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Online Reputation: An 800 pound Gorilla at Light Speed

Medical professionals have always understood their reputation within the community of their peers and patients is essential to the success of their practice. This is true for all professionals but the public also tends to expect even more from its physicians. In generations past, a disgruntled patient might tell anyone who asked what they thought of a certain physician. Such negative comments were generally offset by the lack of imoact that one negative had on the population at large. The numbers were against one bad comment in the grocery store doing that much damage. As we all are aware, those days are long gone.

You can start tracking the reviews being posted about you online by using a free tool such as ours.










It’s a given that you as a plastic surgeon cannot afford to ignore the power of social media and having visibility on the Internet. But that necessity has also created an 800 pound Gorilla that cannot be ignored. Negative comments and false information no longer occupy idle moments between produce selections but now move at light speed as tweets are retweeted, Facebook comments are shared and entire conversations are farmed out to article mills.

It is even more important to realize commenting about your practice is no longer a passive activity depending on someone coming along to have their ear bent on the golf course. An increasing number of potential patients are actively researching physicians online. There are numerous websites dedicated to nothing more than patients detailing their experiences with physicians. As a plastic surgeon, you know them, but are just a few of the larger site:

Unless you have all the patients you will ever need or are about to retire, you cannot afford to ignore what is being said on these sites and a host of others. Just as employers are beginning to scour Facebook to see what foolishness a job applicant was up to in college, potential patients are turning to online sources more every day to investigate physicians. The reputation you worked so hard to earn requires active protection.

There is a common maxim among small business owners that says one satisfied customer will tell one friends but one unhappy customer will tell ten. In these days of Twitter and Facebook those numbers can easily be more like 1 to 10,000. That doesn’t mean managing your online reputation is impossible. In fact, with the proper tools and understanding many physicians are learning how to turn those few damaging comments into opportunities to draw even more visitors to their blogs and web sites.

We are posting a number of articles that discuss tools and techniques for managing your online reputation over the next few days. It is important to understand that a minority of negative comments cannot destroy your reputation. But ignoring them might do significant damage. That damage occurs at a velocity that requires constant vigilance. Some of the topics we will be covering include:

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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