Wayne Langley

Potential residents and their families are increasingly turning to the internet to aid in their search for a retirement community. Nearly every community has a website, and most employ lead-generating tactics on them (contact page, downloadable brochures, etc.). But there is always room for improvement. Over a period of three weeks, we’ll provide you with three actionable tips that you can use to improve your digital footprint.

It’s Friday night, and you’re feeling great. You’re ready for an adventure, so you plan to try a new restaurant for dinner. Do you just pick one at random that you saw on a billboard? Probably not. You’re far more likely to give it a try if you’ve read glowing reviews on Yelp, Google or OpenTable. It makes sense, really. No one likes to go into a situation blind. The same sentiment goes for your potential residents.

The online reputation of your organization is just as critical to your success as Yelp reviews are to restaurants. The first step in improving that reputation is to know where people are looking for reviews. The biggest players, by far, are Google and Facebook. These sites allow you to review just about any product, with little to no oversight. Once a bad review appears on one of these pages, your only choice is to be open and transparent in your response. Unfortunately, most retirement communities aren’t even aware that these poor sentiments exist on the web — let alone how to respond to them.

One site that often gets overlooked is Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor is an employment site where potential employees can go to find reviews of an organization. It allows users to rate the interview process, share benefits information and comment on how they were treated as an employee. Have you looked to see if your organization is being reviewed on Glassdoor? Perhaps now is the time — especially as the employment market for skilled professionals, such as nurses, is getting more competitive.

Knowing what is being said about your organization is just the start. At Varsity, we help our clients be proactive instead of reactive. Businesses need to be actively establishing and managing their online reputations and working to build positive reviews on key websites. That way, when someone searches for a community, they’ll be overwhelmed with the positive reviews, while the negative ones are pushed to the bottom of the page.