The Internet is the New “Word of Mouth!” Put It to Work to Generate Referrals

Looking for ways to attract new residents to your senior living community?

Head to the Internet.

The numbers tell the story:

  • 97% of consumers search for local businesses (including senior living communities!) online.
  • 61% of people rely on user reviews for product information or research before a buying decision is made. (Razorfish, 2008)
  • 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009)
  • 84% of consumers said they were more likely to check online for reviews prior to making a purchase compared to twelve months ago, according to a survey by Brand Reputation. (Retail Bulletin, October 2009)

Bottom line? Online user reviews are the new word of mouth and should be considered a new, valuable referral source.

Start Building Your Reviews Today

So, where do these “reviews” live on the web? The most valuable ones are found on Google Maps as well as Google, Yahoo! and Bing Places pages. (Whether you know it or not, your senior living community has a listing on all these sites.)

But to make them work for you and help reach adult children and potential residents, you’ve got to open accounts (they’re free), VERIFY your pages and OPTIMIZE them! It only takes a few minutes; a great investment of your time!

Maps and Places pages are like mini-websites. FREE mini-websites. All working for you. You can optimize your Maps and Places pages with a variety of valuable information, including:

  • Contact Information
  • Business Description
  • Categories
  • Services
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Offers

But most importantly, these Maps and Places pages share reviews . . . in other words, digital word of mouth.

(Be aware: No reviews can be a red flag to potential residents and a lack of reviews can also negatively impact your ranking on the Google Maps and Places lists of results.)

Put Google Maps and Google, Bing and Yahoo! Places Pages To Work For You!

After you’ve optimized your Maps and Places pages, put them to work. Simply ask your residents and their families for a review! It’s quick and easy.

Potential residents and their families will have plenty to read and your listing results will get a boost!

Need help getting started? This link to Google Places will take you through an easy step-by-step process to get your community verified and working for you! http://www.google.com/places/

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