Webinar: Tracking the COVID-19​ Conversation Online | Binary Fountain

March 26, 2020

Webinar Recap: Tracking the COVID-19​ Conversation Online

By: Kieran McQuilkin

binary-fountain-coronavirus-webinarIs the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. impacting your healthcare organization’s online reputation?

As a consumer feedback platform, we know questions are coming quickly and from many directions. Healthcare marketers are scrambling to organize and respond to comments from patients and community members about the disease; and the need for timely, accurate information is at an all-time high.

To break down the online conversation about coronavirus and how best to optimize your listings and review response strategy, we brought together Binary Fountain’s Solutions Engineer, Shruti Mehta and Senior Account Director, Bridget Cardell.

In our latest webinar, they discussed our findings about the online conversation surrounding COVID-19 and answered questions about managing healthcare brand reputations during this fast-moving health crisis.

Here are some of the topics they covered:

  • The volume of online reviews and brand mentions related to COVID-19, and which platforms consumers are using for information.
  • What patients, consumers, and caregivers are saying online and how healthcare organizations can respond.
  • Managing third-party listings, local pages and reputation management programs to navigate this health crisis.

Here are some key takeaways:

Where are consumers receiving information and posting about COVID-19?

People are directly contacting healthcare providers frequently for information, but they’re doing so less often than checking online sources. Healthcare organizations should anticipate those questions and post answers on local landing pages, social media profiles and other online directories.

Usage of Google My Business is way up worldwide, leading to delays for posting new listings, hours and address updates. However, GMB added a COVID-19 Google Post type that will display prominently on your profile.

Some platforms are adding features and changing policies during the crisis, including Google and Yelp. Google temporarily disabled local reviews and Google Q&A, and Yelp is reviewing comments to protect businesses from reputational harm related to COVID-19.

The online conversation about coronavirus

The major coronavirus-related concerns mentioned online are physical health of family, access to food, access to health services, personal finances and employment. Further down the list, but still important to look out for, are mental/emotional health of family, following containment guidelines and physical/mental health unrelated to the disease.

Twitter is (by far and away) the most-used platform for coronavirus comments related to brands, according to Binary Fountain’s platform data. Following that in popularity are Facebook and Yelp. First-party healthcare organization surveys make up less than 1% of COVID-19 mentions tracked by our platform. About 50% of people are looking at social media several times a day, and close to 75% are looking daily, according to a recent ReviveHealth survey.

With that in mind, marketers and patient experience professionals should focus on disseminating information through multiple platforms, not just Google. Make sure your healthcare organization has a consistent, prominent message across its local landing pages, Facebook posts, tweets and third-party directories, because that’s where most consumers are getting information.

Adjusting your marketing strategy and responding to reviews

You can use social media, website landing pages, and Google Posts to engage consumers in short, frequent communications; and also to humanize your business operations. Include recent announcements and relevant information, such as local testing availability and links to CDC and WHO information about coronavirus.

Be prepared to respond to negative reviews or comments, and stay consistent with your messaging across all social media platforms. With the temporary shutdown of Google Q&A and Google Reviews, marketers should focus first on requesting and responding to reviews on other third-party sites like Healthgrades and Facebook.

In industries like healthcare, where you can’t respond to some reviews online without breaching patient confidentiality, create a strategy to take the conversation offline. You may also need to prioritize your review responses based on informational value. If you don’t have the bandwidth to respond to every comment, mention or review, prioritize responses that will offer concrete, helpful information to consumers.

Managing your listings and leveraging Google My Business for COVID-19 information

If you need to close locations, temporarily suspend specific services or make other changes, you should update your facilities’ listings data as soon as possible. This includes hours of operation, services (like coronavirus testing), contact information for different departments and services, and editing your business description to include COVID-19-related capabilities.

For healthcare organizations, make sure to update your physician profile pages and website landing pages to make sure searchers are aware of your providers’ specialties, services and hours. The best way to control the narrative and inform your community is to anticipate questions and post the answers across your online presence.

For more insights and advice, click here to watch the on-demand webinar.

For more on reputation management during the coronavirus health crisis, you can visit our COVID-19 Resources Page and read these articles:


About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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