What Is Online Reputation Management?
Reputation management is a multi-faceted concept for companies. There are different kinds of verbiage and definition for reputation management as it is a growing marketing strategy for companies. Let’s focus mainly on online reputation management.
Online reputation management is a strategy of monitoring, improving, and managing your brand’s online reputation. A company should be aware of what people are saying about your brand online and how people will think about your brand when scouring the internet. A business has a digital footprint where customers can find your online business listing (Google, Yelp, Apartment Guide, Apartments.com, etc) or social media profiles (Facebook).
A key component of your online business listing and/or social media profile is receiving online reviews through it. Most all business listings have an area where customers can write a review. The reviewer will decide a star rating from the lowest negative star rating of 1 to the highest positive star rating of 5. The third-party listing will aggregate the star rating of all reviews to create an overall rating.
The overall rating showcases what customers think about the business and its performance. You will always want to strive to obtain an overall rating above four. Potential customers will look at the overall rating and review comments. The comments are helpful insights into what it will be like to be a customer of your company.
Multifamily Online Reputation Management
For Multifamily, every apartment community and corporate brand should have a Google listing where people can publish reviews. There are other top content providers that have reviews like Yelp, Facebook, and Bing. Multifamily specific third party sites include the RentPath network (Apartment Guide, Rent), CoStar Network (Apartments.com), Apartment Ratings, and so forth. Your company should own all third party listings and respond to every review.
Like stated above, reviews are an important part of your business marketing strategy to control and be aware of what people are saying about your business and its performance. The comments published by prospects, current residents, and other customers are crucial feedback to your company’s performance and business operations.
Best Practices for Online Reputation Management
There are some best practices each business should start with. Claiming all third-party listings like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and so forth is the first step. Third-party access is needed to respond to reviews. Another best practice is having review email alerts that notify of any new reviews published. If you have a decent amount of business listings, as Multifamily will have individual apartment communities listings, a reputation management program will be helpful with email alerts. The most common best practice is that every review should be responded to whether it is negative, neutral, or positive. Again, a reputation management program will be an added help to have one place to respond to all reviews. Negative reviews are a hot topic right now. The best practice for removing reviews is learning about the third-party review policy. Each review site has an option to report reviews to be removed. A business should report a review if it violates the review policy.
Review Marketing Campaign
Potential residents see recent reviews as trustworthy and important for a business. A review marketing campaign is the next step once you have the above best practice accomplished. Most of the time, people will take the time to leave a negative review. By asking current residents and prospects to review, the chance of receiving a positive review will increase. There are some actions a business cannot do when asking for online reviews like incentivizing and review gating. Some sites, like Yelp, want reviews to be organic and do not allow asking for reviews. Be sure to review the third-party review policy before generating a review marketing campaign!
How We Can Help
Online Reputation Management has many layers where additional help will alleviate some stress off of your marketing and leasing team. Review generation is important to boost your local SEO, increase rating, and improve online perspectives of your brand and services. zipcode creative can relieve some of your duties by helping create all of the visual marketing components to running a review campaign:
Image is ©Fairfield Residential | Work executed by Stacey Feeney, owner of zipcode creative, while under creative direction and employment at Fairfield Residential.