Word of mouth and print advertising encompassed the reputation of a business. But now consumers are the ones in charge of the reputation of a company. They do it by providing real-time online feedback via social media, forums, and review sites. Online review management forms part of a digital marketing strategy that works towards social media management, SEO, business listings, review management and paid search in order to help your school stay relevant and competitive in the online sphere.
Four out of five consumers that did a survey said that they use search engines to find local information from diverse devices to find addresses, opening hours, product availability, and directions. However even though the numbers say it all, there are some schools that still don’t manage the digital segments of digital marketing in order to maintain their online presence, therefore, their offline reputation.
Online reputation management: your business has options
The reputation of your school is affected at any time by any kind of source across the whole web. There are some products that can help you cut down the management time expenditure of your reputation such as (SaaS), services (outsourcing services), or people (outsource or hire a digital marketer).
Even if your school is constantly checking their social media there will always be a new review site from a listing that they will miss. Firstly, your school has to decide whether it’s better to conduct online reputation management in-house or through outsourcing by looking at its pros and cons. Your school must always take into consideration that there are better practices when responding to reviews than you may believe.
Why your business’s online reputation matters
An online reputation of a school has to be backed up by rates and reviews made by consumers. Without them, it would seem like no one visits the school and that’s no good.
Ready or not, consumers are talking about your business
A school choosing to manage their online reputation or not, does not correlate to consumers talking about their favourite or least favourite school. But if a school completely ignores its online reputation the consequences will be devastating.
Whether a school chooses to manage its reputation online or not, consumers are talking about their favorite and not-so-favorite schools. If a school simply ignores its reputation online, the consequences can be detrimental.
Social media is a two-way conversation where businesses can no longer just broadcast the message they want people to see. Brands, consumers and everyone has an equal voice.
Customers can and will talk about their terrible experience with a company. The incorporation of social networks to schools has changed the way they communicate. Currently, customers can maintain conversations with brands and vice versa as if they were speaking to a friend. Due to this, schools have had to be more personal and manage their social presence.
Reputation drives conversion
Everything that people see online matters. Approximately 74% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customers only put their money where their trust is. For instance, a Harvard Business School study found out that a sees a one-star increase on Yelp site their revenues increase from five to nine percent.
As stated before, schools believe that harvesting their digital profile by themselves takes them too much time. There is a solution to that, today we can find many monitoring tools that facilitate this process with customers, saving time but also money. The worst thing your school can do is to ignore your customers online.
What makes a good online reputation?
Staying present means being listed online and having a good reputation go side by side. Not appearing on reference sites is as bad as having bad reviews on that site. Building a reputation and an image is important for both search engines and consumers. Some of the most important aspects of the online footprint include:
- Number of business listings
- Consistency of business listing information
- Overall sentient in reviews
- Frequency or current velocity of new reviews
- Overall volume of reviews
- Social activity and engagement
Currently, reviews and social recommendations are seen as more authentic by customers due to the fact that they want their experience to be the same as the ones on the reviews. This means that online reputation is becoming more important every day.
Online Review Management: The main sell
Google stated that 9 out of 10 of local searches lead to action, with more than 50 percent leading to sales. If someone’s website is better than yours, customers will go to theirs rather than yours. 79% of customers use their phones to compare prices and look are reviews, and 74% end up buying. Therefore, online reputation management has a very important role in your business plays when the goal is to make sales – which let’s be honest, is what we want!
If you would like more professional tips on marketing your schools do get in touch with the Digithrive For School’s team who are always happy to help. contact us here