When it comes to building positive awareness about a practice, it takes a lot of time and effort to build and maintain a practice?s online reputation. Just like in the physical world, a reputation is all a practice really has.
What is an online reputation and why is online reputation management important?
Wikipedia.com defines reputation management as ?the process of tracking an entity?s actions and other entities? opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop??
When theses actions and opinions are expressed in an environment such as the Internet, where content can be posted anonymously to a large audience, the results can really hurt a practice?s online reputation.
Today?s patients typically use one of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing to seek information. They rely on the content they find as the most relevant content the Internet has to offer in their decision-making process.
Negative content published about physicians and dentists can adversely affect their online reputation and the success of their practices. Defamatory online content can take the form of doctor reviews on websites such as www.HealthGrades.com and www.RateMDs.com or other prominent directories such as Yelp & Google Local.
Physicians that seek to control their online reputations have turned to a wide range of strategies. How doctors can manage negative content online is varied. Some approaches can help their practice reach new levels of success while others can backfire, causing more problems and even major legal and ethical issues.
We understand that doctors rely heavily on their reputation and after consulting with many local doctors that we have met in the past year, we have developed services and tools to assist in monitoring, improving and repairing online reviews and reputation. In many cases doctors lack online reputation, simply because they are not asking their patients to leave them feedback and not making it easy for them to do so either.
Best Practices for Online Review/Reputation Management
– Focus on the positive & share factual information.
Rather than worrying about getting negative reviews, focus on gathering more positive reviews that will outweigh the negative feedbacks. Keep tabs on the kinds of criticisms being leveled against your online reputation and to post factual information to counter these critiques. A creative, positive response exists for virtually any negative criticism. And when you do find content that addresses an honest shortcoming, use it as an opportunity to improve your practice.
– Gather support from your patients.
Regardless of the source of your negative content, this tip involves getting your patients behind you. Gathering enough positive reviews by your patients will outweigh a few negative ones. By sheer mass of positive feedback you can fix physician review situations.
Request for feedback and make it easy to leave reviews
Encourage your patients to write good reviews. Directly asking for commendation might turn off some patients, but there are many tasteful ways to gently foster positive feedback. A few simple ways could include follow up emails with links to your review sites, tear pads at the front desk they can scan or take home with them. You also have to make sure you make it super easy and seamless for them to find your review platforms. A very easy way of doing that is to make sure you have all your social media and review links on your website and direct them to go on your website where they can easily find these platforms.
– Monitor the activities
There are a number of ways you can monitor all the content that gets posted about your practice online. There are paid and free tools such as Google Alerts that your practice can take advantage of to alert you anytime someone mentions your practice name on the internet and brings it to your attention to take action and respond if needed.
Why is online Reputation management important?
It provides marketing stability, protects against unchecked slander, and more importantly, allows a practice to ?put its best face forward? in the online world.
The marketing experts at NOVA MedMarket will work with you to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan for online reputation strategy and management, including:
- Proactive reputation building ? using your practice website, directories, social media, and other online vehicles to tell your story.
- Online reputation monitoring ? keeping a close eye on what is said about you or your company on directory sites, social media sites, news sites, blogs, review websites, and elsewhere.
- Rapid response ? developing a reputation crisis plan that will enable you to respond quickly and appropriately to inaccuracies or negative impressions.