Category Archives: reputation management

Social Media – A Waste of Time in the Health Industry?

The availability of information at the click of a mouse has spawned a generation that goes online for explanations for the aches and pains that plague them. Often, these same users use the internet as a tool to locate and contact health professionals that can provide treatment.  It is, therefore, essential for Doctors, Hospitals and Clinics to incorporate social media into their business plans. It has been shown that more than 40% of consumers say that the way they deal with their health is directly affected by information obtained on the internet through social media.

The Mayo Clinic, a healthcare giant, boasts of more than 800,000 followers on Twitter and half a million “likes” on Facebook. This traffic resulted from the clinic’s 2010 establishment of the “Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media”, a department created to determine how social media could be used for the benefit of the organization. In its Mission Statement the Mayo Clinic states that “individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and it is [The Mayo Clinic’s] responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices.” Googles reports that with the launch of its social media campaign the Mayo Clinic podcast acquired 76,000 listeners.

As with any product being marketed, brand recognition of a healthcare provider is essential. Regardless of the advertising medium – a roadside billboard, an ad on the Yahoo homepage or a TV commercial –distinctive images, an appealing logo and eye catching colors must be employed to promote the product or service. When marketing a service in the healthcare arena an area of import often overlooked is the need to build trust between the patient and the doctor. When those in need of treatment can communicate directly with a doctor through social media, a particular brand can quickly gain the reputation as the ‘go-to’ company in its field. This doctor/patient communication also promotes transparency and ensures trust between doctor and patient. Through social media the Mayo Clinic was able to substantially increase its influence in the field of healthcare.

Google further reports that Youtube videos increase traffic to hospital websites by 119% annually. These videos, replete with patient interviews and “feel good” stories, convert traffic to leads because they have a personal touch and a human quality that can only be conveyed through film.

Health Watch estimates that penetration of the health industry to mobile devices is as high as 87% and that 19% of smartphone owners have at least one “health app” on their mobile device. Does this mean that health care providers need to develop an app to stay in the game? Not necessarily. What this trend does say, however, is that it is important to increase the direct communication between patient and doctor, building that trust, to effectively market to the health community, and that communication should be directed not only at the computer monitor, but at the mobile device as well.

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Brand Rejuvenation

A brand makeover has to potential to completely rejuvenate a dying brand. If you are attempting a makeover, make it noticeable. The reason you are rebranding is to be noticed, so commit to the change in your brand. Any companies’ makeover should include a visual component to help the businesses re-establish the lines of communication with customers. Whether that’s new packaging or a redesigned logo, these tools have the potential to engage audiences to rediscover the brand.

In making your first steps at rebranding, the first thing to do is have your team go back and identify your existing audience, and then identify your new audience. If there is no difference between your current and desired audience then find where the miscommunication lies—failing to focus on a clear, identifiable audience leaves the brand at risk of trying to do too much and often backfires into reaching no one.

The benefits of brand rejuvenation entail the potential opportunity to communicate the shift in business model, as well as allowing you to transform your brand into new markets and audiences. Rebranding allows you to update the company’s mission and vision, which will ultimately re-engage employees as well. The ultimate goal in rebranding is to strengthen your brand’s messaging and allow it to evolve. When rebranding it is important to stay true to the brand’s mission as it should support your core message while connecting with your established audience in a new and authentic way.

Social Media – What are you saying?

Recently, I spoke with someone who wanted a Facebook like button on their company page. While there’s no technical issue there, there is a bit of a conceptual gap. Her business was a very narrow, technical firm which is likely to handle less than 20 clients a month. What relationship are they hoping to have with their customers through Facebook?

It’s not meant to pick on her specifically, but rather to ask a legitimate question: are you using social media as a tool, or fighting what it represents?
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2 Reputation Management Tips

Web-Op has dealt with countless companies – large and small – that have found themselves on the receiving end of negative press. It only takes a few comments on pissedconsumer.com or ripoffreport.com to have a negative effect on your business’s online reputation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to push this negative press off the first page of Google.

(1)   Create profiles for your company on websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. Remember that it is important to show activity on these websites to get them to rank. Just creating them isn’t enough. Post something regularly, build a few links to them, and watch each profile page rise in the search engines. Below are a number of websites you can create profiles on. Each one of these rank extremely well.

  1. Twitter.com
  2. Linkedin.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Digg.com
  5. WordPress.com
  6. Google.com/profiles
  7. Quora.com
  8. About.me
  9. Formspring.me

(2)  Buy other domains such as websitenamereviews.com, websitenametestimonials.com, and websitenamecomplaints.com. We recommend looking at Google suggestions to start. These days keyword rich domains rank extremely well. Your $8 purchase will be well worth it.

Remember that negative comments added to powerful domains like pissedconsumer.com can rank for your business name extremely fast. Being proactive about your online reputation can minimize the impact of one unhappy client’s comment.