Get up-to-speed on managing your communities' online reputation
A few weeks ago Team G5 returned from the 2013 ALFA Conference & Expo in Charlotte. Each of us came back with a number of key takeaways, but there was one that was tops on our list: senior living online reputation management.
ALFA devoted two sessions to the topic, holding consecutive sessions on the opening day. The first session – which I attended – was standing room only, yet another indication of the hotness of this topic among conference attendees. An informal survey conducted by the co-presenters gave us a good visual presentation (aka, hand raises) of the reason for the popularity:
• Less than 10% of attendees are managing their online reviews
• Less than 5% of attendees are actively soliciting reviews from their residents/residents’ family members
Review sites are popping up all over in the senior sector; it’s only a matter of time before community owners and operators will recognize the revenue lost because of a single bad review. The old adage “what you can’t see can hurt you” doesn’t apply here because you can see exactly what people are saying online about your communities.
A few actionable steps you can implement immediately:
1. Create an online review strategy and start listening/monitoring
2. Address any and all reviews associated with your communities and your brand – the good, the bad and the ugly. Readers will give you high marks for replying to a negative review – especially if you acknowledge the issue (own it) and state that you’ll be taking steps to remedy the situation (action). And keep in mind that positive reviews can counteract negative content; your advocates will defend your communities if they deem it's warranted.
3. Solicit reviews. When? All the time, throughout the resident lifecycle. Obviously you’ll get better traction when you request reviews from the more technologically-savvy family members of residents, but reach out to your more active residents as well. Review solicitation should be a part of a holistic strategy - for SEO benefits, brand building and lead development.