As a brand, you control what you say about your company, but you can’t always control what others say about you. Whether it’s a customer or an employee, users are taking to the online community to share their thoughts and experiences regarding companies, brands, and products.
As a company, it is easy for you to read a negative review, instantly know the story/person behind it, and disregard it; but your potential prospects don’t share this insight. This is when online reputation management becomes crucial. While you can’t control what people say about you, you can control how you respond and move forward as a brand.
1. Reviews Matter to Your AudienceAccording to Trustpilot, in 2020, roughly nine out of ten consumers worldwide read online reviews before buying a product. Whether you are selling jackets or offering senior living services, users want to know what they can expect if they do business with you. A prospect who is on the fence about moving her mother into your community may make her final decision after reading a handful of positive reviews that highlight the level of care and attentive staff. On the other hand, one negative review may push her toward another community.
That’s why, whether positive or negative, it’s essential that you are responding and engaging with your reviewers. If a user loved your community, show your appreciation for their positive comments; if a user had an unfavorable experience, acknowledge their concerns and take steps to create a more positive outcome. While the negative reviews may highlight an unsatisfactory experience, potential prospects can see your response and the lengths your brand is willing to go to correct the situation.
Reviews are a learning experience for your company and your team. “Take all reviews seriously and, when it comes to negative ones, look for commonalities for real ways to improve your business (searchenginejournal.com).”
2. Negative Press Can Be High Ranking
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complicated marketing effort. You can spend a lot of time and effort to improve your search rankings, only to have a third-party site outrank you. It may be popular directory sites or your own social media pages, but it can be harmful to your brand if it’s negative press.
How could this happen?
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and over 200 factors impact search results. One aspect that Google considers is relevance, taking into account every search and every click. If users are searching a specific phrase and clicks for a particular page start to increase (in this example, a page with a negative review or story), Google will continue to improve the ranking for that page, as it is proving to be what users are “looking for.”
What can you do?
Being proactive and actively monitoring the front page of search results can help your brand stay in control of the front page.
3. Generate Your Own Positive PressWe have found with our partners that, beyond the quality care and beautiful communities they offer, they also support their local communities, raise money for charitable causes, and do things that go above and beyond their job description.
By taking an active role in your online reputation management, you can create newsworthy stories that showcase your community in a positive light. These stories could include:
- Sharing the story of two residents celebrating a milestone anniversary
- Highlighting a unique initiative in which your team or residents are participating (knitting hats for those in need, assembling care packages for deployed soldiers, etc.)
- Showcasing a resident who achieved a lifelong dream
Not only do these stories get your community’s name out there, but they highlight the passion and pride your community has for its residents, which could act as a deciding factor for a potential customer.
With locations in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, Markentum is a digital marketing agency focused on the senior housing industry. We know how compassionate and inspiring our partners’ communities, residents, and staff are, and we want to help them share their stories.
If you are interested in learning more about online reputation management services for your senior living community, we invite you to reach out for a free evaluation!