Stop Ignoring Online Review and Rating Sites

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , March 20, 2013

Foursquare is a geo-location based website and app that prompts users to "check in" and post comments and photos about the various places they visit each day. According to the site, 30 million people and 1 million businesses use Foursquare.

Many Foursquare users link their accounts to at least one other social network, such as Facebook or Twitter, so their thoughts about your organization are likely being posted and viewed from multiple locations. And, like Yelp, you're probably already on there. In this case, the app allows you to "claim" your business, which enables you to have some control over how you are represented on the site.

Businesses can respond to reviews either directly on Foursquare or via one of the social networks that the users has synced to his or her account. I've found, however, that users tend to simply "check in" to a location and don't often make additional comments. One way to capitalize on this is to ask patients to check in to your hospital by posting QR codes linking to your account.

Bottom line: You cannot fight the online customer (patient) review. It's happening. Embrace it. In recent months, more and more hospital marketers I've talked to have said they ask patients to review them online, either verbally, through internal signage, or on social media.

If the patient experience your organization delivers is up to par, the majority of reviews will be positive. And if they're not, you can target the pain points and start working toward fixing them.

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