While representing a medical service on social media, it’s important to be informative when interacting with patients in a public forum. While working in the medical field, patient-doctor confidentiality is of high importance making it crucial that social media teams are educated on how to handle these situations online.
Social media is a public place, meaning most comments can be seen by everyone. When dealing with negative interactions on social media, be sure to always respond publicly first. Not only does this show you’re active and checking the platform, but it shows your followers how you handle negative or tricky situations. Keep your responses simple and never negative. Opening phrases like “We’re sorry to hear this” or “Thank you for bringing this to our attention” are admirable ways to acknowledge the importance of their comment.
If someone comments about a negative personal experience they had at your office, be sure to not only answer but provide a reasonable solution publicly. Express your apologies, but don’t divulge or confirm any medical procedures received by the patient. Using phrases like “we’d be happy to look into this” or “I will pass this along to my internal team” show the patient that you are taking actions to provide them with a solution.
Lead the conversation offline:
Responding to comments is more than just answering questions, it is also helpful to lead the conversation offline (especially when the information is personal and related to medical services). Directing patients to a customer service-oriented email, phone number, or direct message is a simple way to move the conversation to a private place. Lead your message with “Let’s discuss this further by…” or “Send us a direct message with the details so a member of our team can connect with you”. Other followers will see this interaction and know that you take the time to address any issues privately.
While social media can be a tough place to maneuver, the best way to handle your interactions is to have proper plans and templated messages in place. Keep the conversation positive and resourceful so followers feel they are supported by you and your team.
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