online reviewsBusiness owners are tasked with receiving good reviews and responding appropriately when bad reviews are posted. It isn't an easy job but how you respond and react to reviews can and will help define your business in the public eye. Bad reviews are not just upsetting to business owners. They also give brands a bad reputation and serve as a warning to potential customers. The good news is that there are ways to manage your reviews.

Small Business Trends offers a wealth of information and tips on brand reputation management. When in doubt about how you should respond, take your time and research what the best practices are before you respond so that you can make the best decision based on what other businesses have experienced. We have provided some articles that will help provide a solid foundation to your research. Here are ten specific articles with valuable insight into handling online reviews.

1. Why Online Reputation Matters to Small Business. Every business should be aware of what is being said about their brand online. When consumers are unsure, they turn to online reviews to answer the question, “Should I trust this business?” Though the local reputation may be great, online reviews definitely matter as well. Look at various sites regularly to see what is being said about your business. Potential customers may be relying on these reviews when making the decision about whether to use your businesses products or services.

2. Is Your Online Reputation Impacting Your Business?. Find out how your reviews, or lack of reviews, affect your business. Of all online searches, 20% are for local businesses. From mobile devices alone, 40% of searches are for local businesses. This article makes the case for monitoring online reviews. It isn't an option any more for businesses, owners have to be aware of what is being said about them online.

3. 4 Steps to Managing Your SMB’s Online Reputation. Learn how to promote your brand online and respond effectively to bad reviews. Responding to bad reviews is part art and part science, read this article to find out how you should go about responding.

4. How to Handle Bad Online Reviews for Your Small Business. Bad reviews will happen, even for the best of small businesses. This article details the proper responses to handling such occurrences.

5. 15 Ways to Avoid Bad Online Reviews. Check out this list of 15 things small businesses can do to avoid bad online reviews.

6. How to Turn Around a Bad Online Review Successfully. A bad review is not the end of your business. There are ways to turn that bad review into a positive review.

7. 5 Ways Negative Reviews are Good for Business. Negative reviews provide the opportunity to flaunt your customer service skills. Learn to look at your reviews as opportunities and use them to your advantage.

8. When to Respond to Negative Reviews (and When Not To). Find out how to determine whether or not you should respond to a bad review.

9. 4 Ways to Encourage Online Reviews. Even getting bad reviews is better than no reviews at all. Check out these tips for getting your customers to leave online feedback for your business.

10. Take the Time to Manage Customer Reviews. More places for customer reviews are popping up all the time. Be sure to monitor all review websites and give your feedback when necessary. This guide will help you to identify the most frequently used review websites.