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Infographic Friday: To Be a Thought Leader, You Have to Have the “Write” Stuff

It’s often said that content is king but, let’s face, creating it can be a royal pain in the you know what. Between performing surgeries, juggling consults and managing your practice, sitting down at the computer to write a blog post or newsletter article is probably not your highest priority. It does, however, deserve a […]

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social media, healthcare, debate

Healthcare and Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the (Not so) Ugly Truth

It’s been 20 years since a handful of Internet entrepreneurs launched GeoCities, which many observers consider one of the first social media sites, and 10 years since Mark Zuckerberg came up the concept that became Facebook. Given that kind of longevity, not to mention its exponential growth since then, you might think the debate over […]

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trust signals, online reviews, practice website

Trust: If You Build It, They Will Come

When it comes to choosing a doctor, aesthetic consumers cite any number of reasons why they ultimately choose the provider they do. Experience, board certification, occasionally even price or a doctor’s popularity. But it’s also true that one factor trumps all others when it comes to medical procedures, especially those that are often elective, emotion-laden […]

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empathy, ROI, patients

Want a Better Return on Investment? Think Return on Empathy

According to conventional wisdom, the key to marketing success is to maximize ROI or Return on Investment but Martin Ingwer, founder of the Insight Consulting Group, would beg to differ. Instead, he suggests, the key is to focus less on the data-driven correlation between marketing costs and subsequent sales and more on the emotional relationship […]

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infographic, customer service, social media, online reviews

Infographic Friday: Protect Your Practice with Social Customer Service

The typical Botox treatment will last 3–6 months; Juvederm, 6 months or more depending on where it’s injected. The effects of a bad customer service experience? A lot longer than that. In fact, as this infographic from Zendesk suggests, a significant proportion (39%) of people will avoid using a company for 2 or more years […]

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online reviews, patient stories, realself

Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Doctor Reviews

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we at RealSelf are firm believers in the importance of online reviews, a fact that may make the following statement more than a little surprising: Doctor reviews aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Don’t get us wrong; glowing, 5-star reviews […]

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online review, reputation management

It’s OK to Read Your Online Reviews (Go Ahead, You Know You Do Anyway)

Online reviews: Some doctors hate them, some tolerate them, a few may even admit to appreciating them. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing’s for certain, you should be reading the ones that are being written about you. It should go without saying that the reviews aesthetic consumers post about their experiences […]

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google, algorithm, wizard, content

Happy Patients, Google Engineers and the Wizard of Oz

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! If you’re wondering what that line from the classic holiday film has to do with Internet marketing, check out this recent article in Inc. magazine. In it, Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of, an inbound marketing company, pulls back the proverbial curtain on the relationship between people, […]

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Dr. Eric Swanson, commercialization, plastic surgery

Confronting the Commercialization of Plastic Surgery

Having opened his plastic surgery practice in Kansas City 24 years ago, Eric Swanson, MD, has received his fair share of sales calls and marketing pitches. Among them: a salary of $325,000 and a company car, a promise of $450,000 for working 2 days per week and a promise that he could double his income. […]

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loyalty, patients, ROI

Infographic Friday: A Loyal Patient Is a Doctor’s Best Friend

When it comes to creating customer loyalty, some businesses have it easy: a punch card for a free meal at the local fast-food joint, miles or points for airlines’ frequent fliers or free shipping for regular users of and countless other e-commerce sites. Doctors, not so much. Needless to say, offering punch cards for […]

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seo, backlinks

Best Practices for Building Backlinks (Part II of II)

If you’ve been in practice for any length of time, you’ve probably been approached by any number of SEO consultants and marketing agencies that claim they can get your website to the top of Google’s search results. Ultimately, the question isn’t whether they can or not but how they go about the effort. Case in […]

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When Bad Backlinks Happen to Good Doctors (Part I of II)

It probably sounded like a good idea at the time. In pursuit of a better ranking in search results, the doctor hired a firm to place thousands of backlinks on other websites that pointed to his practice website. The plan was based on the premise that one of the major ways search engines assign value to individual […]

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HIPAA, PHI, patient privacy, breach

Are You in Compliance with the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule?

They say time flies when you’re having fun but it’s a veritable rocket when you’re talking about ensuring that you’re in compliance with HIPAA. It’s been nine months since HHS released its update to the 1996 rule and six months since those new rules went into effect. Now, as of Monday, all healthcare providers have […]

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customer service, social media

Social Media and the Squeaky Wheel of Customer Service

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you already know that social media plays a major role in connecting with aesthetic consumers before they choose a doctor. New research, however, is showing that it’s also becoming increasingly important after the fact in terms of providing customer service and generating loyalty. According to a new study […]

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SLAPP, online review

Doctors Who SLAPP Online Critics Often Hurt Themselves

There comes a time in every doctor’s career when he or she is the recipient of an online review that makes them fighting mad. Some will take a deep breath and respond calmly; some will lash out with verbal counterpunches of their own, and some will take the fight from the Internet to the courtroom […]

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online reviews, reputation management

Doctors Who Ignore Online Reviews Put their Reputations on the Line

You know the phrase “your reputation precedes you?” According to a new survey from, it’s more true for doctors than almost any other type of business. Before they ever visit your website or pick up the phone, consumers are going online, reading reviews and making decisions about potential providers based on their reputations. Consider […]

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infographic, content curation

Infographic Friday: Save Time and Strengthen Your Presence by Curating Content

Every two days we now create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. —     Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google That, to put it mildly, is a whole heckuva lot of content — and it’s both the blessing and the curse of the Internet. On the one hand, […]

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online reviews, reputation management

What Happens When You Don’t Respond to Online Reviews?

While many doctors still believe that responding to online reviews is a risky endeavor, the fact is that not responding can be far more hazardous to your practice health. Consider the following a cautionary tale complete with good advice on how easily it could have turned out otherwise. As she explained in a recent blog […]

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Google alerts, reputation management

Look Who’s Talking: Google Alerts Offer Free and Easy Reputation Management

It’s often said that talk is cheap but when it comes to trash talk about your practice, it can be disastrously expensive. If you’re not monitoring what’s being said online about you, your practice and your competition, you’re missing out on the sort of market intelligence that can make or break your business. You can, […]

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social media, complaints, online reviews

Infographic Friday: Don’t Let Social Complainers Spoil Your Day

You can satisfy some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t satisfy all of the people all of the time. OK, so Abraham Lincoln never said that but if the 16th president had had to deal with consumers venting their dissatisfaction via social media, […]

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