Medical Marketing Orlando

When Your Reputation

Precedes You

Four Steps for Online Reputation Management for Physicians and their Practices

By: Paula Wyatt -as seen in Orlando Medical News

It is true in healthcare, in life, and in business that a milligram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure. In the healthcare industry, more so than in most others, your reputation does in fact precede you—it defines you. As a physician, your reputation is built not only on the positive outcomes you provide for your patients but also on the strength of the bonds you build with patients through positive experiences, and then through their enthusiasm to share their experience, whether it be perceived as positive or negative. Your reputation is further illustrated through the dynamics of your staff, your alliances with referring physicians, and your reputation among other health-care industry professionals.

Who is Leading the Online Conversation About YOU? 

The term “word of mouth” was coined before we had keyboards. Now, it is easier than ever, with the “stroke of a key,” to praise or hurt a physician’s reputation. Everyone gets to vote. In comparing a one-star “my pasta was cold” review that a restaurant might receive to a one-star “this doctor and his entire office are incompetent” review a medical practice might receive, it is clear that both reviews take about the same amount of time to create but have vastly different impacts.

Within the combination of tactics are some that you can control (such as website, social media, email marketing, and outreach efforts) and some that you cannot (such as word of mouth and online reviews). A strong MCS helps you and your staff excel in the things you can control and manage well the things you cannot.

This is great news—if you choose to leverage this opportunity to grow your practice. Elevating your online footprint (reputation) is a central part of a comprehensive medical marketing and communication strategy (MCS). Your MCS defines and illustrates your values and commitments (to your patients, your practice, and your team), and it establishes a plan (tactics, timelines, and processes outlining how you are elevating your unique specialties and distinctive approaches to enforce your reputation among your patients, your potential patients, and your health-care peers and affiliates).

If you do not currently have an MCS fueling the growth and ensuring the harmony of your practice, you are not alone. In my experience working with physicians to grow their practices, I would say less than 20 percent have an MCS, and of those who do not most are not even considering it, which makes having an MCS a clear competitive advantage. Developing a strong MCS involves integrating long-term financial goals with situational analysis, understanding your patient profiles, evaluating referral paths, and developing your “products” (procedures, treatments, and specialties) as well as tying it all together with an ROI reporting mechanism.

 

If you are like almost every physician that I know, you are busy—so I am offering you an EASY FIRST Step to Defining a Growth Strategy for your Practice - Conducting An Annual Reputation Refresh. Investing time in conducting an Annual Reputation Refresh will polish all the “word-of-mouth” outlets floating around on the internet and ensure you are leading the online conversation “about YOU.”

An Easy FIRST Step to Defining A Growth Strategy for Your Practice

DO IT YOURSELF - Conducting Your Annual Reputation Refresh

An easy first step to Defining a Growth Strategy for your Practice is to conduct an Annual Reputation Refresh.  Investing time in conducting an Annual Reputation Refresh will polish all the “word-of-mouth” outlets floating around on the internet and ensure you are leading the online conversation “about YOU.”    You can hire a marketing and communications expert or you can do-it-yourself and here is how.

Step One—Storytelling 

  • Pretend you are not you. Clear your Google browsing data, and then search (your name and your practice) 10 pages deep on Google (94 percent of US searches happen on Google).

  • Within these pages, copy the links of all the places you appear. Also, remember to search Google images, videos, and news.

  • Create or refresh the story of your practice (300 or fewer words).

  • Create or refresh short and engaging bios for yourself (and all physicians in your practice).

  • Refresh your headshots, group shots, and casual images, for website and social media.

  • Make a list of your affiliations, such as hospitals, universities, and medical organizations, and integrate them into your website and social media pages.

  • Align yourself with one or two charitable causes that pertain to your areas of expertise and passion.

Reputation Management for Physicians.png

Step Three—Google Listing

  • Take ownership of your Google Business Page. Take ownership of your name and your practice.

  • Claim your map listing for all your locations and for each physician.

  • Make a list of your top 50 key search terms

  • Of all the reviews people can leave online, Google reviews are the easiest to use. Above all, monitor these (this is done through ownership of your GBP).

  • Create a Google QR Review Campaign offering patients a link at checkout. Browse the resource page. Answer three questions, and I will email you a customized and complimentary countertop Google Review Sign.

Step Four—Aligning Social Media

  • Ensure your social “about” sections are enforcing the same story you are sharing on your website.

  • Update your profiles, images, hours, and links.

  • List all social channels with sign-in information.

  • Eliminate those you do not use. It is best to focus on doing one or two well, rather than trying to keep up with all of them.

  • Check the status of your business and personal accounts. Business is the way to go. But if you are looking to “brand” yourself as an expert outside of the practice, there are some other options to consider.

  • Build a content calendar that plans your key topics for the year. Ideas for content can be sharing your expertise, national diseases awareness days, patient experience images, and key information about your areas of specialty.

Step Two—Physician Review Sites

  • From your search in step one, you have a list of online references, and many will be physician review sites. Of the many physician review sites, I suggest owning at least the top five (Vitals, Healthgrades, ZOCDOC, RateMDs, and doctor.com). Depending on the site, you can establish a free account. You may also consider the benefits of a paid membership on a few.

  • View each referral source, and update images, bios, links, hours, and information.

  • Consider the pros and cons of establishing a Yelp account (is your competition there?).

  • Create a monitoring schedule and a reporting mechanism to track profiles, reviews, and ratings.

  • Address negative reviews with the patient directly when possible and ask them to update the review.

  • Address erroneous reviews left by someone other than a patient or for another physician (by mistake) with the physician review site (the appeal process takes a while but stay with it).

So, there you go! These are the four steps to conducting your Annual Reputation Refresh. Remember to assign someone to monitor it throughout the year on a schedule that makes sense for you. If you are managing it yourself, maybe you monitor it annually. If you have a staff member managing it, try for monthly or quarterly. And, if you hire a contractor, they will likely being looking at it daily.

Paula Wyatt - Anything is Posh Able Medi

About the Author 

Paula Wyatt is excited about helping you grow your medical practice through the development of impactful Marketing and Communication Strategies. Paula is a native Floridian, passionate about Orlando. Living up to her title as Chief Excitement Officer at Anything is Posh Able, she runs a boutique Image Building and Event Planning firm. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization called Posh Abilities, providing free event planning and image-building services to Central Florida nonprofit organizations.