For an educational institution, implementing and sustaining positive reputation management online is fundamental. It’s how you reach current and potential students and find growth opportunities. Practice these six tips to ensure that you’re maintaining a positive reputation!
1. Respond to All Reviews
Educational institutions are, at heart, a business, and every business gets both positive and negative reviews. What can make your institution stand out is how you interact with both. When replying to positive reviews, you should thank them for their commendation and perhaps provide a link to further resources to extend their appraisal. When you respond to negative reviews, however, you must be careful with your reply and learn from it. Use criticism to find out what your audience doesn’t like about your institution. File their critique but don’t delete the review/comment. Doing so can hinder your institution’s reputation management and decrease public trust in your institution.
2. Have a Crisis Communication Manual
An important part of maintaining a positive reputation is being able to engage with your customers in not just the good times, but the bad as well. You should have a crisis communication manual to adequately respond to common complaints/requests so that your institution’s communication remains uniform. This manual should provide the process one should take when encountering a complaint, as well as specific responses to frequent ones. For example, if someone has a problem with your institution, you should have a quoted response in the manual in which employees will thank the complainant, tell them how the institution will address it, and move the conversation offline with a phone number where the complainant can call you directly. This will make your institution appear both personable and approachable.
3. Designate a Representative
With these tips, you’ll need a representative(s) to manage them all using the same tone and processes. To hurdle this obstacle, you should create and provide the representative(s) with a manual of how to speak to the public, gather your information, format your responses, etc.
4. Stay Engaged with Your Audience
Engage with your audience to not only strengthen your connections, but also help push positive, updated content about your institution higher in Google search results. You can initiate or enhance this by sending scheduled emails to your audience, maintaining your social media, and much more.
5. Keep on Top of Social Networks
It’s extremely important to ensure that you practice awareness with social media. 96% of unhappy customers tell their friends about their experience with a company rather than complain directly. Thus you must practice social listening to hear what people are saying about your institution. Social listening is the practice of monitoring conversations in the digital community to discover what people are saying about your brand and the industry. You can easily practice this by using a platform that monitors keywords, hashtags, and certain accounts on various social media sites, such as Sprout Social, HubSpot, Hootsuite, etc.
6. Keep Informed
While social listening is extremely beneficial, you’ll have to do more to keep informed about the educational field. You can do this in several ways. One channel that can give you important news that may affect your institution are newsletters/bulletins. You can also keep informed by following certain social media accounts that provide the latest news on the educational field. You can get notifications about any new posts so you can stay in the loop!
With these six tips, your educational institution will become more attractive to the public online and create openings for it to grow. Utilize each of these and practice positive reputation management to not only benefit your school in the present, but allow for it to prosper in the future.
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