Continuing with our last blog on online review trends crucial for doctors, we dig deeper into the trends that are transforming how people are leaving reviews and responding to them. These changes are essential for all businesses, however, in healthcare, they are especially crucial for building trust and loyalty. Also, many providers are not taking the time needed to manage their online reputation and are therefore suffering from a lack of knowledge of the process. In addition to the three trends provides last week, this week we add two additional trends that are crucial for doctors to know.

  1. Consumers Flock to Facebook for Reviews – The number one social media site that consumers go to for online business reviews is Facebook. The review process is easy, and more than one billion people have a Facebook account. 

    What does this mean for you? There are still some businesses who do not yet have a Facebook page; however, patients are still able to leave a review about the business. The challenge this presents for the company is that they cannot respond to the reviews unless they claim the page. This is a dangerous place to live because of the reasons we discussed in our last blog. Instead, claim your page and engage with each and every review that is posted in the same way you would on Google or other review sites. 

  2. Review Lengths are Short and Sweet, and More Positive – The vast majority of internet use occurs on mobile devices. As such, it makes perfect sense that online reviews have become shorter. It just isn’t fun to a write a lengthy review on a mobile device. Google and Facebook are also the two most positive review sites with an over 4.0 average star rating. This means that the majority of reviews on each site trend higher than on sites like Yelp, who average 3.65 stars. 

    What does this mean for you? When it is easy to leave a review, people are more inclined to do it. That means you don’t have to feel like you are asking the world of patients to write a review for your practice when sending them to Google or Facebook. They can click on the stars they feel your practice deserves and leave it there or add some comments. Easy peasy. Yelp is a different animal. Their reviews are trusted less because they do not “recommend” all reviews submitted. For example, a business may have 50 reviews, but only 30 of them are used in their average rating. Their algorithm requirements kick out any reviews that do not meet the parameters that are set for reviews. Makes you rethink using Yelp to choose a restaurant much less a doctor, huh?

The online review process is a glorious thing. It provides consumers with an excellent window into a business and a better understanding of what kind of service they can expect from them. Knowledge is a foundational element to any marketing strategy. We hope you take the wisdom gleaned from these five trends and use them to help your business grow and better connect with patients.