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prescription for social media

Posted by Steve Buchholz on March 29, 2009

social media allows consumers to rate everything, including doctors

social media allows consumers to rate everything, including doctors

What makes social mediaso successful? It’s people talking to people directly, unbound by limits of geography, time, and previous personal connections. It’s also successful because it gives every consumer nearly instant access to consumer reviews about every product and service available.

Doctors are no exception. Not surprisingly, patients have begn rating their doctors on services provided. Also not surprisingly, doctors aren’t very keen on the idea of patients posting their thoughts about how well their doctors performed.

One doctor-rating site is ratemds.com. The Rapid City Journal ran a localized story about the site that quotes unhappy docs from South Dakota.

It’s interesting that doctors believe they should be immune from customer reviews. No one else is. You would think any professional would welcome feedback from customers about the products and services the professional offers. That feedback is, of course, the backbone of excellent marketing and the key to improving the things we offer consumers.

One group is helping doctors fight against online criticism. According to the Rapid City Journal story:

It’s that sense of declaring open season on doctors without having to sign a name that’s led a North Carolina company, Medical Justice, to market a waiver agreement to help physicians fight back. They can ask patients to sign a waiver to agree not to post online criticism.

Holy smokes. So much for the First Amendment.

Instead of fighting against online reviews, doctors should embrace this feature of social media. It’s not going away, so why not make the best of it? Doctors should create ratings features on their websites and invite feedback. If the doctors provide great service, patients will tell the world. Patients will also tell the world when they aren’t happy, but if they include their criticism on the doctor’s website, the doctor will know about it and can respond appropriately.   

That’s the other wonderful thing about social media. It allows every business the opportunity to interact directly with customers without the filter of the mass media or the constant, unwelcome interruptions caused by traditional advertising strategies.

We need to do it realize the ground is shifting. And we need to go with the movement because we aren’t going to stop it.

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One Response to “prescription for social media”

  1. […] Posts prescription for social mediaconnecting across […]

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