June 14, 2024

FORBES Feature: How To Maintain A Positive Online Image For Your Healthcare Brand

In healthcare, your reputation is vital, especially as the industry continues to evolve. In the digital world, where news and rumors travel at the speed of data, reputation building and management have to be at the forefront of your digital marketing strategy. Here are some ways to build and maintain a positive online image that reflects your professionalism, ethics and brand.

Define Your Identity And Vision

Through helping numerous healthcare professionals manage their online reputations, I have discovered that all of them have a passion for the work they do—and they’re all happy to tell me about it. Your potential patients need to know it too. Put together your vision for healthcare: What brought you there? Where do you want to grow? What place do you see for yourself in your field? Let that vision be the foundation of your brand identity.

Create A Visual Identity That Expresses Your Ideas

Work with a graphic designer to create a logo that helps to express your vision and values. Everything in your logo and branding should reflect that vision, from font choice to colors to graphic elements. Your logo will be the most memorable part of your brand, so it needs to express your vision.

Focus On A Patient-Centric Approach

Without patients, you have no practice. Make the patient experience the central focus of your strategy, everywhere from inside your office to your marketing. In your office, focus on patients’ needs, comfort and satisfaction. Then, bring that focus into your marketing strategy by addressing the concerns that bring patients to you.

For example, if your patients comment that you listen to them when previous practitioners didn’t, you have found a need that you meet. Make that part of your messaging when you advertise and share content on social media.

Encourage Patient Reviews

When you do well, your patients are your strongest advocates. They will talk to family and friends about the care you provide. Encourage patients to leave reviews for your practice on Google and relevant reputation sites for your specific area of healthcare.

Create Educational Content

Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise by creating educational content about health topics related to your field. This will help you build trust, elevate your brand and provide a valuable service to patients and the public.

Monitor And Address Your Reviews

Look at the reviews and feedback that you receive from patients. When you see a negative review, address it immediately. Respond online and directly to the patient, assuring them and anyone else who sees the review that you are addressing the situation.

A secret about reviews: No one expects a brand of any kind to have nothing but 5-star reviews. In fact, nothing but high reviews can raise red flags, as savvy consumers may suspect review manipulation. Consumers don’t want to see that you’re perfect in every interaction. They know that you’re not going to be. What they want to see is how you address mistakes, that you take ownership of errors and that you work to make things right when someone is unhappy with the treatment they received.

This is especially important in healthcare because not every situation gets resolved the way a healthcare provider or patient wants. A patient may have an undiagnosed condition that creates problems in their treatment. A healthcare provider may miss a sign or symptom that wasn’t presenting strongly. When it comes to humans and health, things can go wrong. What is important is how you respond when that happens.

Train Staff According To Your Brand Values

Choose staff who align with your vision for your practice, and train them to provide the kind of service you want your patients to receive. Ensure that your staff members are aware of your brand vision and your mission as a healthcare provider. Be a strong advocate for yourself, and they will in turn advocate for you.

Adapt To Changes

Make sure you continue to learn and adapt—whether it’s to patient feedback, technology, medical advances or regulations. Adjust your approach based on these changes to ensure that patients receive the kind of care they need, and so your practice doesn’t fall behind important changes and innovations.

As a healthcare provider, your reputation is vital to your success. How patients talk about you to their family and friends and in the community determines how people see you, whether you keep your current patients, and whether your practice grows or fails. Maintaining your reputation is time-consuming, but you can do it.