It is possible that you could be destroying your online reputation without even knowing it. In the world we live in today, your online reputation is what defines you both as a business and as a professional. Simply ignoring this fact could potentially put in jeopardy the professional life that you have worked so hard to build. Branding is an important component in setting yourself apart from your competition. The key is knowing how to effectively protect and manage your online brand.
Your online reputation is your brand
For practitioners and providers, a brand is usually the reputation of facilitators, specialists and individual doctors. Their livelihoods are more valuable than large institutions or hospitals when their online reputations are threatened in rating sites, news reports, chat rooms and forums.
Your online reputation can be ruined in minutes
It only takes several bad blogs, posts or comments to destroy a reputation that you have spent many years creating. Nowadays, people rely on the Internet as a means to find doctors. This is especially true for people who do not go to a doctor on a regular basis. This makes it important for facilitators and doctors to manage their online brands and reputations effectively. Even though a doctor with a small practice may not have the manpower or financial resources that large companies have to deal with bad reviews, they still must do their best to make sure only truthful reviews are posted.
Manage, watch and build your online reputation
Do a search of the Internet and thoroughly review all of the information that is floating around in cyberspace about you and your business. Could any of this information be potentially harmful to you? Is this the information that you want out there when people are searching for you or the specialty that you provide? Is all of the information about you correct and true?
Online reputation management means you need to constantly monitor the conversations that others are having concerning you. It also means using online marketing experts and social media to promote your brand in a way that will attract as many potential customers as possible. Here are the steps to do that:
1. Find your reputation online
You can search your online reputation by using Google. Doctors who are not Internet-savvy can us Google alerts to be notified of any blogs or news that pertain to them. It would also be a good idea to monitor Twitter.
2. Create the profile you want people to see
Once you have discovered where people are talking about your brand, you will need to build your brand profile on those specific sites. Having an effective presence in social media means much more than just having a Twitter or Facebook account. Building a reputation with doctor portals such as ZocDoc will greatly increase a potential patient’s perception of you and your brand.
3. Manage your online reputation and what it says about you
Since you have now established a profile of your own, and can easily read what people are saying about you, it would be wise to manage what people say about your brand.
Reply to reviews and comments about your brand. Respond in a thoughtful way to negative reviews. It is never a good idea to argue online, as this will only serve to make you look bad.
4. Protect your reputation and brand when you are under attack
Since you will not always be able to please everyone, react quickly to slow down a negative comment before it gets out of control. The faster the flames of a bad review are extinguished, the better. Keep in mind who is making the negative comment. If it is just a troll, don’t even waste your time on them. If there is a mistake, do your best to correct it so that the public has access to the truth. Present your facts in a way that is straightforward. Try to avoid preaching to the readers. You will lose them very quickly if you do this.
If the problem is severe, you can always take legal action. However, this should only be done if all other attempts to resolve the matter have failed. The hiring of a person who is experienced in public relations can often help in solving any unresolved issues.