Confession #9: I don’t know if it’s weird or not to ask a patient to post something to Facebook. Is it?

Confession #9: I don’t know if it’s weird or not to ask a patient to post something to Facebook. Is it?

A patient talked to me about her feelings for her physician and how she trusts him and is so fortunate to have found someone with his mix of approachable personality and skilled care giving. I wanted to ask her to enter her comments on the “recommendations” section of our Facebook wall, but I wasn’t sure if that’s appropriate etiquette for this online world we’re working in. I asked the experts at HCA web services, and this is what I learned.

Not rude! Someone who goes out of their way to mention such great feedback is likely someone who wants to share that information with anyone who will listen. They’re also likely the type to feel good about knowing they have referred someone in need to a physician they so highly recommend. So, if you know their true feelings, ask them to post the compliments on your Facebook Page.  And don’t stop there! Ask them to post their comments in reviews on Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com. They can also share their opinion on Twitter.

Ask the right person to post about your practice! Be sure you know the feelings of somebody you would ask to post about your practice. And, be sure you’re asking someone that you know is genuinely connected to your practice (because they’ve been a patient for awhile or because they have referred so many others to the practice, or because you can tell the practice has made a good first impression on a new patient, because they told ya so!, etc.). It would be weird to ask someone to rave about your practice if they’re new to it and haven’t really formulated a strong opinion yet.

The best time to ask someone to post something about your practice is right after they have said something positive about the practice or a physician or both. Perhaps make it your routine to ask patients if Dr. Smith took good care of them today or something – ya know, fish for the compliment a little, then invite them to share their feelings publicly if the timing feels right. You could also consider placing signage about your Facebook page, Twitter account, Vitals, HealthGrades presence, etc. near you so you could outright ask them if they’re aware your practice is online. Just tell them, we’d love for you to connect with us online between appointments and use the signage (and QR code for smart phone users!) to help them know how and where.

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