Twenty years ago, if you needed to find a certain type of business you would look in the phone book or ask a friend for advice. Today, when people seek out a new product or service, they turn first to the internet to do some research.
According to the 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, 92 percent of consumers regularly read online reviews of businesses, and of those surveyed, 31 percent used online reviews to assess reputation in the medical/healthcare sector. For healthcare organizations, this means maintaining a strong online presence is critical.
Here are some tips for analyzing and managing your company’s online reputation.
Conduct a social media audit. Reviews of your business live on social media pages you manage, such as Facebook, but can also be created by third-parties on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. To get a good picture of your company’s online reputation, take a look at all possible review sites by conducting a social media audit. Aggregate all the places where your company has a presence into your analysis to understand what others are saying about your business – and to better prepare you to craft thoughtful responses and action plans.
Dissect your critiques. Categorize reviews by favorability to better understand your company’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. It is always helpful to see what former and current employees are saying about the company. Take a hard look at the honest feedback received on review sites to refine internal processes and assess company culture.
Create pages on the platforms that make sense for your business. Through your social media audit, you may uncover that your business has several reviews on Indeed or Glassdoor that you didn’t know existed. Most review sites let a business claim their company page and post updates or comments back to reviewers. Claim your company pages on review sites to provide information directly about your core values and culture to an audience that has already expressed interest in engaging with you.
Post timely responses and establish a plan of action for evaluating reviews. Establish a protocol for responding to reviews and when your business receives a review, good or bad, take the appropriate action. For instance, if a reviewer mentions activity occurred at your business that could potentially harm them or others, it is important to have a plan of action to look into and either substantiate or dismiss the validity of the claims. Simply responding to the reviewer without taking action offline will not necessarily improve your business reputation.
Safeguarding your company’s online reputation is an ongoing process that takes commitment and diligence, but it is critical to success in today’s technology-focused environment. These tips can help you start thinking about your online image as a tool to further communicate your business goals and value proposition.
Kristy Lucero is a Senior Account Executive at Lovell. Connect with her at: Kristy@lovell.com.
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