Fotolia_35909129_S-300x203This is the second in a series of post on this topic.

For part two, you need to create a plan for responding when your audience becomes engaged. Remember, the more engagement you create from your content, especially on social sites, the better traffic potential for your website.

Phase 2

When someone finally posts or comments on something you’ve posted, what do you do? The obvious answer is to respond, duh. But, how do you respond? Here are a few tips:

  • Be Timely – You have a very small window to respond to a comment to show your appreciation toward a positive comment or answer a negative comment. You want to show patients that you care what they have to say and you appreciate the fact that they took time out of their day to interact with you. As for how long you have, if the shoe was on the other foot, how long would you want to wait to get a response? That’s your answer. It should be within a few days at the absolute latest.
  • Be Positive No Matter What – You can curse out the patient all you want behind closed doors, just make sure you get all that anger out of your system before you start typing. Being snarky, short, condescending or worse will do you no good and it will destroy your reputation. We’ve seen case studies where it happens. Take a chill pill. Because you’re a doctor, get it? Anyway, If you can rise above the comment, those who read your response will also be inclined to trust your word a bit more. It was recently reported by SocialMediadd that 70 percent of consumers trust social media reviews from strangers. That’s a huge number, and it’s exactly why you need to respond and respond well to negative reviews. Although there may be no way to stop people from posting negative reviews, no matter how good of a job you can do, you can mitigate their damage with a proper response.
  • Have a Few Responses Ready – It would be handy (and a real timesaver) if you had a few canned responses already created. Did someone post on your Facebook page asking for medical advice? No problem, copy and paste your previously typed response detailing that you can’t give medical advice via the internet but you would be happy to schedule an appointment for them in your office. The same survey mentioned above also reported that 61 percent of users rely on user reviews before making a decision, no matter what the review is. Your responses can also play into if a user sees you’re honest, transparent and friendly. All things they’d want in their new physician.
  • Always Brand Yourself – Remember, your name or your practice name is a brand. You have standards to uphold and you want to be seen in a certain light – all the time. Your responses should always fall in line with those standards. In other words, if you’re rushed or aren’t sure what to say, revisit the post when you have a moment.

By interacting with patients, increasing your engagement levels and ultimately growing your office’s brand in the social marketplace, you’ll see increased leads and quantifiable benefits that you can’t really match anywhere else, especially for the relatively low cost of maintaining these pages or paying a group to do it for you.