Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays

3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Many people love this time of year because the holidays offer a chance to slow down, give thanks, and spend time with friends and family.

 

For healthcare providers like you, the holidays present a good opportunity to connect with patients in a way that helps them keep their health — and your healthcare practice — top of mind.

Email a Digital Holiday Card

Sending holiday cards is a beloved gesture. According to the publication JSTOR Daily, Americans purchase 1.6 billion holiday cards every year.

 

Rather than send paper cards through USPS, take advantage of your robust patient email database to send digital cards. A digital holiday card expresses the same “thinking of you” sentiment and helps you save time and money.

 

Websites like Paperless Post offer hundreds of holiday card templates that you can customize.

 

All of your patients, including those who have not visited your practice in some time, should be sent a digital card.

 

In fact, a digital holiday card might just be the reminder some patients need to schedule appointments in the new year.

Offer Holiday Discounts on Social Media

People jump for discounts during the holiday season. According to Marshal Cohen, Chief Retail Analyst at NPD, almost one-third of purchases made around holiday time are for the buyer themselves.

 

If your healthcare practice sells retail products or can offer reduced prices on services, you can take advantage of “self-gifting” by running a special holiday sale on social media.

 

To effectively market your sale, you should share eye-catching images and use strong language that specifically outlines exactly what patients must do in order to take qualify for the discount. If you choose to promote the sale on Facebook, for example, you might require patients to “Like” your healthcare practice page and “Share” the specific post.

Discuss Hot Holiday Topics on Your Blog

Now is a great time for healthcare providers to write original blogs that discuss hot holiday topics.

 

A general practitioner, for example, can write several blogs that tackle one of the biggest holiday concerns: weight gain.

 

A few blog topics could include:

  • How to avoid overindulging at holiday parties
  • Healthful alternatives to harmful holiday foods
  • How to exercise regularly when the weather is frightful

Remember, publishing a blog is just the first step in encouraging patient engagement online. You must also share your blogs on social media. You can also send your blogs to patients via email or submit your work to a healthcare publication to bolster your online brand.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients

Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental marketing strategies that build trust

1. Demonstrate reliability with consistent online directory information

Most consumers (80 percent) lose trust in a local business if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact information or business names online, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, most people blame the local business, not the directory, for the error. 

 

Obviously, online directories play a huge role in dentistry marketing. If you haven’t claimed your listings on popular directories like Google My Business, it’s time to do so.

 

Being in control of your directory profiles will allow you to ensure your business information is accurate. This will avoid confusion that can turn prospective patients away from your practice.

2. Highlight the human side of your dental practice

There were 199,486 dentists working in the field in the U.S. as of 2018, according to the American Dental Association. Finding the right dentist is a very personal choice — and, clearly, patients have plenty of options.

 

Your dentist marketing should make patients feel comfortable with your practice. Humanize it by sharing photos and videos of dentists, hygienists, and practice staff on your website, directory listings, and social media.

 

Additionally, show prospective patients they’re in good hands by highlighting your credentials on all web properties and directory profiles. Your expertise will put them at ease because they’ll feel confident you know what you’re doing.

3. Prioritize dentist reputation management

Three-quarters of people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find more information about a doctor, dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. About the same amount (76 percent) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.

 

Take control of your dentist reputation management by integrating it into your marketing plan. Continuously ask current patients for their honest feedback by sending automated patient satisfaction surveys.

 

Feature positive reviews on your dental website, and respond to negative public feedback where appropriate. This is key because people won’t necessarily hold negative feedback against you if you try to make it right.

 

For example, 97 percent of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. This means prospective patients would almost definitely be reading your side of the story, lessening the impact of any negative reviews.

4. Share real patient stories

More than half of people (56 percent) trust brands based on their customer experience, according to Edelman. Since you haven’t treated prospective patients yet, learning about those you have can build trust.

 

For example, you might feature before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures — i.e. teeth whitening, veneers, gum reshaping, etc. — on your website and social media. With patients’ written permission, you can also write about their dental transformations on social media or blog posts on your website.

 

This is a great dental marketing strategy because it helps prospective patients envision what you could do for them.

5. Educate and inform

Prospective patients want to ensure their new dentist knows what they’re doing. Presenting yourself as an authority in your branch of dentistry will put your knowledge on display.

 

Dental marketing ideas might include writing blog posts to explain cutting-edge techniques or sharing the steps involved with common patient procedures. This shows prospective patients you’re fully engaged and know exactly what you’re doing.

 

Prospective patients won’t trust their dental health to just anyone. Thoughtful dental marketing can allow you to connect with people and show them they’re in good hands at your practice.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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6 challenges doctors face with social media marketing

6 challenges doctors face with social media marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Social media marketing has essentially become unavoidable. More than three-quarters of the U.S. population (79 percent) has at least one social media profile, according to Statista.

 

Furthermore, Statista estimates the number of social media users in the U.S. will rise from roughly 244 million in 2018 to approximately 257 million by 2023.

 

Given these numbers, standing out from the crowd on social media is important, but it isn’t easy.

 

Here’s some advice to help your practice overcome common challenges of healthcare social media.

1. Highlighting patient success stories without revealing PHI

Incorporating patient success stories into your social media marketing is a great way to promote your expertise.

 

However, be careful not to accidentally disclose PHI, as this can lead to a HIPAA violation.

 

Knowledge is the key to avoiding this, so know what constitutes PHI — i.e. using a patient’s name or nickname, their address or geographical location, dates they were treated, numbers that could identify them, and anything else that might compromise their identity.

 

When compiling patient success stories for social media, work with a legal professional to create patient marketing consent forms. Otherwise, only discuss patients in general terms without revealing PHI, and always triple-check content for potential privacy violations before posting.

2. Reaching their target patient base

A Facebook post has an organic reach of just 6.4 percent of a Page’s likes, according to We Are Social. However, the average paid reach is 27.3 percent higher than the average total reach. 

 

Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that 53 percent of companies use social advertising — i.e., purchasing ads on social networks — according to HootSuite. Facebook advertising and sponsored content can extend your social media reach to ensure your practice gets in front of your target patients.

 

Social media advertising campaigns can be created to fit any budget, and they’re effective. Nearly two-thirds of consumers (65 percent) will click through to learn more about social ads that appear on their screen, according to Sprout Social.

3. Determining good content to share

Growing your patient base is the overarching purpose for social media marketing, but coming on too strong will get you unfollowed fast. Generally speaking, approximately 80 percent of your content should be informative or interesting and 20 percent should be promotional.

 

When it comes to the type of content that performs best, no two audiences are the same. Carefully monitor your posts to see what types of content — i.e. pictures, videos, graphics, how-tos — as well as what subjects get the most engagement.

4. Finding time to share and engage

Proper social media management is a key component of an effective strategy. You won’t engage your patient base by posting content sporadically and occasionally responding to comments.

 

In fact, 52 percent of small businesses post on social media at least daily, according to Clutch. Schedule time on your calendar each day for social media marketing activities to make sure they don’t fall by the wayside. 

 

Of course, as a busy doctor, you might not have time to effectively manage your social media properties. In this case, delegate this task to a member of your staff or take on an outside social media partner.

5. Choosing the right social media platforms

Different demographics gravitate toward different social networks — i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. If you don’t take the time to figure out where your patient base is, your medical social media efforts might be wasted on the wrong crowd.

 

For example, 64 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are on Instagram, but only 40 percent of 30-to-49-year-olds have an account on the site, according to Sprout Social.

 

Maintaining social media accounts on multiple platforms will allow you to reach different demographics that fall into your target patient group.

6. Getting patients to share their content

The more your social media content is shared, the broader your reach. However, people don’t share just anything, so give them quality and compelling content they’re excited to share with their own networks.

 

Post on topics important to your patient base, take time to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, and share information from credible sources. You can also hold a social media contest where entry involves sharing a certain post and tagging a friend or two.

 

Patients want to connect with you on social media, but simply having an account isn’t enough to promote your practice. Finding success in healthcare social media requires a significant time investment, but it’s well worth the effort.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Why a healthcare marketing strategy should include directories

Why a healthcare marketing strategy should include directories | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 reasons it’s important to have healthcare directory profiles

1. Prospective patients use directory profiles to evaluate providers

It’s important to have listings on websites such as WebMD and Vitals because people use them to make healthcare decisions. About 50 percent of patients say information found on third-party websites such as these contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare providers, according to PatientPop.

 

Creating profiles on healthcare directories gives you an opportunity to show patients what it’s like to visit your practice. Beyond your name, address, and phone number, include a bio that describes your experience, expertise, and bedside manner. Show off pictures of your waiting room and the exterior of your building, so patients know what to expect.

 

2. Having a profile on healthcare directories expands your web presence

One of the key components of a healthcare marketing strategy is meeting your ideal patients where they are. By creating a profile on healthcare directories, you’re expanding the number of places where patients can find your information.

 

According to PatientPop, three-in-four people have looked online to find out about a doctor, dentist, or medical care. This means the majority of patients are relying on the internet not just to find new providers, but to also research their symptoms or look up treatments.

 

The healthcare website WebMD, for example, had 82,000 total unique visitors in October 2018, according to data from Comscore. By having your information on a site such as this, you also have the opportunity to attract patients as they’re learning about health conditions or treatments.

3. Healthcare profiles help elevate your online reputation

It may sound obvious to say that patients expect to find physicians and other healthcare providers to be listed on healthcare directories.

 

But this simply underscores how important it is to have a presence on these sites. People trust the information on these websites and by having your profile included, you get a positive brand association as part of a collection of reputable doctors.

 

In addition, these websites often contain online reviews, which patients list as the most influential decision-making factor when choosing a new provider, according to PatientPop.

 

In fact, 59 percent of people say online reviews contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare providers.

 

Additionally, 32.8 percent of patients say they read patient reviews on WebMD and 21.8 percent said they do so on Healthgrades.

 

By claiming or listing your profiles on these healthcare websites, you can monitor your online reputation, stay on top of patient feedback, and quickly address any negative feedback you receive.

4. Google and other search engines find directories highly reputable

When Google and other search engines return results for a search, they rank the listings based on which are most likely to satisfy a searcher’s request.

 

Key factors that help determine search rankings include whether a site is reputable and authoritative. Because healthcare directories have a lot of web traffic and satisfy searches for symptoms, treatments, hospitals, and providers, search engines consider them reputable.

 

This means that your profile on these websites can sometimes rank higher than your own healthcare website.

 

Thus, this provides an opportunity for you to direct traffic to your website from your healthcare profiles. This also sends signals to Google that your healthcare website is reputable and contains accurate information.

5. Claiming your profiles helps stop misinformation

Even if you’ve never created profiles on any healthcare directory, it’s possible they already exist.

 

If they exist without your input, it’s possible they contain inaccuracies. Knowing that patients rely on these websites to choose their providers, it’s a good healthcare marketing strategy to claim and update them, if necessary.

 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google

5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

With 3.5 billion Google searches made every day, there’s no question that businesses need some sort of presence on the world’s most popular search engine to succeed online.

 

And the most efficient way to ensure you have a presence on the search engines is with paid advertising. Advertising healthcare on Google, however, comes with its own set of challenges.

1. You cannot promote certain services and products

The first challenge for healthcare marketers is that certain products and services cannot be advertised at all. For example, Google does not allow advertisements for CBD oil.

 

In some cases, products and services will only reach a limited audience, rather than an ad getting banned altogether. And you can only advertise certain products and services—including pharmaceuticals and addiction treatment centers—in select countries with a special certification from Google.

2. Can’t use certain phrasing

Aside from the products and services you cannot promote, healthcare marketers also must avoid certain phrasing in Google Ads. These phrasing concerns apply to both the ad copy—what appears in the Google search results—and the landing page copy—where people land when they click on the ad.

 

In some cases, Google rejects or takes down advertisements it deems to be against their policies, all of which are outlined here.

 

For example, a low-testosterone clinic would have to be very careful phrasing their advertisements, as Google may consider an ad or associated landing page to be banned adult content. 

3. Must use certain phrasing

Healthcare advertisers must also include certain types of phrasing in advertisements. You cannot guarantee specific results from a product or from your services. On a landing page, when displaying testimonials or before-and-after pictures, it’s important to use phrasing such as “Results vary and are not guaranteed.”

 

Another thing to include on any landing page is ad copy that actually matches or lines up with the landing page copy. Google’s sophisticated algorithms can quickly detect that an ad for vein services leads to a landing page without any information about veins whatsoever. 

4. No retargeting

Google does not allow healthcare marketers to retarget prospective patients with advertising.

 

This means that, if someone visits your website or clicks on your ad, hospitals and practices cannot use display advertising (ads that appear on other sites) to lure that person back in—all due to potential patient privacy concerns. (However, there are other ways to 

That’s why it’s so important to design a landing page for conversions, so that people who click on your ad have an easy way to fill out a form (or call) and express interest in your services. 

5. Competition

When our agency first got started over a decade ago, digital marketing for healthcare was a fairly niche expertise. Today, we are still leaders in our area—but the competition has gotten tough.

 

When you’re advertising on Google Ads, you’ll have to bid strategically, take advantage of negative keywords (the keywords you DON’T want to rank for), and use advertising best practices to get potential patients to visit your landing page and convert. 

Work with a Google Premier Partner

When you work with a Google Premier Partner for your campaigns, you’re partnering with experts who don’t just employ a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality with your Google Ads. They’ll constantly optimize to get you ahead of the competition and help your landing pages convert. 

 

Better yet, partner with Healthcare Success to work with a healthcare digital advertising agency that knows the challenges specific to healthcare. Call 800-656-0907 for more information.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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5 Surprising Facebook Tips for Healthcare

5 Surprising Facebook Tips for Healthcare | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Sick of posting the same types of updates over and over again to your healthcare organization’s Facebook page? It’s a fun marketing tactic for your team to take on. And yet, many businesses’ Facebook strategies tend to grow stale over time.

 

We’ll be the first to admit that organic Facebook activity is not a primary source of lead generation for healthcare organizations. 

1: Use plenty of video

It’s probably not surprising that you can post video to your feed. But it may be surprising how much of a difference video makes in your social media advertising strategy.

 

According to Hootsuite, 71% of people have increased their amount of time spent watching online video since 2018, and it is the dominant form of media on the internet today. Additionally, Facebook video can increase brand awareness to about 67%—as long as it’s optimized for a mobile device.

 

Use video as often as you can if you want to reach more people, both organically and in Facebook ads. On average, people watch video 5 times longer than they look at text posts or image posts online. 

2: Expand video to your cover photo

You don’t have to limit your videos to your news feed. Make your business profile stand out with a video cover image. People on the fence about following you may be drawn in by movement, whether it’s video of happy patients or shots from around the office.

 

Here’s a tip: you don’t have to have each video professionally made. Your cover photo (and your online ads) could be improved even with a simple animation. Use a site like Animoto (or any of dozens of apps like it) to make video creation a lot simpler. Any amount of movement is proven to be more effective than a static image.

3: Animate your profile picture

You could have movement in both your business profile’s cover photo and profile picture. You’ll simply upload a GIF as a profile photo using a tool like GIPHY to create it from a video clip.

 

We’d recommend against having too much movement on the top of your page—you might consider picking either an animated profile picture or video cover photo. You don’t want to distract from your ultimate message—that people should follow your page or, more importantly, call for an appointment.

4: Pin posts to the top of your page

Got a big announcement to make that you want everyone to see? Chances are high that you’ll keep posting and re-posting about a new practice location, a new service line, or something else that may be of interest to a prospective patient. And that’s a solid strategy.

 

But there’s another easy way to make sure this announcement is the first thing people see when they click on your page. Simply pin your announcement to the top of the page by clicking the ellipses at the top of the page.

 

5: Don’t leave out the little things

One of the most surprising things we see in Facebook business pages for healthcare organizations is how much is missing. 

Many businesses don’t realize how important a call-to-action is. People need to know what action you want them to take after visiting their page.

 

Should they “Call Now” or “Book Online?” Business pages have the option of adding a call-to-action that links to a phone number, website, or booking tool. 

 

Otherwise, just make sure your profile is completely filled out. Include links to your website and YouTube channel. Fill in your “About” information and make sure people know how to find you with your full address and contact information.

 

Optimize your Facebook even further with the help of social media advertising experts. Contact Healthcare Success at (800) 656-0907 for a complete online advertising strategy that includes mobile-optimized video ads that reach your target audience.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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How Urgent Care Centers Can Benefit From Patient Testimonials

How Urgent Care Centers Can Benefit From Patient Testimonials | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A significant percentage of prospective patients landing on your website don’t take the desired action—like scheduling an online appointment or calling your office. Of the many probable factors, it’s the fear of the unknown and the resulting lack of trust that may prevent them from selecting you as their urgent care provider. The best way to eliminate apprehension and instill confidence and trust among your prospective patients is to let them hear your happy patients’ stories about their great experiences. That’s where patient testimonials come into the picture.

 

In this blog, we’ll tell you all about patient testimonials—what they are, their importance, and how you can use them to drive new patients to your urgent care center. Keep reading!

What Are Patient Testimonials?

Patient testimonials are the written or spoken statement of recommendation from happy patients about the quality, character, and competence of healthcare service and/or provider. Effective patient testimonials aren’t just about praises and appreciation, but they also try to conclude stories that inspire and motivate prospective patients from reading them.

 

Different studies have already shown how these positive remarks and comments can help your healthcare business prosper. According to a Software Advice report, 48% of patients would go out of their insurance network for a provider who has a better review history. The search engine giant Google also stated in one of its partner’s presentation videos that patients prefer to watch testimonial videos to hear other patients’ stories before reaching out to any provider. Here’s how urgent care providers like you can grow their practice using patient testimonials.

Use Testimonials to Improve Patient Acquisition Opportunities

Patient testimonials have a crucial role to play in turning your prospective patients’ decision making in your favor. Including testimonials on your site can raise its personality and trust-worthiness; therefore, boosting your site’s conversion rate. This helps in improving patient acquisition opportunities for your urgent care practice. Let’s see how a patient testimonial page can help you boost acquisition for your urgent care:

    • Boosts search engine ranking

      Google loves content and a testimonial page is a great opportunity to feed Google with relevant and updated content that can get indexed regularly. Selecting the right testimonials will allow you to get specific value points included on the page. Those words are added up to the weighted pages that help you with your search engine rankings.
    • Increases trust

      Prospective patients looking for an urgent care center may come to your site via Google searches, or through some reference channels. If they find compelling stories of experience from happy patients, it will help in alleviating their fear and anxiety of choosing a new provider for the first time.

How to Keep Your Testimonials Page Up-to-Date

Having a separate testimonials page on your site is great. However, to leverage it for driving new patients to your practice, you should keep it up-to-date with your newest reviews. You cannot expect your prospective patients to trust you by showing them reviews from months or even years ago. Sending flowers or arranging a thank you event are not practical (or even affordable) ways for urgent cares to collect new patient testimonials. It’s better to develop a process where you systematically request, collect, and utilize testimonials.

 

You can use an online reputation management software like RepuGen to ask your patients for feedback through text and email. As the feedback comes in, it will be easy for your urgent care marketing team to keep selecting and adding the positive ones to your testimonial page on a regular basis.

 

If you want a more automated solution where you don’t have to manually update your testimonial page, RepuGen also provides a solution for that. You can generate a free testimonials page on your website that will automatically fetch positive reviews from your Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business accounts.

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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Hidden Positive Effects of Negative Reviews

Hidden Positive Effects of Negative Reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Negative reviews are tough to see. Whether the negative review was left by a particularly picky customer or something just went wrong that day, negative reviews don’t seem fair. It’s tempting to try and get rid of or cover up these harsh comments by any means necessary. However, manipulating the review system to only show positive reviews is not only unethical, but it can hurt your business. Negative reviews can actually have some positive effects.

7 Ways Negative Reviews Create Positive Results:

If you’re panicking and wondering how to take the review down or cover it up, ask yourself if the negative review accomplishes these things. It may seem counterintuitive, but negative reviews can actually help you.

1. Finding the Right Customers

If a customer says the product or service just didn’t work for them, it may be a simple matter of opinion. For example, a diner looking for a quick, cheap meal might not enjoy a cozy sit-down restaurant, and they might leave a negative review. Other customers may read this review and realize the restaurant isn’t what they want either, but that’s OK. If your business isn’t designed for these customers, it’s better for both of you if they find one that is.

2. Uncovering Problems

A business owner will never have the same experience as a customer. Negative reviews bring attention to problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. Whether you have a rude employee, a malfunctioning product, slow shipping, or something else, it’s best to know about the problem and respond to it rather than letting it drive away more customers. Make sure to regularly audit your business reputation to uncover these problems right away.

3. Creating Realistic Expectations

Negative reviews usually explain what a product or service isn’t, which will help other buyers get a realistic picture of what they’re buying. A negative review that points out a product or service’s limitations will save other buyers from being disappointed, creating a better overall experience and reducing requests for refunds. Buyers that get what they expect will be more likely to leave positive reviews.

4. Proving Authenticity

A complete absence of negative reviews is impossible and customers know it. While compliments on a job well done are welcome, negative reviews show that the comments are honest and trustworthy. If you have 50 five-star reviews without a single critical comment, customers are more likely to be dubious than impressed.

5. Showing Responsiveness

Thanking customers for their positive reviews shows that you are friendly and attentive, but this isn’t likely to stand out in a prospective customer’s mind. The best way to handle negative feedback is to address it and solve it, and this response will make an impact on new buyers. A business that addresses complaints gives buyers security, showing that they don’t have to worry if something goes wrong.

6. Making Your Business Approachable

Nobody is perfect. If a negative review highlights a mistake or a problem, it’s OK to own up and say you’ll do better next time. Reacting to criticism with a calm and constructive attitude shows customers that you are a real person and that you are honest and reasonable. This is especially true for reviews that are overly harsh or dramatic; your calm, pleasant response will be even clearer against an argumentative comment.

7. Providing More Information

A business owner can describe or display their product or service on their website or the shopping page, but they can’t provide all the details that every customer might want to know. Negative reviews, which usually target specific things, tend to be more helpful than positive reviews in this case. Negative reviews may point out that a clothing item fits smaller than normal or that a restaurant is especially spicy. These may be negative attributes for some and positive for others, but the information is helpful for all potential customers.

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10 of the Best Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation

10 of the Best Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The ability to track what people say about you online has several benefits.

You can leave timely feedback on comments about you. It can help improve your products and services.

Most of all, monitoring what people say about you online will help you maintain a good reputation.

Here are 10 tools that can help you monitor your online reputation, irrespective of your niche.

1. Google Alerts

Google has several valuable free tools for marketers and SEO pros, and Google Alerts is one of them. If you’re a seasoned marketer, then you probably already know and use it, either for monitoring your brand or for content creation.

Simply enter your company name the same way you’d enter terms in your niche you want to get alerts for.

For example, this is an alert for “search engine marketing”:

 

You’ll get email notifications of your mentions via Google’s database, based on your preferences: as they happen, at least once a day, and at most once a week.

2. Social Mention

Social Mention monitors more than 80 social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The results also display the following information to help you measure, monitor, and improve your brand’s reputation:

  • Strength: The likelihood that your brand is discussed on social media.
  • Sentiments: The ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions.
  • Passion: The likelihood that people talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.
  • Reach: The number of unique authors who write about or mention your brand.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

Another reason to use it: Social Mention is free.

3. Trackur

Trackur calls itself the “broadest social media monitoring” tool — a debatable claim. In trying to live up to such a lofty promise, it has several features to help you monitor your brand online.

 

Trackur offers full monitoring of all social media and mainstream news sites, insights like trends, keyword discovery, and influence scoring.

For example, this is what the dashboard looks like when I type in the keyword “Facebook.”

 

Additionally, if you offer social media monitoring as a service to clients, you can pay to customize your dashboard with your logo, URL, and your own colors.

4. SentiOne

SentiOne helps you to pay attention to what your customers or others generally are saying about your brand. With SentiOne, you’ll get access to not just real-time data but historical data too – what people may have said about your brand in the past before you began using SentiOne.

You can track mentions of your brand, social profiles, or other keywords.

 

If you feel you’ll experience information overload, since SentiOne scours thousands of web sources to find mentions of your brand, you can easily filter the number of keywords you’re tracking.

Plus, you can filter results into positive or negative mentions, where the latter can help you act quickly to avert crisis where necessary.

 

5. Reputology

Reputology is a review management and monitoring platform for multi-location businesses. Put simply, it helps businesses manage and monitor reviews online.

 

Apart from social media sites, you can “listen” to what customers are saying about your site from industry-specific review sites in the hospitality, dining, healthcare, fitness, and real estate niches.

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To ensure you handle negative reviews efficiently, Reputology converts them into customer service tickets.

6. Review Push

This online review management software helps businesses with multiple locations to monitor social media and popular review sites (e.g., Facebook, Yelp, Google, Yellowpages, Foursquare).

 

The best part isn’t only that you’ll get all reviews from any site in one place, but when you set up email alerts, you can respond to any review, positive or negative, directly from your inbox with Review Push.

 

You can also see the review sites on the web or in your industry that your business is not yet listed on. Then Review Push ranks your stores’ review performance online so you can easily see which store should improve its product or service delivery.

If you’re wondering how you’ll get reports from multiple locations, there’s multi-level reporting where you can get reports from corporate, regional, or store level.

7. Chatmeter

Chatmeter was designed to help companies collect and analyze customer feedback and improve customer experience for multi-location brands and agencies.

 

It notifies you via email of any reviews found on over 20 local search and review sites. In addition, you’ll get notifications when there’s new content about your brand.

Chatmeter has tools that enable you to spy on your local competitors to see how you stack up against them and what you can learn from their activities.

 

Their widget allows you to share reviews from external sites on your website and store’s pages. And if you create a new profile on a listings’ site, your profiles on other listings sites are automatically updated with any current information.

8. Reputation Ranger

Created for four niche industries — restaurants and bars, hotels and travel, automotive sales and services, and plumbers and home contractors — Reputation Ranger monitors Facebook and industry-related sites to create alerts and reports.

 

Broken down by niche, it comes to:

  • 15 websites plus Facebook in the hotel and travel niche.
  • 12 websites in the restaurant and bar niche.
  • 9 websites for plumbers and other contractors.
  • 12 auto-related review websites and blogs.

So you’ll largely get real-time monitoring and alerts of the review sites that matter most to your business, depending on your niche.

9. Reputation Health

If you have a medical practice, or you offer SEO and other online marketing services to medical practices, you may need Reputation Health.

 

t offers reputation management and online review monitoring for physicians. It monitors 23 review sites related to the medical practice, including DrScore, HealthGrades, UcompareHealthcare, and Vitals.

The software collects online mentions and reviews of what patients are saying about your practice and sends you email alerts.

10. Meltwater

What started as a press clipping service that scanned news sources to get keywords relevant to customers has since evolved into a full-blown media monitoring tool.

 

Today, Meltwater goes beyond press monitoring by adding social media listening into the mix with real-time analytics. It still offers the largest global media database, so you can be sure you’ll see all your mentions in the news media too.

 

If you’re keen on who’s talking about your competitors or where they’re getting features, or how many mentions they’re getting daily, weekly, or monthly in comparison to yours, you can track that via Meltwater too.

 

While you can see your reports and analytics from your Meltwater dashboard, you can also transform these reports into presentations directly from the dashboard and also share them with internal teams.

Conclusion

You can manually perform searches for your brand’s name on search engines or social media sites, but you’ll likely find a handful of results at best. Not to mention the sheer drudgery and valuable time you’ll need to spend on such an undertaking daily, weekly, or monthly.

 

The tools above will help you more easily and efficiently monitor your online reputation. Choose one that works best for your brand.

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What Happens When Doctors Sue Unhappy Patients?

What Happens When Doctors Sue Unhappy Patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Experienced doctors tell us that, sooner or later in their career, every physician will face the prospect of legal action. Between 75 and 99 percent of practicing doctors, depending on their specialty, will be threatened by a lawsuit according to a NEJM study.

 

Although “patient-sues-doctor” rarely makes the news, the reverse situation—doctor-sues-patient—seems to make the headlines with regularity. And the core issue is a negative or unflattering online rating or comment by a patient about a doctor. But the outcome is seldom satisfactory.

 

Patients are increasingly engaged and empowered regarding their healthcare, due in part by the pervasive Internet. Doctors are understandably—and justifiably—concerned about their professional reputation…also with added muscle of view-anywhere web postings.

 

In a previous post, Legally Dumb: Should a Doctor or Dentist Sue a Patient for Bad-Mouth Comments?, we sympathized with a practitioner’s frustration and outright anger. Negative comments and online reviews can be untrue, unkind and one sided. But, from a public relations perspective, suing a patient for a negative comment just might be the worst thing to do. In PR terms it likely will grab new and broader media attention, repeat and extend the controversy, patients may sympathize with patients, and generally inflame the original issue.

 

Bad-mouth comments on personal blogs and collective-comment review sites can be influential among patients and prospective patients. There are dozens of user forums that has expanded to include Angie’s List (initially home improvement services), and Yelp (initially reviews of local restaurants).

 

Some news reports, The Boston Globe for example, suggest that doctors are firing back at patients’ online critiques, but with mixed results.

 

“The Digital Media Project at Harvard University tracks lawsuits filed against patients and others for online comments. Its website includes seven such cases filed over the past five years or so, though it’s not a comprehensive list. In some, patients took down their negative comments. In others, judges dismissed the suit, ruling that patients’ comments were protected under the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.”

 

We’re not offering legal advice here, but as another recent indicator, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that an online post about a Duluth neurologist is protected speech. And, according to the AP story about this ruling, “Experts say lawsuits over negative professional reviews are relatively uncommon and rarely succeed, partly because the law favors freedom of speech.”

 

Seeking professional legal counsel is sound advice for your situation. Our previous post lists some of the possible public relations consequences that should be considered, as well as observations from noted healthcare attorney Stephen Kaufman.

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Increase Patient Conversion With These Facts About Online Reviews

Increase Patient Conversion With These Facts About Online Reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A 2018 study published by ReviewTrackers found that online reviews are changing – for the better. Literally, reviews are getting more positive. They also found that people are using fewer characters to get their point across and that review-only sites are not growing as fast as social media and Google. We’ve talked before about how important it is to get good reviews on Google and how social media is the first place many go to find out about your practice. Below we present three of the findings that ReviewTrackers highlighted about the direction online reviews are going this year and how they can grow your practice.

 

More poetry than prose

Reviews are getting shorter. This is good news. People don’t have to slog through a rambling review to find out what the person wants to say. ReviewTrackers reported that “Reviewers are writing simpler and more to-the-point reviews. The average review has gotten 65 percent shorter since 2010 and is now roughly the size of a tweet.”

 

How this helps: With the rise of the tweet, people are learning to write succinctly about the businesses they visit. In this time-constrained, mobile world, we just want to know the facts. It also means that the barrier to entry is lower. We can ask patients to write short, factual posts quickly. It also means that people can read more positive reviews about your practice in less time (see point three below).

Rise of social and search

Review-only sites like TripAdvisor aren’t seeing as much growth in reviews as Google and Facebook. In fact, ReviewTrackers reports that Google and Facebook are now the No. 1 and No. 2 for online reviews.

 

How this helps: People & Practice dedicates its marketing efforts on a client’s Google MyBusiness profile and Google reviews. We also help practices develop and maintain an engaging and robust social media presence on Facebook – including targeted educational advertising. The data supports our findings that these are prime online channels for patient outreach and referrals.

 

The future is bright

Reviews are more positive than ever before. ReviewTrackers said in its report that “reviews are increasingly shifting from being a place where consumers air their grievances to being a place to recommend businesses after a positive experience.”

 

How this helps: Positive reviews convert people into customers. Other surveys have shown that half of consumers look for a 4-star rating at a minimum before they choose a business and 73% said that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Reviews are a serious business.

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Online Reputation Management for Doctors

Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

This is a sponsored post written by SearchReputation.net. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

 

Most doctors can manage their reputations informally through customer relationship management and how they treat their patients. But most are unfamiliar with more practical ways of managing their reputational risk.

 

Word of mouth is no longer local. Although most doctors operate locally, happy patients (your clients) now head online to tell their friends and family about their positive experiences.

 

The same applies to a poor experience.

 

Google works similarly to the human brain. It will put much more emphasis on bad results than good results. Likewise, the human brain has a negative bias that is more sensitive to negative news.

So, one bad result that manages to make its way on the first page of the SERP can ruin a doctor’s whole reputation.

 

There are many factors to assess:

  • How are you currently viewed by patients?
  • How often are you getting referrals?
  • Are you meeting the bedside expectations and practical expectations of patients?

 

Answering these basic questions should help doctors determine where they stand with their community.

Perception is reputation. Managing beliefs and perceptions will favor a healthy reputation – online and offline.

The Anatomy of ORM for Physicians

While medical treatment is necessary for our society and doctors for our health, doctors with bad reputations are definitely seeing fewer patients walk through the door.

 

Before identifying the signs of an unsavory online reputation for doctors, we at Searchreputation.net explain to doctors in “medical terms” what a good reputation looks like in the eyes of patients.

 

The SERP can be divided into three parts:

The Brain & Heart

The brain and the heart represent the first three results in the SERP.

 

Depending on the patient, they will think with their head or their heart when they see a bad review or result that high up about their doctor.

 

Whether they think with logic or emotion, neither is good in this situation.

The Stomach

The stomach is where things may shift in perception often oscillating from good one day and bad another.

 

It takes a lot of traffic behavior change for Google to shake the first couple of results. So, it will test what’s in the middle first.

 

Most individuals will be less phased by what they see in the middle. The click-through rate from position 1 to position 5 drops by 24.13 percent on desktop and 17.1 percent on mobile phones.

 

On phones, people are much less likely to scroll. So, the CTR for the first three results in mobile phones has skyrocketed recently.

The Rest of the Body

The last couple of results – and everything after that – are the rest of the body: the supporting functions (or, in this case, the supporting results).

 

The everyday consumer won’t be as influenced by supporting search results as they would be by higher ranking results.

Interestingly enough, most people will simply change their search if they don’t find what they are looking for within the first eight results.

Vital Signs of a Bad Reputation 

Unfortunately, the anatomy of online reputation management is not as well defined as it is for doctors who study the human body.

Google’s algorithms are much more complex and constantly changing.

 

So, what determines the reputational risk of doctors?

  • The gap between perception and reality.
  • Changing expectations and perceptions.
  • Operations and communications.

 

When a reputation crisis hits, it’s hard to quantify how much damage it will do in the short and long terms. The best gauge is quantifying qualitative responses.

 

  • Are you a doctor who has no bedside manners?
  • Do you make your patients wait an hour and a half with an appointment and only see them for five minutes?
  • Are you reliable?
  • Are your secretaries and nurses unresponsive?

 

Depending on your answers to these questions, evaluate how you meet the expectations of your clients. An accumulation of poor experiences will reenforce the unreliability of a doctor.

Don’t overestimate how much people may or may not like you. Looking yourself up is the best way to tell.

 

How? Enter your name with various keyword combinations.

 

Start with your full name and dr. in front. Then, drop your first name, add your city on the end and interchange words like reviewscomplaintspissedratingscomments, and news.

 

Anything bad come up? Your lifeline as a doctor running a business with “clientele” might be cut short.

What Now? 

So you’re a doctor with bad reviews, perhaps a minor disciplinary action, but you can still practice. How do you restore trust in clients?

  • Evaluate your practice. 81 percent of Americans believe that the first impression of a physician is extremely or very important. This is strongly associated with bedside manners, how much time they spend getting to know their patients, and quality one-on-one time.
  • Replying to reviews. While many ORM firms might suggest removal (always an option but not always the most ethical method of changing up the SERP), try responding first. Not only does it respond to the user, it shows anyone who comes across the result that you’re reaching out and willing to start a discussion.
  • ORM, PR, SEM, SEO, every acronym you can think of. A combination of online reputation management, social media, public relations and press releases, search engine marketing, and search engine optimization will contribute to better shaping your online image.
  • Maintenance: Don’t ever stop. It’s nearly impossible to not have an online presence. Often times, patients create that online presence for doctors themselves.

 

While removing reviews and negative results is neither ethical nor guaranteed, it is a possibility. Speak to a lawyer or your online reputation managers about these possibilities.

 

Take control of your online reputation by managing what is being said about you online. The moment you stop engaging online, you’ll quickly lose control of your online reputation. One post can ruin it all.

 

Again, the negative bias Google has can ruin your whole image with one post, one comment, one review. Always be ready to counter it and get ahead of the game by spreading positive and attractive content.

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The Importance Of Patient Engagement & Technology In Today’s Healthcare Market

The Importance Of Patient Engagement & Technology In Today’s Healthcare Market | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patient Engagement has been a rapidly emerging movement and buzzword in the healthcare industry this year. There have been countless articles, blogs, studies, and educational forums dedicated to the topic. It has been labeled as the "the blockbuster drug of the century”. Some say, “The future of healthcare is being shaped largely by the patient engagement evolution.” Others have argued that no other initiative will have such a significant impact on improving the quality of patient care and reducing healthcare costs. So what exactly is patient engagement?

 

What is patient engagement?

 

Patient engagement has become a key strategy that refers to the tools and actions taken by patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers to promote informed decision-making and behaviors to facilitate improved health outcomes. 

 

The importance of “patient engagement” has been widely researched and discussed with evidence supporting its significance on lowering cost and improving patient outcomes. What is interesting is that amid all of the industry buzz “patient engagement” is not a revolutionary new concept. 

 

In the business world, it is called “consumer engagement.” Retailers, banks, and other service related industries have all been providing their customers with information, tips and other forms of communication attempting to engage their consumers. For decades, marketers have been seeking new strategies to engage the customer, create better experiences, and strengthen brand relationships all aimed at improving outcomes. Those who don’t deliver are likely to be put out of business by those that meet this demand. There is nothing new or groundbreaking about this strategy. In fact, it is in almost every marketing and business textbook ever written. 

 

Perhaps the healthcare industry is finally catching up with the rest of the business world and recognizing that in order to grow and be successful in a competitive marketplace, patients need more in the way of information, quality, access, and accountability.

 

 

Technology’s role in patient engagement

 

Medical providers have long understood the value of having a patient engaged in their own health. While the concept of “patient engagement” may not be new, what is new is the significant role that technology is having on patient engagement. A recent survey performed by Deloitte suggests patient engagement is seeing the most growth within the use of technology.

 

Consumers are becoming more trusting of healthcare information online. Social media and patient portal use for healthcare data have also seen significant growth. We are living in a connected and engaged society. The internet allows us to get what we want on demand at our fingertips. Patients and consumers have started placing these same expectations on healthcare. 

 

Below are a few statistics from Google and PewResearch Center that further support the impact technology is having on patient engagement: 

 

  • 4.7 billion: daily Google searches
  • 1 in 20 Google searches is for health-related information
  • 80% of Internet users seek online health information
  • 77% of patients used a search prior to booking an appointment
  • 66% of Internet users look online for information about a specific disease or medical problem
  • 44% of Internet users look online for information about doctors or other health professionals

 

 

Technology and tools for patient engagement

 

Some of the latest technologies focused on patient engagement involve managing patient health data, managing communication with physicians, self-care at home, education, and financial management. From wearable tech and medical devices to patient portals and personal health records, all of these innovations are aimed at improving the overall patient experience. 

 

With the implementation of health information exchanges, electronic health records, and patient portals, patients are naturally becoming more engaged in their health. Healthcare institutions and practices should embrace and integrate these changes while seeking to adapt to this new and rapidly evolving landscape.

 

Of course, all of these tools are useless if the patient does not have interest in taking an active role in their health. Patient engagement requires action that must be initiated and sustained by the individual. It is also through the encouragement of the provider that patients learn to utilize tools and technology that produce improved health results. If neither the provider nor the patient is not interested in the utilization of these technologies, then no one will benefit from them. Engagement implies active involvement. All parties must be willing to participate and embrace the shift to technology, in order to achieve better outcomes and reduce costs.

 

 

What are the benefits of patient engagement?    

 

Research has proven that individuals, who are engaged in their health, are more likely to achieve better health outcomes.

Benefits of improved patient engagement include:

 

  • Reduced costs: Technology such as EMR/EHR can help improve workflow through the use of shared information. This can reduce or eliminate paperwork, assure accurate information and provide patients with a better experience. Technology can reduce errors, improve scheduling, insurance, and payments.

 

  • Increased communication: Through the use of technology, physicians and patients can communicate with one another more often and provide updates or changes on the patients’ condition.

 

  •  Increased patient satisfaction: Through increased communication and more information regarding their health, patients are more confident regarding their condition and diagnoses. 

 

  • Population health: Through the improvement of health-related information systems, scientist can analyze public health data that can help to identify trends and improve outcomes.

 

 

Challenges of patient engagement

 

For healthcare institutions and medical practices, successful patient engagement relies not just on new technology but also on a cultural shift. As the industry adapts to these changes, providers and healthcare administration must be prepared to face obstacles such as: 

 

  • Difficulty shifting behaviors
  • Different communication preferences
  • Lack of health information exchanges
  • Technology ease of use
  • Operational and implementation challenges
  • Workforce reluctance

 

The many benefits of new health care technology and patient engagement have been proven to outweigh the costs and challenges of implementation. However, successful adaptation and cultural shifts rarely occur without obstacles. Also, one of the biggest challenges that remain is the implementation of effective evidence-based methods of measurement for patient engagement. 

 

Current practices devoted to improving patient engagement show a lack of defined guidelines and confusion about what patient engagement is, how it is achieved, and how to produce meaningful outcomes. Researchers and policymakers recognize the importance of having an evidence-based measurement of patient engagement, as it is a necessary tool for planning and implementing initiatives. However, with very few studies and limited data available, there is a lack of clearly defined evidence-based guidelines available. 

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How to promote health-related products with digital marketing

How to promote health-related products with digital marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Purchase paid search advertising

Paid search advertising is a form of digital marketing in which you purchase ads for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

 

Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform, most likely because Google enjoys close to 93 percent of search engine traffic, according to Statcounter.

 

There are a number of reasons to consider paid search advertising to promote health-related products.

 

First, your practice has an equal opportunity to rank for highly competitive keywords. This is unlike organic rankings, which take into account a number of website factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness.

 

With paid search advertising, the highest bidder always wins the top spot.

 

Another reason to consider this form of digital marketing is that paid search ads bypass the waiting period that often accompanies achieving a high organic ranking.

 

This means you benefit from instant visibility. Better visibility means your product will receive more clicks, your healthcare website will see more traffic, and your product sales will likely increase.

 

A third reason to consider paid search advertising is that it allows for uber precise audience targeting, which ultimately helps you reach your ideal patients.

 

In Google Adwords, for example, you can target demographics such as gender, age, and household income. You can also exclude demographics if you know certain audiences would not be interested in a particular product.

2. Publish product-centric blog posts

Blogging is a digital marketing tactic that’s proven to boost organic search rankings and increase healthcare website traffic over time. This is because search engines like Google regularly crawl websites for new content.

 

When you publish blog posts about your products, search engines surmise that your practice is an authority on those products, and they feel confident sending searchers to your site.

 

According to HubSpot, companies that blog receive 55 percent more visitors than companies that do not blog.

 

Additionally, blogging can help position your practice as the go-to place for particular products in your area.

 

Blogging also allows you to go into greater detail about your products — detail you might not be able to provide via a product page located elsewhere on your healthcare website. Plus, with blog posts, you can offer a different perspective on products, whether that’s a product review or comparison.

3. Discuss products on social media

Social media is an ideal digital marketing platform to promote out-of-pocket products. One reason is because social media is widely used and regularly accessed.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69 percent use Facebook, and 37 percent use Instagram. Fifty-one percent of YouTube users, 74 percent of Facebook users, and 63 percent of Instagram users access the sites at least once per day.

 

Another reason to use social media for healthcare marketing is that people actually want to consume the content healthcare practices share.

 

According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, two-out-of-five adults said they already are or would like to follow their healthcare providers on social media.

 

And according to a PwC report, 61 percent of people are likely to trust information posted by healthcare providers.

 

To ensure people are seeing your product posts, you can invest in sponsored content. Similar to paid search advertising, sponsored content allows you to target highly specific audiences.

 

On Facebook, for example, you can specify demographics like gender, age, and location as well as interests and behaviors. According to Sprout Social, 65 percent of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand.

4. Send marketing emails to patients

Although many healthcare practices exclusively focus on attracting new patients, marketing to current patients is also worthwhile. According to RJMetrics, 68 percent of customers won’t make a second purchase.

 

But, if you can get people to make a second purchase, 53 percent of them will make a third. With each successive purchase, the likelihood of them coming back increases.

 

Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing tactic for getting patients to make first, second, and third purchases (and so on). Not only do 97 percent of people with a personal email address check their accounts at least once every day, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), but nearly six in 10 people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel.

 

Also, email marketing is proven to influence people’s behavior. According to the DMA, 40 percent of people say they would click on a link in the email if they found the email “interesting.” An additional 27 percent of people said they would be likely to go to the company’s website, just not directly from the email.

 

Display signage and other in-office promotions will always be important for selling health-related products. However, if you want to reach people beyond those coming into your office, you must branch out into digital marketing. 

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5 holiday healthcare marketing mistakes practices must avoid

5 holiday healthcare marketing mistakes practices must avoid | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Not marketing your practice during the holidays

If you associate the holiday season with a lower patient volume, you may think healthcare marketing is less important this time of year. But choosing not to market your practice is perhaps the biggest healthcare marketing mistake of all.

 

By not marketing your practice, you’re counting yourself out of the decision-making process for those patients who are seeking care. A successful healthcare marketing strategy can also help you mitigate against a slower season for your practice.

 

You’ve also missed the opportunity to incorporate creative campaigns and content topics into your healthcare marketing ideas. Timely and relevant content can make your campaigns more effective because you’re providing your patients with the information they find useful. Campaigns and blog posts that are tied to a specific event like a holiday are also more likely to be shared with others, so the right content can help you reach more people.

 

Plus, even if fewer new patients are coming into your practice this season, the holidays present an opportunity to use healthcare marketing to reach and retain your current patients, to wish them well, and to thank them for being loyal to your practice.

2. Thinking there’s less interest in health toward the end of the year

The holiday season may have its share of parties and late nights, but it would be a mistake to think there’s a lack of interest in health this time of year. On the contrary, during moments where people may be indulging more, there can be a heightened awareness of healthy habits. 

 

New Year’s resolutions, for example, are often tied to health and productivity goals. According to Branded, one out of four people said they would make a resolution in 2019, and 65 percent of people said resolutions are always or sometimes an effective way to break or curb bad habits.

 

Plus, because people are more likely to have hit their deductibles toward the end of the year, they might seek care when they can minimize their individual costs. An analysis by athenahealth shows a rise in patient appointments toward the end of the year among commercially-insured patients.

 

Try a healthcare marketing campaign that targets your commercially-insured patients and reminds them of end-of-the-year care deadlines.

3. Not being inclusive in messaging

When planning your holiday healthcare marketing strategy, it’s important to create messaging and content that is inclusive of everyone. Patients celebrate many holidays toward the end of the year depending on their culture or religion, and you may risk alienating some by only focusing on a single holiday.

 

Being inclusive with your healthcare marketing allows you to reach more people and is especially important to younger patients. According to Accenture, Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers. This was cited by almost 70 percent of all Millennials.

4. Not updating your website and web profiles

The holidays often mean changing schedules for both patients and healthcare providers alike. If you have special holiday hours, make sure that communicating them to current and prospective customers is at the top of your healthcare marketing strategy this year. This gives patients the transparency they need to book an appointment.

 

An accurate and prominent web presence is an essential component of your healthcare marketing strategy, and this is even more important during the holidays when you may have less time to field questions.

 

Update your hours wherever they exist online, including your website and web profiles. You may also want to include your holiday hours in an email to your patient list well in advance, so they can make the proper arrangements.

5. Waiting until the last minute

Do not wait until the week before major holidays to start your holiday healthcare marketing. Give your patients ample time to understand any changes to your schedule or promotional offers. This also gives you a chance to share important messages multiple times, so you can ensure more people see them.

 

Plus, if you’re offering holiday-related tips — like how to eat healthy during the holidays, how to best avoid getting sick while traveling, or how to stick to your New Year’s resolution — waiting too long may make your content less relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. According to Yes Marketing, conversion rates for holiday-themed emails in November 2018 were double those sent in December, so getting an early start can mean better outcomes, especially if you’re selling gift ideas.

 

Healthcare marketing is a year-round effort. There’s always an opportunity to connect with your patients and make your practice stand out from all other care options.

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8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising

8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patients today make their healthcare decisions online. A PatientPop survey revealed that 74.6 percent of people have looked online to learn more about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care.

 

For the most part, patients are looking for their dental care on Google. Google has 88 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, according to StatCounter.

 

According to Google, one in every 20 searches is health-related, which translates to at least 100 billion health searches a year, according to Search Engine Land.

 

Thus, showing up prominently in Google results is a key marketing priority for any dental practice. Dental ads offer dentists a unique opportunity and competitive advantage in reaching patients who are searching for their services.

 

Read on to learn why paid dental advertising is a good investment for your practice.

How dental ads are different from traditional marketing

1. You control where you rank.

On Google, paid dentist ads appear above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). They look almost identical to organic results but are delineated with the word “Ad” in a green box. Placing a dental ad on search can place you at the top of the search results.

 

This is important because where you rank on Google matters. Generally speaking, the higher you rank, the more clicks you can expect to receive.

 

According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top organic Google result on desktops garners a click-through rate of about 31 percent, the second position receives about 15 percent, and the third position receives almost 10 percent.

2. The results are immediate.

Online advertising for dental practices is the perfect complement to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to have a website optimized for SEO, but climbing search results organically is a steady process, and you may not be ranking for all the keywords that you desire.

 

When you place a dental advertisement, you can rank the top of the page for that keyword as soon as your campaign goes live, which can mean an instant boost in traffic and dental patients. This can be an especially good strategy if your website has recently been redesigned, as it can take several months for Google to index your site.

3. You can reach your ideal customer.

Unlike more traditional forms of dentist advertising, placing a dentist advertisement on Google allows you to control who can see your ads, meaning you only market to the people you are trying to attract to your practice.

 

You can select to market only in relevant geography. If you’re a dentist in Brooklyn, for example, you may choose to only market to Brooklyn, rather than all of New York City, depending on your specific goals

4. Place dentist ads on the highest value keywords.

One goal of search dental advertising is to reach patients who are ready to convert (book an appointment). The keywords that patients use when searching for care can show their intent of seeking dental care.

 

For example, a patient searching for [teeth whitening] might just be curious about the process and how it works. They may not be ready to book an appointment just yet.

 

However, patients searching for [affordable teeth whitening near me] are showing their intent to seek dental care soon. This may be a higher value keyword because it’s likely to generate more appointment requests. With paid dental advertising, you can rank specifically for these high-value terms.

5. Payment is tied to results.

Paid search advertising for dental practices works on a payment model called pay-per-click (PPC). This literally means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many people have seen your dental ads.

 

A lot of practices hesitate to spend money on dentist ads, but this pay model makes it a safe marketing investment.

 

Because your ad is targeted to those seeking your specific services, the chance that those clicks become booked appointments is higher than with other dental advertising strategies.

6. The return on investment is highly measurable.

With Google advertisements, you can see everything that’s tied to a click on your ad — from the person’s initial search query to what they did on your website, including whether they booked an appointment or if they called.

 

You can see which of your dental ads are working and which aren’t and calculate exactly what you’re getting in return for your investment.

7. It’s a consistent marketing investment for your practice.

Because you pay per click on your ad, it may feel like something that’s difficult to plan month-to-month. However, after some trial and error and figuring out which of your dental ads work best for you, this form of dental advertising becomes consistent over time and is something that you can plan for in your business.

 

8. You can change your budget at any time.

Paid dental advertising is a flexible form of advertising. You can adjust your budget or start or stop your dental ads at any time. Use online dental ads to serve your marketing needs on a budget and commitment that works best for your practice.

 

PatientPop provides dental practices with an all-in-one solution that helps them expand their web presence, boost their online reputation, and automate their front office.

 

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Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients?

Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 reasons why word-of-mouth marketing is not enough to grow your practice

1. Patients still conduct online research even after being referred

A referral might help you attract new patients, but that alone probably won’t seal the deal. Nearly all patients (91 percent) always or sometimes conducts additional research after receiving a referral from a healthcare provider, according to the 2018 Patient Access Journey Report conducted by Kyruus.

 

If your online reputation isn’t great — or is non-existent — people probably aren’t going to take the recommendation. With so much information readily available online for other providers, it’s easy for patients to find a doctor who meets their unique needs.

 

2. There is a limit to how many people word-of-mouth marketing can reach

Online reviews and your practice website can be accessed worldwide on a 24/7 basis. Word-of-mouth marketing has a much smaller reach, as it relies on the discourse between two people.

 

“There’s a limit to how many people you can access through your existing patients, and even if a patient refers me to a friend, that person will look for me online,” said PatientPop customer Dr. Nicole Mermet. “No matter how good your dentistry is, or how strong your staff is, or how well you run your business, you’re invisible if you don’t have a strong online presence.”

3. You’re not in control of the conversation

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of people make recommendations because of a great experience, according to the Chatter Matters report. This is a good thing, but even when patients rave about your practice, you don’t know what they’re saying.

 

Just because patients praise your practice, it doesn’t mean they’re speaking to an audience who requires your services. Even if they are, their recommendation might not include the information needed to convince the other person to give your practice a try. If they go online to learn more about your practice but don’t find anything, they might opt for your competition.

4. Growth can take a long time

When trying to figure out how to get new patients, growth is something you’d like to see sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately, you don’t know when referrals will be given or when recipients will need to use them.

 

Your practice might be referred by a patient today, but it could be months or even years before the other person actually makes an appointment. If you want to grow your practice now, this method might prove to be of little help.

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Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You?

Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patience is a virtue, but patients don’t always feel the need to practice it. And that makes sense; as more practices offer shorter wait times and more one-on-one time with the doctor, why would they want to put up with long patient wait times?

Attitudes towards patient wait times are changing

If you’ve worked in the healthcare field for quite a while, you’ve probably heard the term “healthcare consumerism.” While the term encompasses many different things, the big idea is that patients expect their healthcare experience to be more like a customer service experience.

 

This retail mindset means patients are no longer willing to put up with long wait times at the doctor’s office—just as they wouldn’t wait a half-hour in line at the store to buy an item.

Reasons for shifting patient attitudes

The truth is that patients have never enjoyed long wait times in the office. In many cases, they simply accepted it as the norm.

 

While some offices have always attempted to streamline processes, we all know that practices and hospitals have a reputation for scheduling appointments that rarely begin on time.

 

So what’s different now? Patients have become empowered to take control of the situation. They know that there are other options out there. And while they may not be able to turn back the clock and choose another office, they can prevent other people from making the same mistake.

Your reputation is on the line

Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor or hospital’s reputation was based solely on their professional merits? Of course, you strive to provide the best level of healthcare you can. But in this day and age, that’s not enough to earn a strong patient referral.

 

And patient referrals are not just limited to someone’s family and friends. A recent Vitals study showed that healthcare facilities with long wait times tend to receive much poorer reviews than those with shorter waits.

 

The highest reviewed practices had average wait times of 13 minutes, while those receiving low star ratings had wait times of 34 minutes.

Patient reviews have greater reach than ever before

90% of patients have researched a doctor or hospital before visiting. Chances are high that most of your patients have looked you up online. They may have been pleased with your reviews, or they may have decided you were worth a shot despite them—but after a visit, they could change their mind.

 

This fact is not just limited to primary care. Even patients who receive a referral from another doctor are likely to research that referral online. And if they don’t like what they see, they may seek out a second option.

Your competition is changing

Depending on your area of specialty, the competition surrounding your practice or hospital is likely a lot different than it was just 10 or 15 years ago.

 

Primary care doctors and some other specialties are competing with urgent care clinics, including those in retail locations like a CVS. Urgent care clinics now compete with telehealth apps on mobile devices.

 

If you want to keep patients in your practice or hospital, you have to create an experience of care that keeps them coming back and is competitive with these modern healthcare environments.

Losing a patient is expensive

According to Vitals, 30% of patients have simply left a doctor’s office because they were dissatisfied with the wait time.

 

In some cases, the cost of acquiring a new patient can be a couple hundred dollars—worth it when you consider the lifetime value of that patient, but not if you lose them!

 

And when one patient leaves, you miss out on the opportunity for several more patients. This includes their family and friends and, of course, several people reading your negative reviews.

What can you do to reduce the wait?

It may be time for an audit of your systems and processes. Think about what you could do to really streamline appointments and make sure everyone is in and out in as little time as possible. Could you…

  • Automate check-ins or keep these online?
  • Keep better estimates of the amount of time needed for certain times of appointments?
  • Text patients when you’re running behind and allow them the option to reschedule?

 

Best of all, listen to your patients and their needs. Even if you fall behind in scheduling, your patients will appreciate transparency and your willingness to fix the issues over time.

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How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way]

How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way] | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Even though patient reviews have a critical role to play in the success of your healthcare practice, they don't work in solitude. They are a conversation initiated by one of your patients that asks for your participation to present your side on the matter. You would provide the final viewpoint on the situation.

 

Not responding to a negative review will give the impression that you don’t listen to what your unhappy patients have to say and aren’t proactively addressing areas where you may be struggling. Whereas, not responding to positive reviews can make you look like you only care to address patients when there’s a damage to your reputation. In both cases, it will be your reputation that suffers.

 

When responding to your patients’ reviews, it’s important to comply with HIPAA regulations. HIPAA compliant review responses keeps you safe from any data privacy-related troubles. Data privacy is a big violation that can bring unnecessary financial and legal problems.

How to Respond to Negative Patient Reviews

Negative reviews are not always a bad thing. In fact, you need a few negative reviews from your patients. Replying to a few negative reviews appropriately can help draw attention toward your business’s positive qualities. Think of this concept as quality control.

 

When you see a negative review, don't immediately write a response. It's better to take a short break, analyze the situation, think of a strategy, and then write your response. Below are the “do’s and don’ts” of responding to negative reviews:

Do Not Even Think of Ignoring Them

When patients are irate, it’s natural for them to sound more dramatic while writing reviews. They’re upset and want the world to know about it. Take it with a grain of salt and never take it personally. However, do not ignore negative reviews.

According to a study, the majority (65%) of patients said that it's highly expected of doctors to respond to patient reviews. Responding shows that you take patient feedback seriously and are committed to improving the patient experience. The key here is to be understanding and sincere.

See if the Review Violates Terms and Conditions of the Website

Another thing to do before you respond is to check if the review is violating the terms and guidelines of the review website. If the review turns out to be objectionable, such as written by someone else, promotional in nature, sexually explicit, contains third-party names, harasses, abuses, or threatens to harm, etc., you can simply “flag” or “report” it. Let the review site know about it so they can investigate it and consider taking it down. Consider writing to the review site. However, remember that they are inundated with these requests and may not get back to you for weeks or months.

If the review is not objectionable and it correctly points out your fault, it's your responsibility to think of a strategy to respond to it.

Here's what you should keep in mind while responding to a negative patient review:

 

Examine the situation: Analyze the situation from all perspectives; the patient's point of view, the legal point of view, and the public point of view. After analysis, consider a professional HIPAA compliant response that not only solves your patient's concerns but also minimizes the damage to your reputation.

 

Begin with an apology: Even if you don't recognize your patient's claims, start your response with an apologetic and sympathetic tone. Next, explain your stance on the matter and let your patients know that you're serious about listening to their concerns. For example – “We are sorry to learn about your bad experience. However, this is not something that goes with our standards. Our representative will connect with you to learn more about it."

 

Passively market your service USPs: There is no harm in providing a little bit of extra information that explains what your patients usually experience. This will insert a little bit of marketing in your response to the bad review. For example – “We are normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark.”

 

Note: Don't include your practice name or relevant search terms, like category and location, in your response as it can make your negative patient review appear in the relevant search results.

 

  1. Keep it anonymous: Make sure that your team responding to patients' reviews is aware of the HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA requires providers to respond to patient reviews without disclosing the patient's identity and/or their personal health information; such as, but not limited to, phone number, email address, appointment dates or times, diagnosis or test results. Failure of HIPAA compliance can invite hefty fines and even court-related troubles.
  2. Offer to move the conversation offline: Provide contact information of someone at your practice whom unhappy patients can contact to discuss their problem in person. For example – "Hi! My name is [name], and I'm the [provider/practice manager] at our practice. If you'd like to discuss this further, please call me at [phone number] or email at [email address] during regular business hours."

How to Respond To Positive Patient Reviews

Just because positive reviews don't cause any trouble (if they are genuine), should you just sit on them and do nothing? Absolutely not. First, that would be like ignoring someone when they give you a compliment, and secondly, don't you think you should amplify the goodwill using those positive reviews? Obviously, yes! Also, it's a great way to spread positive messages about your brand’s online reputation!

The good news is there are a few best practices and guidelines to follow when it comes to positive reviews; these are very important to remember.

Here’s how to respond to positive patient reviews, the HIPAA compliant way:

  1. Start with 'thanks’: Just like you start off with an apology in case of a negative review, you should also thank your reviewer when they praise you. Example – “Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate you taking the time to share your great experience!"
  2. Keep it ambiguous: While thanking, don't use phrases like, "It was great to see you," or "Thank you for visiting the office." Such phrases sound more declaring or affirming and may be used against you for indirectly exposing the identity and actions of a patient.
  3. Boldly market your practice: Inserting your business name, category, location, and your service-related keywords may help these positive conversations, about your brand, appear in the relevant Google search results. For example – “The team here at [your practice name] are delighted to hear your feedback, and we're proud to be the most trusted [service category] provider in [location name].”

Tips to Get the Most Out of Positive Patient Reviews

  1. Amplify it on social media: You should amplify all positive reviews through social media. Try using a graphics tool like Canva or PicMonkey to create engaging graphics of your testimonials and share across social media. Make sure to cross-promote the testimonials on all social channels you’re active on. This is known as social proof.
  2. Promote it on your website: You can also create a separate testimonial page on your site and showcase positive patient reviews for promotion. Doing so will also help your page get better search engine rankings.

 

Note: To get the most out of positive patient reviews, you should strive to get more overall positive reviews.

 

Incentivizing reviews isn't a great option, it's not ethical, and most review sites don't approve of it. However, you can always ask and facilitate your patients to write reviews in an ethical manner.

Handling patient reviews requires time and effort and an understanding of the policies. It's one of the significant tasks under healthcare online reputation management.

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How to Ask For a Google Review

How to Ask For a Google Review | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to Ask for a Google Review: 6 Proven Techniques to Use

1. Email

A simple way to reach customers is in their inbox. By delivering a request for a Google review through email, you can easily layout the steps and provide simple links for the customer to do so. All they really need to do is open the email and write a review.

 

The obstacle you may encounter with this technique is cutting through the email inbox clutter. People receive massive amounts of emails per day, so make sure you use email marketing best practices to improve the open rate and click-through rate. Another way to make sure you’re practicing these techniques as effectively as possible is to have specific criteria customers should meet before you send out the email. A great way to figure out which customer is ready to leave a review and which is not is to calculate Net Promoter Scores.

Don’t make your customers hunt for your page to leave a review

Use the Google Review Link Generator. 

2. Social Media

To successfully collect reviews, show up where your customers are hanging out. This may require a bit of audience research. Come up with a list of social media platforms your customers use frequently. This list will probably include platforms Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Pinterest.

Online users respond to aesthetics. Try creating a well-designed, branded graphic that will catch your customers’ attention. You can post it to Facebook, Instagram stories, Snapchat, etc. The graphic can include steps for leaving a Google review to simplify the process.

3. Ask In-Person

A slightly different approach to take is requesting testimonials face-to-face. Depending on what type of business you run, you might have the opportunity to interact with your customers in person. This can provide a better gauge on whether or not they’re likely to leave you a good review. If they’ve been purchasing from you for a while, or you’ve maintained a strong relationship, this can be an effective strategy. You might say something along the lines of, “You really seem to be enjoying [product/service]. We’ve actually been working on building up our reviews on Google. Would you be open to leaving a review on [product/service]?” If they say yes, have an info card on hand such as the one you created for your social media accounts, that lists out how to do it and is easy for them to hang onto.

4. In-Store Kiosk

It can be difficult to get an in-store customer to take action online, but it can work with the right strategy. An in-store kiosk can be helpful here. By using kiosk mode, you can lock an iPad or another device to one app, so your customers can write a review right in the store if they choose.

5. CTA

Call-to-actions jump out at people on websites, in advertisements, and on landing pages. With the right and design, and the right copy these can be extremely effective. If you decide to run a testimonial campaign, including a CTA at different touchpoints in your website, social media platforms or digital advertisements may increase the likelihood of people writing Google reviews.

6. Boast

Finally, make use of tools available to you. Boast stores all testimonials in one easy-to-access location, and allows you to filter testimonials based on different factors. We’ve written several blog posts outlining different ways to identify people ready to write a review and how to collect more reviews. By using Boast’s automated processes, you can ask the right customers for Google reviews automatically and save time.

Google is an important part of every business in the Information Age, and you can use this essential tool to your advantage. Ask your loyal customers for Google reviews, and you might be surprised at how many are willing to vouch for you. With your good reputation on display, you can use Google and your customer’s loyalty to bring in more business.

 
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Are Paid or Fake Testimonials Illegal?

Are Paid or Fake Testimonials Illegal? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Are Fake Testimonials Illegal?

Yes.

Under 15 U.S. Code § 45, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the power to stop and penalize parties “using unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” This makes it a crime to break official rules imposed by the FTC. And the FTC forbids the use of fake testimonials.

 

Dozens of FTC documents explain the details of “misleading advertisements,” but it boils down to a simple Truth in Advertising statement; “When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading.” The FTC had made a number of guides explaining how truth in advertising works in different situations, but fake testimonials are actually illegal under Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45).

 

Fake testimonials are considered false or deceptive advertising—and therefore against the law—for several reasons. First, they are not based on a real customer’s experience, which a testimonial must be. Second, it misleads the customer. Claiming a happy customer exists when the don’t is misleading in itself, but whatever the fake testimonial claims are also misleading. Third, it encourages customers to spend money on a product or service they otherwise might not, thereby financially defrauding the customer, which is an especially notable offense for the FTC.

 

How Do I Get My First Testimonials?

Many businesses use fake testimonials when they don’t have any of their own, often when they’re new. This is a crime, it’s deceptive to customers, unfair to competitors, exposes you to liability, and it’s bad for your reputation. So what can you do instead?

 

A System to Get Your First Testimonials
Get the free testimonial request toolkit

  • If you have a new product, try getting your first testimonials before you launch. Talk to your first product testers. These people helped you make the product great, and their input can help convince other customers too. Since you’re giving these people the product for free, make sure you disclose this.
  • If you have a new business, get your first testimonials with your grand opening event. Set up a kiosk, hand out surveys, conduct a contest or giveaway, or simply ask your first visitors to share their experience. A testimonial collection tool like Boast makes it easy to capture testimonials at your grand opening using a laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • If you’re combating bad testimonials or reviews, show that you have fixed the problem and demonstrate it. If you have a business, hold a celebratory event and capture testimonials there. If you sell a product, give away some free samples, but make sure you’re following the rules of honest testimonials. Appeal to your existing customers in an email or social media campaign.
  • Remember that not all bad testimonials are bad news. Companies with 100% glowing reviews make customers suspicious. A few critical comments will show that you are not using fake testimonials or deceptive advertising.

Are Paid Testimonials Illegal?

Yes, with some exceptions.

Many of the same laws which make fake testimonials illegal also make paid testimonials illegal. There are some differences, however, since paid testimonials can be based on real customer experiences.

The FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising” address how 15 U.S.C. 45 applies to testimonials, including paid testimonials. These guides and others lay out legal (and illegal) practices for testimonials or reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Business Reviewsand others, as well as any testimonials you use in advertisements, on your website or elsewhere.

According to these guides, legal testimonials must adhere to all of the following;

  • Made by a real customer or user of the product or service
  • Based on a real user’s experience
  • Be an accurate description of expected or normal results
  • Not influenced by money, gifts, or publicity unless it is clearly disclosed
  • Not influenced by a familiar or business relationship (such as employer-employee)
  • Not edited or altered so to change the message

This means paid testimonials are illegal unless; the company or person giving the testimonials clearly states they are being paid and the statement is still true and accurate. The FTC also makes it clear that gifts such as a free trial of the product or service, a gift card, a giveaway, or any other incentive are a “material relationship” that must be disclosed.

While the FTC makes some exceptions for true testimonials that disclose payment, many review sites take a harder stance against this practice. Amazon, for example, does not allow any type of paid reviews. Both the business and the reviewer can be banned from the site for taking part. Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and others all have strict “no paid testimonials allowed” policies. This includes free products and discounts as well!

How Do I Get Customers to Leave Reviews?

Getting a customer to take time out of their day to leave a review can be tough. Customers have a lot of demands on their time, so how can you compete without a payment?

  • Go above and beyond. If you truly deliver an exceptional customer service experience and then ask for a testimonial, many customers will oblige.
  • Forge a relationship. Find out what your customers care about and give it to them. Are they looking for a company with good ethics? Someone with knowledgeable experts? Personal service? Delightful ambiance? The customers that repeatedly buy, visit, or work with you for a long time are the customers that support you and will give testimonials.
  • Make it easy. Make your customers as comfortable as possible giving reviews. Provide question prompts so they don’t have to search for something to say. Allow them to share a testimonial with just a few clicks.
  • Ask at the right time. When a customer comes in for an appointment or a regular visit, ask if they have a minute to share their thoughts. Or, if an online purchase was completed, ask for a testimonial when you ask how their experience was.
  • Be sincere. While paid and fake testimonials rely on deception, real testimonials allow you to just be yourself. Tell the customer what you think of your relationship and why their public approval is important to you.
  • Have a system and a plan. Testimonials don’t just happen, you have to ask for them. Have a plan and system for gathering and managing testimonials, such as an automated email campaign, an in-person script, or a video app like Boast.

How Illegal Are Paid or Fake Testimonials?

So paid and fake testimonials are against the law, but just how illegal are they? What’s the punishment?

Thousands or millions of dollars in penalties and civil suits.

Each FTC violation is subject to a $10,000 penalty under 15 U.S.C. 45. And it doesn’t stop there; there’s also a fine of $41,484 each day a deceptive ad runs. For many big corporations, this might not be enough to stop paid or fake testimonials. The FTC can and has filed civil actions against larger businesses with judgments in the millions of dollars. The more widespread, deliberate, misleading or damaging a deceptive ad is, the bigger the civil case will be. The FTC can also order businesses to admit to and correct deception, or return money to consumers they deceived. In 2016, Volkswagen had to pay out $10 billion from a false advertising campaign. Though this was due to false product claims and not fake testimonials, it’s a severe demonstration of the litigating power of the Commission.

Besides being against the law, businesses who host reviews and testimonials are also fed up. They’ve changed their terms of service agreements to stop incentivized reviews altogether, and they’ll remove or flag reviewers or businesses who violate the agreements. Amazon sued over 1,000 offending businesses, reviewers and sites in 2015. Yelp did the same, bringing offending companies and reviewers to court for fraud.

Will I Get Caught?

Paid and fake testimonials are illegal, and they can carry harsh penalties. But some business owners still ask; will I get caught?

Most likely, yes.

The FTC’s blog is filled with hundreds of cases they’ve brought against small and large businesses. Big businesses like Volkswagen, small B2C trampoline sellers, B2B freight brokers, marketing companies and many more have all been caught using paid reviews or fake testimonials to deceive consumers, and they’ve paid thousands, even millions of dollars. And there are likely many other cases that don’t make it to the blog.

Many of these cases are first brought to the FTC’s attention by suspicious or angry customers, competitors, third-party websites, consumer protection groups, or local governments. Regional FTC offices and investigators address complaints and sometimes work with local law enforcement or district attorneys to stop deceptive practices on a local level. Third-party sites simply follow users’ trails to track down fraudsters and file civil suits against them or create an automated screening process to prevent fake testimonials.

Customers have also taken notice of paid and fake reviews. Several plugins and apps now exist that will point out fake reviews as customers shop online. These plugins take note of generic terms, grammar mistakes or other common red flags that aren’t present in real, trustworthy reviews.

In essence, if it’s making a difference in customers’ minds, the FTC, other websites, or other customers will notice. And if it’s not making a difference, is it worth putting your reputation on the line for?

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Fight, Flight or Listen: Dealing with Physician Reviews & Negative Comments

Fight, Flight or Listen: Dealing with Physician Reviews & Negative Comments | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Perhaps you’ve followed the Taco Bell (“Of Course We Use Real Beef“) PR brouhaha, or you recall the PR catastrophe for BP regarding last year’s gulf oil spill.

 

Admittedly these are big business issues at the tip of the PR disaster sword. The media has a field day, and it’s a spectator sport for the general public. Professionally, let’s hope that your healthcare marketing and public relations experience never suffers this kind of global flack.

 

But these corporate calamities hold useful lessons for physicians, group practices, hospitals and other healthcare providers. What the giant corporations do (or don’t do) can transfer to something as common as physician reviews and negative patient comments.

 

Straight from the news pages, here are three PR textbook examples and how they might be useful where you live:

 

The FIGHT Response: In response to a much-publicized class action lawsuit, Taco Bell is out with vehement denials and a series of new advertisements titled: Thank You for Suing Us. While it’s commonplace to quickly embrace and repeat compliments, a common reaction to negative comments by patients is to discount or deny them as uninformed and/or incorrect. Some, perhaps most, situations require a response, but an angry, defensive or “come-out-swinging” answer can more easily aggravate a situation than disarm it.

 

The FLIGHT Response: For reasons that are self-evident, we can’t link to an illustration on this one. Remaining silent–the opposite of FIGHT—is seldom heard. Call it the “ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away” approach. And while minor things sometimes do seem to disappear, healthcare Public Relations pros and marketing communications executives recognize that there can be a serious downside in silence. The “no-response-response can be seen as stonewalling or even an admission or agreement. The patient issue or comment is still out there.

 

The LISTEN Response: Hopefully the patient-physician communications channels are wide open and so that patient issues or experiences can be discussed, addressed and resolved before they blossom into a negative online review or word-of-(bad)mouth comment.

 

A real world illustration of listening and acting—one that didn’t make as many headlines as Taco Bell—is this article by Los Angeles Otolaryngologist John W. House: How Online Reviews Can Help a Physician. It can be surprising how effective it is to listen to, and learn from, patient issues and to actively resolve an issue of concern.

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10 Commandments of Online Reputation Management for Physicians

10 Commandments of Online Reputation Management for Physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Across the board, reputation is an ever-present ingredient in health care marketing.

 

Informed and empowered consumer/patients do their homework, researching symptoms, medical conditions and hospitals. From branding to public relations (and everything in between), a physician’s reputation is a key component and influence factor.

 

And as many as 8 out of ten people will look online for information about individual doctors. And all of that happens long before they make an appointment…and what they find—positive, negative, neutral or nothing at all—influences their decision to call or not to call.

 

Perception is the reality: Who you are online is who you are to most people.

 

Many doctors fail to appreciate that their reputations extend far beyond their immediate circle of professional colleagues and current patients. In fact, far more people—the consumer public, prospective patients and many other physicians—know you first (and sometimes exclusively) by your online reputation.

 

It is the “management” side of Reputation Management that is most often neglected.

 

A physician carefully stacks the familiar building blocks, carefully aligning data points that include education, training, experience, academic papers, presentations, recognitions, etc.—all the stuff that fills a multi-page Curriculum Vitae (CV). And for the sake of conversation, let’s assume the CV is “sterling,” and the provider is a skilled communicator, has a caring “bedside manner,” and is trusted, well-know and well-liked by close colleagues, staff and patients. All good stuff.

 

The First 10 Rules. (What would you add to this list?)

 

Although there’s very little cost involved, the Internet has many facets and reputation management requires a systematic commitment of time and effort. (You may want some professional help, particularly to get things going at the outset.) Here are some of the essential concepts for effectively managing your online status:

 

Your reputation lives in two places: online and in-person. Pay attention to both daily. Few things have a higher priority for doctors…concern for their professional reputation is hard earned and constantly protected in their daily work. Physicians need no reminder of the “in-person” part. But the “online” part—which is often out-of-sight-out-of-mind—deserves equal concern and attention.


What’s online can hurt you and it can help you. The Internet is the home of “digital word-of-mouth.” Comments—either good or bad—tend to be seen as a form of endorsement, crowd sourcing, or social proof. Patient recommendations and testimonials can, and often do, significantly influence the decision process and provider selection of other patients.


The Internet never forgets. Never. It’s frustrating to think that user-generated comments often remain online (and available) even when they are incorrect, inaccurate, and often undated. Because things are “continuously available” online is further reason to keep your figurative stethoscope on this vital sign.


Proactively work your online presence at least once per week. It’s just good business sense to see yourself as other see you. Carefully examine these primary (and slightly overlapping) information arenas…


Search Engine Results – use a variety of keywords and search with Google, Bing, Yahoo! Search, Ask, Aol Search and others. Pay particular attention to listings or results that have a community connection.

 

Local Directory Listings – regularly check “find a doctor” sources with online Yellow Pages/SuperPages, business listings, insurance-provider lists, hospital databases, Google Plus pages, community, “area connect” or “city search” directories, medical society listings and the like.

 

Social Media – Primarily your own faces such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. Keep your own material fresh and engaging, and don’t overlook mentions that might appear in the social media platforms of others (such as discussion groups, events, blogs, etc.)

 

Physician Rating and Review Sites – Compile a list (and check each listing regularly) of online listings. A 2011 study of 4,999 online physician rating sites identified these 10 as the most commonly visited sites with user-generated content: HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, YP.com, RevolutionHealth.com, RateMD.com, Angieslist.com, Checkbook.org, Kudzu.com, and ZocDoc.com. (That leaves only 4,989 others.)

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Five Online Reputation Management Strategies for Physicians 

Five Online Reputation Management Strategies for Physicians  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Many healthcare executives are opening their eyes to the new ways prospective patients are searching for physicians. Almost half of consumers surveyed in 2014 believe reputation is the leading factor when selecting a doctor or a dentist. It is likely those numbers will continue to rise.

 

As more and more information about physicians becomes available online and big digital health companies compete to list doctors, consumers will gravitate to the most information-rich channel. So how can a busy doctor navigate the waters of online reputation, while focusing on providing top quality care to patients?

 

Here are five online reputation management strategies that are yielding results for successful physicians.

 

Embrace online ratings and reviews

While many physicians aren't fans of online reviews, these websites are here to stay. That's because more and more consumers are heading to ratings sites to compare healthcare providers and post reviews about their experiences.

A 2014 survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that of consumers who parsed through online reviews, 35 percent of respondents would select a physician based on positive reviews, while 37 percent avoided doctors with negative reviews.

 

Consumers use both healthcare-specific ratings sites — think Healthgrades and RateMD's —and general consumer sites like Yelp and CitySearch. The best way to catch a consumer’s eye online is to have a large volume of positive reviews across multiple ratings sites.

 

So how do you get more reviews?

 

Ask patients to rate you

Now that you've seen the power of ratings sites in affecting online reputation, how can you get more reviews? Just ask.

If you're not sure how to ask patients to rate you, here are a few suggestions:

 

• Hand a card to the patient with the urls listed for key consumer ratings sites and ask them to rate you

• Add a clickable link for key sites to your email signature and website.

• Send patients a snail mail letter with urls of popular ratings sites.

• Keep a tablet at the front desk and ask patients to post a review before leaving your office.

• Send an email request using your auto-responder.

• Create a short video with step-by-step instructions.

Try out multiple strategies to gauge those that work best for your practice, and then focus on the most important thing. Consistency. That means finding a way to ask every patient to rate you online.

You want to see new reviews every week if possible, building up your total volume, and diluting the strength of negative comments.

 

Take full advantage of online profiles

Another way to beef up your reputation is by completing online profiles on sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, and RateMDs. As many patients search for physicians by name, you'll want a mix of different types of search results, including content you provide.

 

One site many physicians are using is called Doximity, sometimes billed as the LinkedIn for doctors. This is a physician to physician site that can be useful in building relationships with referring doctors.  Consumer sites, such as Vitals, allow you to claim your professional profile and add information about education, specialties, and expertise.

 

Don't ignore angry patients

The first rule is treat every patient well. However, sometimes service may not be up to the patient’s standard. Or a patient or family member is simply unhappy with some aspect of treatment. Like any business, you won't please everyone.

 

But consider how you'll respond when a patient posts a negative or angry review.

 

You don't want to discuss any aspect of a patient's case in online statements, leading to potential HIPAA violations. This means you can't answer someone posting anonymously, but depending on the severity of the negative comment, you may or may not want to respond directly.

 

Some online review sites — RateMD's is one — allow you to respond to a negative review. Crafting a response acknowledging a problem can show prospective patients that you are serious about providing a positive experience.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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How Online Reputation Management Helps Your Practice Growth 

How Online Reputation Management Helps Your Practice Growth  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The first month of a new year is all about creating new strategies for your practice in 2018. From an informative website to strengthening your presence on a social media platform that allows your target audience search you on Google or other search engines. In addition to SEO, it’s the practice reviews that are floating everywhere on the Google and establishing your online reputation. Today, in the world of the Internet, your practice’s growth is at the stake of your online reputation, so you need to get your practice displayed in the most pristine way.

 

Online reputation acts as the decision-influencer of a patient’s journey. 90% people say their decisions were influenced by the positive reviews. The Internet world affects purchase decisions of around 85% of consumers.

 

Online reputation management might seem to be a daunting task because of the numerous review sites and the active, positive or negative response of patients on your practice. And you just can’t ignore them. Let’s check the benefits of strong online reputation.

Building trust

Since online reputation is considered as a personal recommendation by many, it results in building the higher trust of patients in your practice. The number of positive reviews you have is directly proportional to the number of followers you get on your practice. Irrespective of the size of your practice, people want to know about your services before making a physical visit to your clinic. People wholeheartedly trust positive reviews.

Growing profitability

Profitability and trust go hand-in-hand. When a patient, searches online for a treatment offered by your practice and comes across your competitor who ranks higher on various review sites, then you are likely to lose them. So, aim to get a number of positive reviews on all review platforms. People read not more than 10 reviews before visiting a practice.

To maintain the reputation of your practice you are required to deal with conflicts, i.e. responding to negative reviews. Replying to negative feedback should be in real-time to show your concern for your patients but with a calm mind. This act is admired by reviewers and can convert the disappointed patients into happy ones. For effective relationship building, you should learn how to respond to negative feedbacks. This builds your online reputation. The leads and revenue of your practice are directly impacted by the way people perceive your practice.

Some other direct and indirect benefits of online reputation management

– Strong reputation creates a great impression of your practice for existing and new patients. This way you can identify the key touch points for your patients and build sustainable relationships.

– With effective online reputation management strategy, you can showcase the services offered by your practice and how you are better than your competitors.

– You can even win over your cold visitors and turn them into your patients with your good online reputation that will grow their trust in your services.

– With the help of good online reputation, you can display your thought leader personality to the world and influence them. This is an effective way to leverage your image over the competitors and grow your practice exponentially as you end up having free media coverage.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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