Around the time of budget season or your first negative review you start to ask yourself if you should invest in online reputation management (ORM). Regardless of the outcome, the answer is always yes!
ORM isn’t just about responding to negative reviews or developing SEO tactics to increase or push your positive reviews above the negative reviews. It’s a daily practice that every property manager or marketing director should be focused on in order to protect the brand’s reputation.
75% of internet users see online search as the most trusted source of information people and companies
90% of users let positive reviews impact their decisions
86% decided to not do business with a company because of negative reviews.
Can you afford to lose 86% of your prospects?
2014 EDELMAN TRUST BAROMETER.
Considering the stats listed above, if a business doesn’t invest in developing and managing their online reputation and overall online presence, they will likely have a hard time recovering from negative reviews. For example, if your community experiences a crime related incident that puts you on the news and brings in a flood of negative reviews and concerned residents, you will have an extremely difficult time recovering and improving your online reputation. It could take more than a year to recover from a situation similar to this if you aren’t already being proactive.
Now we must talk about your homepage. No, not your property website. Google. We mentioned a statistic above that 75% of internet users see online search as the most trusted source for information. Now, what are people seeing when they Google your property name? Is your property showing up at all? If you have a common property name like Hillside Apartment Community, you will have to get creative with SEO so that your prospects and residents can find you and get to know your online presence. To do this, you can add your city to your property name on all of you website, social sites, and third party websites. An extra tip is to make sure you are labeling all of your property pictures whether it be a caption (social media) or an HTML tag (property website).
Speaking of Google, did you know that they reestablished their agreement with Twitter, allowing tweets to appear in Google search results? This means your tweets or tweets mentioning your name have an even bigger impact on your online reputation. So it is important to not only set up a community Twitter account to be able to respond to tweets, but also to curate tweets that will be indexed by Google instead of those few and far between negative tweets.
Not to mention, social media sites are becoming additional review sites, as if there weren’t enough to manage already! With Facebook sprucing up their reviews interface and Google incorporating reviews into Google maps, it is important to not neglect these players. You can ask residents to share their experience on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. in monthly email blasts, while they are in your office or attending a community event, or even over the phone. The possibilities are endless. Be careful not to solicit for reviews with gifts and incentives. This could get you into trouble.
At the end of the day, people are talking about your brand whether you are on social or not. Wouldn’t you rather know what they are saying and be able to respond to them? Reputation management and social are a great way to not only monitor your presence but also direct the conversation. It will put you in the driver’s seat of your overall reputation management.