Category: Author: Megan
Just like location (location, location) is key to success in real estate, reputation management is paramount to running a successful dental practice.
It’s hard to have a successful practice, or gain positive recognition, with a bad reputation. That’s why establishing, controlling, and maintaining your online reputation should be a part of your marketing strategy. Managing your online reputation is something that you need to do actively and consistently. Here are five reputation management basics that’ll set you up for success.
1. Establish your online identity
Establish who you are and what your practice is about. Potential patients want to familiarize themselves with you before booking an appointment; while current patients want to get to know you better. Remember to analyze your strengths and weaknesses, consider customer feedback and implement changes as your practice changes.
If someone other than you is running your online presence be very clear about your goals and expectations. Don’t let posts, comments, online users or employees shape your brand into something that it’s not. If you create an accurate and strong online identity, it’ll be hard for your followers to misinterpret who you are.
2. Add new, relevant content to your website, blog and social media accounts often
This is a win-win. Featuring recent accomplishments on your website or using social media to show off your expertise, personality and patient reviews does a few things. It creates positive attention AND fuels Google to showcase your recent activity in search engine results.
New content also allows you to better connect with potential and current patients. Showing up favorably in search results and creating a strong presence helps you to acquire that lifetime value of gaining new patients while at the same time causes existing patients to spend more money with your practice in the future.
If you’re not posting new content because you’re feeling uninspired the Internet is full of ideas for dental practices that need some content inspiration. Contests, promotions, current charity work, photos of patients and videos of funny office shenanigans are all good places to start.
3. Monitor reviews and respond
Online reviews promote customer confidence. We always encourage our clients to focus on getting reviews. Don’t know how? Ask your clients to leave a review while they’re checking out.
Of course, there are the potential clients who only read the bad reviews (admit it, we all love the drama) when considering a new practice. Having a strategy in place for responding to a bad review avoids the loss of these potential patients while also providing an avenue for patching things up with the patient who left the bad review. Often reviewers go back and comment on their post that they were helped or their concerns were heard—if you’re really lucky they may even add a star or two. Addressing issues that come up online will add credit to your reputation and show that you care about your patients’ needs.
4. Remove content that doesn’t align with your goals
Irrelevant content that doesn’t align with your goals is wasted time and effort. It also harms the online image you’re working so hard to develop.
For example, if you own a high end dental office and want to maintain a sophisticated image, maintain a level of decorum in your posts. Heed your Mom’s advice and avoid abbreviations, slangs and misspellings, even if the other kids are doing it. Who wants to have their smile made over by someone who just posted “I mean right? LOL L8ter peeps! G2G #smilemakeovertime” on Instagram. Also—not that you asked—but in my opinion this type of speak should be banned everywhere.
Keep your platforms and image consistent and you won’t confuse patients with contradictory messages.
5. Live the reputation you want your patients to know you by
The Internet sees all and it can easily turn into judge, jury, and executioner. Like garlic breath, your reputation follows you everywhere. Before posting something on either your business or private accounts, consider the consequences. How will people respond to what you’re posting? Does this add value for my personal or professional brand?
London Luton Airport learned the hard way when they made an inappropriate joke featuring a Chicago plane crash in which a small child died. This was a horrible judgment call and the company was bombarded with negative comments. All this could have all been avoided had someone on the team sought the advice of those around them or took a moment to think about what they were actually promoting.
A good reputation management plan is key to recruiting new patients
I’m a fan of over-delivering, so I’ll give you one more bit of advice. If you’ve made an online blunder, the addition of new, positive content will push the content down in search results and minimize the error over time. It’s hard to build your positive reputation and easy for it to tumble down, but a positive online reputation is the best FREE lead generator if done right.