the wisdom of the many to explain that information to them.   

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Well that has changed and changed in a big way. As you can see from the survey conducted above, online reviews are huge important factors in each consumer's purchasing decision, and maybe the most important one when it comes to choosing who they finally decide to buy from.

The bottom line is; your Reputation is the most valuable possession you have, personally and professionally, in the new “Small Town America”, what is your plan for protecting and managing yours?

iFrog Digital Marketing offers Reputation Management strategy and training for you and your staff.  Let us help you understand why lack of a cohesive Digital Strategy is the #1 problem overlooked by Dealerships.

-Steve Hills | iFrog Digital Marketing

 

*Source: BrightLocal’s 2014 Annual Consumer Review Survey

Published in Blog

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