- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On October 12, 2015
- Online reputation management
Reputation management is a hot topic in healthcare right now. A number of health systems have taken matters into their own hands and published physician reviews on their websites, but that tactic doesn’t entirely remove commercial review sites from the equation even if it lessens their impact.
It’s not just public reviews, either; knowing what patients are saying on social media and even their personal blogs is just as important. Without that knowledge, you can’t respond to negative feedback or use it to improve patient experiences going forward. These tools will help you keep your ear to the (Internet) ground and see exactly what prospective patients see when they’re looking for a hospital.
77 percent of patients use search before booking an appointment, so there’s no better place to start monitoring your hospital’s reputation.
Open up an incognito (Chrome) or private browsing (Firefox, Safari, and IE) window so you start with a fresh session and Google doesn’t use your personal search history in its rankings. Look for any results with negative comments, and don’t just stick to the first page—even if most searchers click on one of the first ten results, pages that rank on the second or third page now could easily move up. Do the same with Yahoo and Bing.
2. Google Alerts
Of course, you don’t have time to Google your brand every day. That’s where Google Alerts come in. This handy service monitors search terms for you and emails you whenever there are new search results. You can cap the number of emails you receive daily or weekly, but if you’re concerned about reaction time you’ll want to set it to “as-it-happens.”
If your brand name is similar to another hospital or system, you can narrow your alerts down by region so you only receive relevant emails.
You may already be using HootSuite to post updates on all your social channels from one place, but if you haven’t explored the listening features, you’re missing some great functionality. From keyword or hashtag search columns to real-time monitoring of conversations on news sites, blogs, and other public forums, HootSuite shows you everything people are saying about your brand on one convenient dashboard.
4. Reputation Health
Reputation Health is designed for medical practices but scales for hospitals and health systems with many locations. With its healthcare focus, Reputation Health monitors Yelp, HealthGrades, Vitals, ZocDoc, and other commercial rating sites and helps you acquire positive reviews from patients. Reviews from all of those sites are available on a single dashboard, and you can choose to receive email alerts as well.
5. Google My Business
If you want people to click on your brand in local search results, you need to acquire reviews on your Google My Business profile. Five reviews are enough for a star rating to appear in the local snack pack, but you need to keep a close eye on things lest a few bad reviews suddenly derail incoming traffic from Google. Fortunately, monitoring your reviews on the Google My Business dashboard is quick and easy.
When someone Googles your brand name, it’s easy to think that the first search result is the first impression they see—but Google’s autocomplete suggestions often appear before they ever reach a results page. A negative autocomplete option is sure to grab their attention and lead them straight to whatever negative reviews are lurking out there.
UberSuggest helps you avoid that problem by querying Google’s API for autocomplete results. It shows you suggested search terms for your chosen keyword plus words starting with every letter of the alphabet so you can be sure there are no surprises.
IFTTT stands for “if this, then that,” but you don’t have to be a programmer to use it. It lets you create “recipes”—conditional rules with triggers—to automate common tasks or use recipes created by other users. In the world of reputation monitoring, you could set up a recipe that watches for mentions of your brand on Twitter or in RSS feeds from industry and local news sources and emails you an alert.
8. Binary Fountain
You may have seen Binary Fountain featured in the Washington Post this summer. A number of health systems are using the service to publish reviews on their own websites, and it’ll also monitor the third-party healthcare review sites in real-time. New reviews are categorized to give you a more complete picture of the feedback patients are posting online.
HealthLoop, also featured in the Washington Post, integrates its reputation monitoring application with appointment follow-up emails to enhance the entire patient experience. When patients submit reviews, HealthLoop shows physicians real-time engagement and satisfaction scores and asks patients to submit their reviews to Yelp and other third-party sites.
Read more about reputation monitoring and other hospital marketing trends in our free ebook, 13 Imperatives for Hospital Marketers from 13 Top Experts.