6 Tips to Keep Your Online Conversations Out of the Danger Zone

By: Morrow Heard

Online Conversation Danger Zone
Actively engaging patients online is a great way to improve your practice’s online reputation and offline recognition; however, sometimes these online discussions generate comments harmful to your facility’s reputation. While online conversations do provide the potential for critical comments, the insight and opinions provided are very valuable. Follow these 6 tips to keep your online conversations out of the danger zone.

  1. Avoid hot topics. It is no secret that some topics can develop into heated discussion, especially those that are on everyone’s mind and in the news of the day. When asking questions or engaging online avoid topics that could have a polarizing effect and develop into a heated political debate.
  2. Separate personal interests from business activity. Any questions or engagements that your practice posts online should be clear of personal opinion, and should be connected to the actual business interest.
  3. Conduct a risk analysis. Before posting anything online make sure to conduct a risk analysis and consider worst case scenarios. What would the worst response be? Could this question lead to a discussion that we do not want to be associated with?
  4. Don’t react to provocation. Steer clear of the discussion if becomes a heated debate. Don’t react to deliberate comments intended to stir up a response.
  5. Stay away from open-ended questions with many interpretations. Open ended questions that can be interpreted in many different ways leave too much room for unwanted discussion. Keep questions specific and relevant such as a trivia question or a question about the history of the practice.
  6. Continually monitor activity. Be sure to continually monitor all of the activity associated with your practice online. Even comments posted as a response to a post can be damaging to your practice’s reputation even if your practice did not write them.

Follow all 6 tips, and you can keep your practice out of the online discussion danger zone.

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