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By: Tony Smith
With the proliferation of social media, it has become easier than ever before for people to share their opinions about businesses with their friends and contacts. This can really be a double-edged sword; depending on the reputation you earn, you can either find your business booming or facing difficulties finding new customers. Sometimes businesses make incorrect decisions, and need to adjust policy and strategy to move forward.

Online reviews which never go away can make this whole procedure unnecessarily punishing for businesses that are just trying to do the right thing. So you see good reviews and many of them generate more customers and many of them. When your business name is circulating in a positive way online, it's the same as having great literal word of mouth and we all know in business that is absolutely the best form of advertising. So what are the secrets to becoming the popular business store on the block or online? It is what it's always been that's word of mouth. You can dump loads of money into a paper promotional campaign and it would not nearly have the effect of just random honest and trustworthy customers talking about you. So since as business owners we know that it is much more effective how do we harness that word of mouth tool in today's world?

It's not easy it's a process that happens over a period of time. Years ago it would be longevity of a good reputation that kept stores alive. Now in today's time that doesn't matter the mom and pops are being shut out by big conglomerates such as Wal-Mart's, Best Buy, Chick Fila's and more. Think of what they are doing different other than you. What is the major and minor fast food chains doing different?

You have a restaurant also small mom and pop shop known for good food and fast courteous service but you don't receive nearly as much traffic as Wendy's down the street or the nearest Chick Fila but you offer fresher food for the same under $10 price tag. What are these major corporations doing you're thinking? I'll tell you. Next time you walk into one of their establishments pay attention to their customer service. Their employees know that if they get a negative review from any customer they will not make next week's schedule. The major corporations entice their customers to leave reviews by offering them some sort of discount or something small for free. This is a genius move! Why because not only did they get the information they want on their own staff giving them the necessary tool to hire and fire which in turn creates a demand in production, they also encouraged you as the consumer to give them feedback that not only makes you a repeat customer to get your gift but everything you have shared gives them another spot on the internet.

In case you were lost in how SEO or search engine optimization works this is when you are mentioned on the internet by real people so many times on so many websites that the search spiders when looking for anything close to what your business provides will pull up your page first when someone is looking for say a restaurant or product. That means the new word of mouth is the search engine. Then the reviews sealed the deal. The major corporations have knowledgeable SEO marketers on staff 24hrs a day implanting this type of consumer feedback procedure. The small business owners are shut out by their customers unknowingly as your establishment has seemingly been washed away. Why? Its simple no one talks about you anymore.

You as the small business owner must educate yourself on how things work in today's business world. Word of mouth will always be the way businesses succeed but how it's being disseminated is now different. As a small business owner it is your job to stay afloat and the only way to do that is to stay up to the times. Follow the same methods as the major corporations and make a decent comeback.

------------------------------ Tony Smith is a qualified internet marketer also a writer of several ebooks on life, food and dating. He is also pushing in the new wave to business owners about how consumers make purchases and who and how they choose their suppliers. He is ushering in the newest software on the market to all businesses in order to help mainly small businesses succeed.
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