In today’s digital world, online marketing and online reputation management are critical for marketing success. The problem is that anyone can build a website or create a blog and position themselves as an “expert” regardless of their credentials – or lack thereof. This makes it difficult for consumers to filter through the junk and find a credible expert when looking for one online.
This is just one of the many reasons that building a solid reputation and fostering a sense of trust online is a difficult process for dentists, but it can be accomplished. As increasing numbers of patients rely on the Internet when researching health care options, consumer review websites are becoming a widely used resource. Sites such as Yelp!, Google+ and Healthgrades.com, among others, can help dentists enhance their online presence and come across as legitimate and trustworthy oral health care providers.
Authenticity is Paramount
Trust is hard to foster but is easily broken, and never has this been more true than online. Transparency is key with online reviews so here are a few rules that should never be broken.
First, the dentist nor any member of the team should ever, under any circumstances, publish a review on a third-party website on behalf of a patient. The reviews must be posted by patients themselves, and it is best to have them do so using their own devices and their own IP addresses.
Second, increasing the number of patient reviews online should be done on an ongoing and consistent basis. Often dentists enthusiastically embark on a mission to get more reviews online for a week or two, asking patients to leave their comments. Internet users are savvy, and having a cluster of reviews posted during a short timeframe can come across as artificial.
A better practice is to build a habit of the dentist and team members to ask consistently over time, regularly encouraging patients to leave a positive review online. Amassing a number of patient reviews slowly and steadily – say 1-2 reviews per month for 12 months – not only appears more authentic but also insulates the practice from the potential impact of any negative reviews in the future.
by Naomi Cooper – President, Minoa Marketing & Chief Marketing Consultant, Pride Institute
Naomi Cooper is President & Founder of Minoa Marketing and Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute. She is a respected dental marketing strategist, consultant, author, speaker and industry opinion leader. Naomi teaches Pride’s groundbreaking marketing courses and works with individual dentists to craft and implement a customized modern marketing plan. She also consults for leading companies across the dental industry, developing a cohesive marketing approach and creating momentum for their marketing efforts aimed at the dental profession and the dental consumer. Naomi holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and a Certificate in Business Management. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she blogs regularly at www.minoamarketing.com. For regular updates from Naomi, including dental marketing & social media tips & tricks, follow her on Twitter or “Like” Naomi Cooper – Minoa Marketing on Facebook at www.fb.com/minoamarketing.