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    3 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Teen Program's Online Reviews

    3 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Teen Program’s Online Reviews

    Posted by Marie Schwartz


    Having a good online reputation is crucial to receiving new applicants for your teen enrichment programs. Typically, the first thing many students look at when registering for a program are past participants’ reviews of the program. To convince them that your program is everything they hope for, these reviews must be positive and plentiful.

    In fact, prospects are more likely to purchase, engage, and sign up for a program if the majority of customer reviews are positive and encouraging. According to BrightLocal, 79% consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations. In short, your program’s reviews matter. Now, let's take a look at the 3 best practices to generate more online reviews to boost your program’s online credibility and visibility.

    1. Gather Information & Encourage Online Reviews

    Surveying attendees after the program provides two important opportunities for teen enrichment program marketers. First, attendees may have great suggestions for areas where your program could improve or positive feedback about areas they found highly beneficial. Second, you can easily identify the people who had positive things to say.

    Once you've identified the satisfied participants, contact them — via email or phone — to ask them to leave an online review on your TeenLife directory listing or other review sites you utilize (i.e., Google, Yelp, etc.). If they've filled out a survey positively, they'll likely follow through and rate the program highly. 

    2. Be Responsive to All Online Reviews

    Contrary to what all teen program marketers want, odds are you will receive negative reviews. But it’s okay! The best way to combat negative reviews is to promptly respond to them offering an acknowledgement of the reviewer’s personal experience. Sometimes, all they want is to have their voices heard. Because of this, it’s a good idea to invite them to speak to a member of the faculty directly to sort out any issue. This also allows you to gain feedback to make your program better for the next participant. By sharing this type of response, organizations show their appreciation for feedback and willingness to learn from it. 

    Additionally, respond to positive online reviews too! Show that you appreciate the reviewers 5-star rating and kind words about their program. Take it one step further and pick out a snippet from their review to comment on. For example, say a past participant left a 5-star review stating, “I learned to accept things about myself that before I could barely acknowledge, and, above all else, I came back a better person, a better citizen of this world.” 

    You can respond to this review in a personalized and friendly manner such as, “Hi Olivia! Thank you so much for the 5-star review. We are thrilled to hear that you learned how to accept yourself as you are thanks to our program. You’ve been an amazing student and we look forward to watching you accomplish your biggest dreams!”

    3. Stay Ethical

    Some program managers may be tempted to fake-post positive reviews by people who didn't actually attend the program. This is a grave mistake. Consumers — especially teenagers — are smarter and more web-savvy than you think. Since approximately 20% of online reviews are fake, the majority of teens know how to recognize the difference between "real" and "fake" online reviews. And let’s be clear, the damage done by one fake review can be immense, and is simply not worth the effort. 

    Furthermore, censoring your reviews to delete or minimize the visibility of negative reviews is detrimental to your marketing objectives. Consider this statistic: 62% of consumers will not support organizations that censor online reviews. That’s why it’s critical for teen enrichment program marketers to respond to all reviews — negative and positive — rather than trying to remove negative reviews. 9 times out of 10, it’s nearly impossible to remove a negative review. So it’s best to address the review head-on and avoid any immoral actions like creating fake positive reviews or only responding to the positive reviews.

    Final Thoughts

    By following these three steps, your programs will begin receiving an increased amount of positive online reviews. The feedback gathered can also be invaluable in improving your teen enrichment program, providing an even better experience for future program participants. Looking for more guidance? TeenLife can help you garner the positive reviews your prospects are looking for in their search for the best-fit teen program. Reach out to us to get started!

    Keep in mind, only upgraded TeenLife listings have the ability to respond to reviews. Upgrade today to maximize your online reviews to boost your program’s reputation and online visibility.

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    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.