The basics of managing online reputation

Before buying a product online, most consumers scroll through the reviews before checking out, and in today’s internet driven world, it’s no different for medical care selection. A recent study conducted by healthcare tech company Digital Assent revealed that online reviews influence 82% of patients when looking for a doctor.  

So how does one maintain a positive image online for their medical practice?

There are two main branches of online reputation management: what they post and what you post. When patients post reviews online, it is important to open a healthy dialogue by responding to both positive and negative reviews. By seeking out and responding to what patients are saying about their experiences under your care, you convey an attentiveness that reflects the quality of your practice. Just as important, your online presence in business and personal social media pages should be well maintained, representing your practice as up-to-date and professional.

Responding to online reviews

It is important for doctors to listen to their patients both in the exam room and online, and by searching through social media sites, physicians can join the conversations about their own practices. Some reviews may be posted to various sites, such as Facebook, Google or Yelp. By searching more than just one, practitioners can get a more comprehensive idea of what patients are saying about them online. Monitoring multiple feeds several times a day can represent a time and labor-intensive process; your practice may want to invest in a Reputation Management Solution such as the one that Telio offers.

The Internet has no business hours, and with 57% of users expecting a response within 24 hours, your practice should be ready to respond outside the normal nine-to-five. Someone on the team should be monitoring and responding to reviews—good or bad—even after the work day ends. Most reviews are posted after the client has gone home, settled in with their phone or tablet, and has time to post their review. Within a few hours is the optimum response time.  

Business account management

Consistency is key when posting on a practice’s pages, so one should be sure to post regularly on all platforms. A loose rule agreed upon by most studies suggests 1 to 2 posts a day, not exceeding 3 unless the page has thousands of followers. Another tip is to avoid posting the same exact content across all platforms. If you have a great shot shared on Instagram, of course you can share it on Facebook, but make sure the caption says something varied from your Instagram post.

Be a positive voice that potential patients come across by regularly sharing cheerful, relevant posts. These can vary from articles in main media that relate to one’s practice, or professional health tips and advice. Most importantly, one should steer clear of anything negative, polarizing, controversial or political.

Maintaining polished personal accounts

Since a physician’s name is associated with their practice, so too will be their personal Facebook page. This requires updating all personal social media accounts to assure they reflect the professionalism maintained on the business pages. A good practice is to keep any and all social media accounts as G-rated as the company’s page, without any irrelevant or inappropriate content.

Achieving a healthy reputation

An increasing number of physicians are paying attention to how their practices present online, from responding to online reviews, to maintaining a clean and healthy image across varying social media platforms. A few positive reviews can dramatically increase the flow of patients coming in through a practice’s office doors, while just one negative review has the potential to steer many potential patients away.

To stay on top of your online reputation, learn more about managing your own image by visiting us