What would your school family say about your school in an online referral? Studies show that people make decisions, especially emotion-based decisions, off of other people’s referrals. This means that having great reviews of your school plays an important role in a prospective parent’s decision-making process.
Facebook has a built in reviews tool, making it super easy for your fans to review your school. It allows reviewers to rate your school from one to five stars, and add a written review. I’ll explain how to turn this feature on and off a little later, but first, let’s explore exactly what having reviews means for your school.
Should you turn reviews on or off?
Generally speaking, reviews tell you what others think about your product. As with everything, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly! You could get a lot of great reviews from parents, students, and staff members. Or, on the flip side, you could get reviews from those who are upset with your school or its services. It’s important to know that reviews are VERY difficult to remove from your page.
When you turn your reviews off, people will likely wonder why. A parent might even think you are trying to hide something. Maybe you are just trying to avoid the occasional poor review, but this is serious business! How would you feel if the new restaurant in town had their reviews turned off? Would you eat there – or would you be more likely to eat at the restaurant with reviews (even if some of the reviews were negative)?
Below are 5 questions to consider when deciding if you want your school’s reviews enabled:
- Is your school community well developed? If not, what can you do to rally your community around your school?
- How established is your school? As in, are you still working out the bumps and kinks, figuring out your extra curricular activities, and special classes?
- How transparent are you with your school community? Are your staff, students, and families in the know about the good, the bad, and the ugly?
- What is the current culture of the school like? For instance, is your school community happy? What could be changed to improve the culture?
- Why wouldn’t you want your reviews enabled? What would that say to parents, students, staff, and prospective families?
Were you able to answer those questions positively? Unfortunately, there isn’t an answer guide to help you decide whether or not you feel your page is ready for Facebook reviews – that is your call. However, the questions should be a guide to helping you become more connected and transparent with your entire school family – from staff to families!
What can you do to encourage people to give great reviews?
My answer is simple but effective – JUST ASK!
- Post fliers around your school, letting current students and families know that their school is on Facebook, and ask them to “like” the page and give a review.
- Add a note in your weekly communication or monthly newsletter.
- Create a fun competition! On Facebook, ask your current parents to give a review, and the best review gets a free gift card – something small like $20 to Starbucks or to your school store.
- When you are having conversations with parents, and they say something great about the school, their child’s teacher or their overall experience, ask them to take a few minutes and put their review on Facebook. Encourage teachers and staff to do the same during their conversations with parents.
How to turn your reviews on or off:
- Access the “About” section on your school’s Facebook page
- Under “Page Info,” find your school’s address and click “Edit”
- A map will appear with a checkbox saying, “Show map, check-ins and star ratings on the Page”
- By checking the box, you will allow reviews. Uncheck it, and your reviews will be disabled.
Did you decide to turn your reviews on? What creative ways did you use to encourage your school community to give reviews? Share with me in the comments below!
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