The Pew Research Project has put the value of small business reputation management into numbers:
44% of online adults say they have searched online for information about someone whose services or advice they seek in a professional capacity, like a doctor, lawyer or plumber
That stat comes from a Pew study on reputation management and social media. Pew says the number would be higher, too, if not for age differences: Only 23% of Internet users 65 and older research small businesses online. Take them out and the overall number goes up to some degree.
What type of people are most likely to research businesses online? Here’s what the study says:
- College grads – 58%
- Higher income groups – 58% of people who make $75,000 or more
- White internet users – 46%
- Parents – 49%
- Broadband users – 49%
- Wireless users – 50%
- Social networking users – 56%
If you haven’t recently done a search for your business name, personal name, or the names of important people in your small business … might be a good time to do it. A lot of potential customers are.