Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) have been urged to focus on presenting themselves in an authentic way.

According to Scott Barnett, founder of customer engagement and marketing specialist Bizyhood, many small business owners are afraid of being talked about negatively online.

However, he said SMEs must accept that they will never be universally praised and be prepared to react to criticism.

“It seems you have two choices – focus on nobody saying anything about you online with the goal to avoid anything bad being said, or join a platform that allows for your authentic voice to be heard – and more importantly, a place to let your fans tell the community how great you are,” Mr Barnett commented.

He acknowledged that this approach can open up SMEs to more criticism, but he said they cannot become well-known if nobody knows who they are.

Mr Bennett encouraged small business owners to think about the kind of criticism famous athletes often receive online, noting that while they regularly get lots of love and praise, they are also on the end of stinging attacks if they underperform.

However, he said they have accepted this will always happen and insisted that SMEs need to do the same.

Mr Bennett stated that an authentic voice can be the most effective sales tool for a smaller firm and urged company bosses to ensure this is heard across as many channels as possible.

“Do it often and leverage your best marketers – your customers – to help you,” he said.

Mr Bennett added that SMEs need to be focused on providing top quality customer service and be online marketing savvy at the same time. Indeed, he warned that being good at one while falling short at the other will not be enough to generate good results.

SMBs – Your Best Marketing Tool is Your Authentic Voice, Business 2 Community

Posted by Robin McCrink