Online Reputation, Why It Matters So Much and How to Take Control
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2018
S. Samuels
Portsmouth, UK

SS—Online Reputation, Why It Matters So Much and How to Take Control

Social media and online reviews bring huge opportunity to vet practices but also some risk. A disgruntled client can ensure their story is heard by thousands of people and an inadvertent post from a member of staff can get the practice into legal or reputational trouble. Take control of your online reputation and make sure you have a plan in place for what to do if the worst happens.

Reputation management is a crucial part of online marketing. It is useful to think of four main steps:

1.  Monitoring

2.  Positive content

3.  Responding

4.  Social media policy


To be able to react to mentions of your name on the internet it is crucial to know what is being said. Setting up monitoring can be done very quickly and easily using free tools such as Google Alerts.

Positive Content

This strategy for reputation management is very similar to the old veterinary adage ‘The solution to pollution is dilution’. Building up positive content about your practice allows viewers to put any negative content into context. For example, one negative review in isolation can be very damaging for a veterinary practice, but one negative review alongside several positive ones poses no problem and can actually give weight to the positive reviews showing that they are authentic.


It is very important to respond to all feedback good or bad. It is useful to have a process in place for dealing with negative content so that should the worst happen everybody knows what to do and how to respond.

Social Media Policy

Risk from online reputational damage comes not only from clients but also from the veterinary practice’s own staff if they do not understand their online obligations, both on their practice’s social platforms and their own, private social media. A practice social media policy is not only essential for good HR management but also it is a great way to get the whole team involved and familiar with the challenges and issues involved.


Speaker Information
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S. Samuels
Portsmouth, UK