If we take a glimpse at the past, physicians were at the center of controlling their image and reputation. But, with the explosive emergence of real time communication, social media, and the heightened empowerment of consumers, this control has shifted. Presently, real time communication has now led consumers to instantly review, reflect, and report their opinions and reactions. This social speed will only continue to increase the consumer’s expectations for healthcare services. In the future, it is projected that online rating and grading sites will either make or break a physician’s reputation. This is an alarming dilemma that physicians are now faced with. The key to successfully deal with this paradigm shift is to strategically plan and execute a reputation management program.
Taking a proactive and positive approach will assist a practice/physician to deal with their online presence and embrace opportunities to engage in social media to grow their practice.
Implementing a program can be done in increments. There are numerous tactics that can be utilized with each phase as part of the program that will help to communicate, educate, develop relationships, and ultimately grow a practice.
- LISTEN – Actively monitor and capture conversations to understand the perception.
- PARTICIPATE – Proactively post and publish content on social media platforms as a one-way conversation.
- ENGAGE – Actively interact with conversations.
Do not hesitate to embrace reputation management, as it has become a necessity for any practicing physician to monitor their online reputation and prevent any negative effect to the bottom line of their practice.