Social media is a key component of your clinical trial’s overall digital strategy and is an invaluable tool to boost business and connect with your patient base. What not everyone may realize is that these digital platforms can also be extremely useful in understanding your online reputation and how these findings can make a direct impact on your business. 

Look for patterns

Pay close attention to the negative comments and feedback you receive online. You don’t necessarily need to have a quick fix ready to go in that immediate moment. A simple “thank you for bringing this to our attention and we will be looking into it” type of response will be sufficient for the time being. We will circle back to this in a bit.

Allow yourself the time to collect these comments, break them down and find the patterns. Consider creating a spreadsheet with the date, time and issue detailed in each comment. This will allow you to see this feedback in one collective group and more easily identify any common themes. For example: if patients keep complaining that the front desk staff on a certain day of the week are rude or dismissive, you can look at your schedule and identify who those people may be. That opens up the opportunity for you to not only fix the problem but provide a refresher for the entire team on patient experience best practices. 

Do a deep dive

While most complaints about your trial will either be posted directly to one of your profiles or have you tagged in them, this isn’t always guaranteed. For whatever reason, some people with a bone to pick will simply post to their own account without taking that extra step. Do a little digging on your social channels to see what’s out there. Facebook and Twitter are the main places where these rogue complaints will show up. Perform different searches for both the name of the study and the names of the doctors. With a little digging, you may uncover issues that could have otherwise remain hidden. 

Know your competition

Similar to the way you monitor your own brand’s social media profiles, take a look at those of your top competitors. There are times that you may be analyzing the types of content they are putting out but this time pay close attention to comments and reviews your competitors receive. What are their patients praising and what are they complaining about? Does this feedback look similar for your study? Do this on a consistent basis and use this as an opportunity to identify the areas in which you need to improve and the areas in which you excel.   

Engage with your audience

Delegate a staff member as a social media ambassador to serve as the face of the trial. This person will monitor activity on the channels and engage with the social media community. Duties may include answering questions, addressing concerns, expressing gratitude for positive feedback, promoting events and making announcements. For both good and bad feedback, be sure to acknowledge each poster. If feedback is negative, assure that the problem will be addressed. If a patient is showering you with compliments, show gratitude and appreciation. You are not only improving your operation’s productivity but strengthening the patient commitment to your clinical trial.