Guest Blog: Cultivating Online Trust


This week, Naomi Cooper, President of Minoa Marketing and Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute, wrote a guest blog about reputation management. A respected industry opinion leader, consultant, author and speaker, Naomi works one-on-one with dentists and specialists who are looking to assess their current social media and marketing plans to develop a cohesive marketing approach.

Reputation Management: Fostering a Sense of Trust Online

Trust. It’s that thing that is hard-won and easily lost. And building trust online is just as hard as it is offline. Maybe even harder. It seems like anyone can have a website, so how do you differentiate your practice website and your practice as a trustworthy dental care provider? Here are a few ideas to help you build your online presence so that it is accurately portraying your practice at all times:

– Where to begin: Building a cohesive online presence involves your practice website as well as your online profiles (social media and consumer review sites). Your practice website should be updated and contain links to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media profiles. If you have a blog, be sure to feature it on your site. Likewise, on any website where your practice has a profile, be sure to have all current contact information clearly visible and provide links to your website and blog.

– Engagement is the name of the game! If a customer or a colleague posts something on your Facebook page, for instance, acknowledge it. Just as in offline social interactions, you have to give in order to receive, and it is considered rude to just ignore another person. Acknowledgment is especially important in handling customer reviews, especially negative ones. It can be a daunting task to respond to an unhappy patient, but change your frame of mind to view it as an opportunity to right a wrong. It will speak volumes not only to that particular patient, but also to the other potential patients who might read the exchange.

– Position yourself as an expert: Like/Follow other industry leaders, share articles from trade publications, provide interesting/informed commentary on others’ postings.

– Create a page within your practice’s website containing a library of articles you’ve published. If you haven’t been published, create a library/resource page of links to helpful articles of interest to your patients.

Continually posting/engaging online will build trust. It doesn’t come across as a good thing if you post everyday for 2 weeks, and then don’t post again for 3 months. Even just once a week is better than sporadic.

These are just a sampling of ideas on how you can build trust among both current and potential patients online. It is not an easy task, and it does not happen overnight, but creating a strong online presence will help create a powerful momentum for your practice, both online and off.

What challenges have you faced in online reputation management, and how have you resolved them? What would you add to this list? Please share your comments and experiences.

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