Our recent column on "how to improve your online image" offered tips on making sure that a Google search of your name or company yields the best possible results.
Here are some more tips:
Social media savvy:
Locally, the Social Media Club Sacramento is hosting its next monthly gathering on May 16: "Guerilla PR Strategies for Tech Startups," where five Sacramento-area tech company CEOs will discuss how they "create buzz about their product or service without spending a fortune."
The free event, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., takes place at the Urban Hive, 1931 H St., in Sacramento.
The five panelists are: Elizabeth Dodson of HomeZada; Aaron Klein of Riskalyze; Alexander Lowe of iSnap; Robb Moore of ioSafe; and Brett Owens of Chrometa.
Founded in San Francisco in 2006, the Social Media Club hosts local chapters in 300 cities and countries, bringing together individuals and business to share "digital media literacy." The Sacramento chapter hosts monthly meetings and quarterly workshops to share ideas, tools and tips on using social media effectively.
Help from Yelp:
This month's webinars are May 15 and May 22.
Small business owners can set up a free account at biz.yelp.com, which lets them access their business listing to update hours, add photos and interact with customers, both publicly and privately.
Since launching in San Francisco in 2004, Yelp says about 80 percent of its 39 million posted reviews are positive, at least three-stars or above.
"Thanking the consumer who writes those (positive comments) is always a plus," said Morgan Remmers, manager of Yelp's local business outreach.
For the negative reviews, she suggests taking "a deep breath" and waiting 24 hours before responding. That lets the comments sink in and helps avoid "any kind of defensive attitude, snarkiness or emotional tone" in your response.
Generally, brevity is your best bet: "Thank you for your comment. We appreciate customer feedback and will discuss your concerns with our staff."
Even though a nasty review feels like a personal attack, by politely responding and acknowledging their complaint, you can often defuse the anger, said Remmers. And if you're lucky, she noted, the writer might soften or even pull down his or her negative quotes.