Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Florida, Palm Beach. Florida MGMA is 500 member strong. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for information, education, exchange of ideas and contacts enabling them to provide management and leadership to physicians and staff.
December 3, 2014 educational seminar invited Elizabeth Varian, President of Webmaster For Hire as their Keynote Speaker, “How Online Reputation Management Applies to Doctors and Health Care Professionals.
Elizabeth Varian, and internet marketing professional with a background in television, and multi media marketing, offered insight into Reputation Marketing, and explained why health care professionals gain negative reviews on sites like Angies list, Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Google Review.
The medical field have their own review sites: vitals.com, and healthgrades.com. “Even when a patient is referred by another doctor, the patient will use a review site to check you out.” Elizabeth Varian, W4H
Elizabeth also explained the impact local marketing had on sales. And the importance of good marketing in an industry where 50% of people use their phone to find local resources and services.
The audience were surprised to realize how much reviews impacted their own shopping, but few responded when Elizabeth asked whether they understood that their patients used the same review resources to choose a physician.
Elizabeth’s main focus was to explain what types of people leave reviews, and their motives. The internet marketing term is ‘Trolls.’ These Trolls are not motivated by ‘consumer awareness’. Instead they are motivated by anger, manipulation, and sabotage.
Most businesses are unaware that the competition is working hard to ruin your reputation. There is an entire industry built around ‘Malicious Competition’ who build fake profiles and then post negative reviews.
Unfortunately, when businesses and physicians try to fight back against the slander and negative reviews they often do more damage than good. “How can you do a review if you didn’t even use the company. It seems that there should be some line.”
“Don’t worry, everyone else is in the same spot.” Elizabeth.
Even when someone posts a negative review that you can prove is fake sites like Yelp, or Angies list will rarely post your rebuttal, or remove the review. This leaves the medical industry at the mercy of disgruntled patients, competition, and even people who are not in the medical industry.
For example, a neurologist may find their business attacked by a cosmetic surgeon who is offering ‘Botox for migraines.’ In many cases, it takes a highly skilled analyst or SEO analyst to find out who is attacking your reputation, because the relationship between your product/service, the keyword, and the company who is attacking you is not always evident.
Elizabeth enjoyed being the keynote speaker and the audience responded well to the information provided. This was not simply an ‘infomercial’ but Elizabeth offered real world information that anyone could use to protect their practice and avoid becoming the victim of Trolls.