Safeguarding your veterinary practice's online reputation

Posted in: Articles

Posted on: 04 March 2014

So your veterinary practice is finally actively using social media! But now you're worried about your online reputation... and it's natural to be worried. The thing about social media is that anyone is free to say what they want, when they went, and whatever they say can be Shared or Retweeted and end up being communicated around the world within seconds!

By having a presence on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, you've created a powerful communication channel that allows your clients to quickly and easily give you great reviews and happy testimonials! In essence, you’ve created an avenue for your Advocate clients to promote your work and services. However, you've also provided a channel through which less than satisfied customers can complain. On Facebook, if someone posts a negative comment about your practice, it has the potential to be seen by everyone... all of their friends, and all of your fans!

Ways to respond to negative comments on your practice page

First, always check who has made the comment. Do you know the person? Is it an existing client, a potential client or is it someone just being offensive? Is the comment true or false?

1. If the comment is negative, don't be tempted to delete or block the comment. Deleting or blocking comments although tempting, can actually do more harm than good. Deleting the comment should be your last resort.
2. Respond to the comment in a timely and courteous manner. Consider your response in a similar way to how you would respond in real life, for example:
a. Thank them for letting you know about the issue
b. Apologise (if appropriate) that this has happened
c. Offer a solution to the issue
3. By responding in this manner, you are addressing the situation and attempting resolution, while at the same time demonstrating your level of commitment and care
4. If appropriate, let your Advocate clients become your ambassadors on the internet and allow the community to respond on your behalf to help resolve the issue
5. Take the conversation "offline". Publically address the issue as in point 2, but if the issue is still unresolved, consider calling, e-mailing or meeting them in person to talk about their concerns

Social media (particularly Facebook and Twitter) is great but it can also be tricky territory. It's important not to take the comments personally, but remember that social media has many more benefits  than disadvantages.

In Summary….

Do not worry - if you receive a negative comment, your vet practice is not the only one that has to deal with this experience. Use the negative opportunity to figure out how to turn it into a positive experience. More often than not, the best thing you can do is to apologise and use the opportunity to show how enthusiastic and committed you are to looking after people’s pets. You may also be pleasantly surprised to find that your existing clients genuinely want to help you by posting supportive comments! These are your Advocate clients and worth their weight in gold when it comes to running a successful business.

And remember, Facebook is supposed to be an interactive, fun, positive place to share things. By showcasing your client care and commitment, this will only help to expand your veterinary practice.


Do let us know how you've combatted negative comments on your practice's Facebook page. What's your advice?




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