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In Part II of this series, expand your reach and learn how to respond the right way. By
TONI BLAKE, TotallyToni.com, and MINDY PRICE, J Turner Research
Ready, Set, Go! How To Define Your Total Online Reputation Begin by consolidating the comments, reviews and posts, along with your responses for an easy summary review. You will want to know everything that is posted online, accompanied by your response for thorough reputation management. It is time consuming to consolidate what is said online about your community. You will need several search options to identify and explore sites containing information or comments about your community. Go to www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, www.bing.com. Conduct a series of searches about your community including: • your community by name, • community name with the word “reviews,” • community address only, • and community address with the word “reviews.” Then do the following: 1. Make a list of all the links directing traffic to your site on the first three pages of the search results from each site. (Prospective residents typically never go past page three.) 2. Copy and paste special unformatted all the user generated comments or reviews posted into your consolidation document belonging to each link. NOTE: There are online platforms that will find this information and create a dashboard for easy response. Some companies offer a single dashboard to see and respond to reviews from one place. It’s a convenient and more efficient use of your time if budgets allow. You should now have a Word document with a consolidated list of all the locations where your property is shared online with the text from each post. This will be your working file for responding to all online reviews.
Seeing the location of the reviews along with the review post will allow you to draft your response alongside the review post. Once your responses have been edited and approved, they can then be posted by using the link to return to the online post. Ready-Set-Respond! Responsive Statement Begin by collecting all of the author’s suggestions that you can reference as you write your review responses. Your company might consider building a platform for collaborations between communities. Facebook and Pinterest both allow secret groups and boards that can become a shared space in your company, where everyone can post their responses as examples for others to explore. Think of it like building a Hallmark rack of messages others can explore until they find the right copy for their response. Then they can personalize the message for their specific needs. It’s helpful to begin with a working response and then adjust it for your community and situation. We all share common themes in what we face in the reviews. Sharing ideas builds a stronger response message catalog. IMPORTANT NOTE: Never use the exact same response twice. Always customize! The future resident will be visiting multiple sites. If they see the same response word-for-word on two sites, you will lose credibility. People are not looking for computer-generated auto-responses. They want to read sincere responses from a real person with compassion and intelligence. Get Creative Collaboration can also happen between platforms. In the marketing plan for Kate Good’s Houston lease-up Vargos, she had
great Facebook reviews, but she wasn’t getting the response on Yelp that she wanted. Instead of waiting, she took action by capturing her fabulous Facebook reviews as JPEGs and uploaded them to the property’s Yelp listing under images. Be creative! Don’t wait to find out what other people are thinking, take action and write your story. Once you have posted the review, don’t wash off your hands just yet. Responding to a review may be like starting a conversation, continue to monitor the thread and close the conversation. You also need to be consistent with tracking, collating and responding. While making a list of review sites and ILSs, be cognizant of their national presence and dominance in your state or region. For instance, Google+ is stronger on the East Coast and Midwest rather than on the West Coast. As you strategize to enhance your digital curb appeal, be sure to account for these regional nuances and to close conversations with the reviewers. For examples of successful sentences you can use to respond to reviews go to www.jturnerresearch.com for a download of responses courtesy of Toni Blake. This article is Part 2 of a series by Toni Blake (www.totallytoni.com) and Mindy Price (www.jturnerresearch.com) introducing dynamic digital curb appeal strategies designed to inspire a positive online reputation and user-generated content. Stay tuned for our next article in this series in the coming months ahead.