Reputation Management for Post-Secondary Education

By now you have likely at least heard someone mention the importance of Online Reputation Management (ORM). You may even have an established policy built around how you manage your reputation online. Perhaps you suppress or even delete negative online content or maybe you have dedicated individuals who respond to posts and reviews about your business across the various social platforms and review sites within a pre-determined time period. You, personally, may have even dealt with a local business (ex. home repair or lawn and landscaping company) that goes to great lengths such as texting you a specific link that you can use to provide your (hopefully positive) feedback.  After all, the less friction there is to allow for a quick and efficient response, the more likely a satisfied customer is to leave feedback or rate their level of satisfaction.

If this doesn’t sound familiar or you have not yet seen ORM strategy at play, here are a few of the more recent trends to consider before taking the next step.

Reputation isn’t just about reviews and comments.  Along with the increased dominance of search on mobile devices, search engines have raised the bar on the importance of having a complete and accurate business profile. Information such as NAP, store hours and even attractive images to create “curbside appeal” within your Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook etc. profiles all help consumers identify you as a credible or even top-of-their-list option.  It is a good idea to have these items in place and to keep them up to date to foster positive first impressions.

Video is increasing its dominance across the web and can play a significant factor in online reputation.  Are you currently leveraging video testimonials on your website, PPC landers, Facebook page and your Google My Business profile? Not only is this a good way to get the maximum use out of your owned assets, but it also helps perpetuate likes and shares and can even foster conversation opportunities with prospective students. Along with increasing social media engagement, testimonials and other short videos can drive emotion and create appeal for your brand.

Good reviews are harder to come by and may not seem as urgent for reaction as their negative counterparts.  That being said, good reviews also require active involvement. Much like good customer service within your brick and mortar is imperative to creating a positive, friendly atmosphere, the same can be said about your voice online.  Take time to thank individuals that rate you highly or leave positive feedback about your business or an individual employee.  Let everyone reading your profile know that you actively participate in the conversation and aren’t just a silent bystander unless something goes wrong.

Finding efficient, cost effective ways to keep up to speed with all of this can seem a bit daunting, especially once you realize the impact and support it can have across all of your other marketing channels. There are several free and subscription-based offerings available that can help you manage your ORM.

Edwards Strategies also offers a reputation management tool that can quickly be added to any website. It’s as simple as adding a reviews page and providing a link to a low-friction branded environment.  Visitors who wish to leave a review can provide a star rating of 1-5. Based on their rating, users are then presented with one of two options.  Average and below ratings will result in a request for additional feedback that will then be sent directly to you via email providing you with a direct opportunity to discuss the issue with the student. All 4- and 5-star reviews will result in pop-up asking the visitor to post their review on Google/Yelp

If you would like to discuss this or other options with one of our experts, please contact us here.

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