A free digital platform for dermatologists and plastic surgeons, RealSelf is by far the most influential online community for professional discussions related to aesthetic medicine, including cosmetic surgery and dentistry. Known as the “Yelp of cosmetic surgery,” RealSelf as allows potential patients to see the surgeon’s expertise before scheduling an appointment. This makes managing your online presence even more valuable. Regardless of whether you want to go for paid features or the free version, you must have a profile on RealSelf and establish your presence in order to demonstrate the quality of your work.
RealSelf claims to attract more than 8 million unique visitors every month and has recently made it onto Inc Magazine’s list of the top 500 fastest-growing companies. With thousands of board-certified surgeons and specialists from around the world, how do you stand out from the competition? Here are six ways to make RealSelf work for you:
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
- Claim your profile: You must be in charge of your listing on RealSelf. By claiming your profile, you can ensure all information, including your address, phone number and directions to your practice location are accurate. Moreover, if information changes, you should update the information immediately, so you do not lose out on any questions/comments. Being in control of your profile will also allow you to interact and engage with potential patients. You can reply to reviews and comments, participate in online discussions and provide extra value for the users. The easy-to-use RealSelf dashboard allows users to add a photo, fill in their contact details and select their specialty from a list. Completing your profile will make it easy for potential patients to find you.
- Reply to online questions: One of the most interesting features of RealSelf is that it provides a platform for users to have their questions answered by certified medical professionals. Your contribution will not only help the patient in question but will also enhance your rating on the site. By responding to at least 75 patient questions, you can become a RealSelf “Top Doc,” which is a distinction that will be tied in with your profile anywhere on the site.
- Be polite and professional when responding to patient questions/comments: All comments and replies should be unique, and not canned. Do not attempt to post copyrighted content from other websites. Your posts must be original, and all sources must be cited to enhance your digital footprint. Be helpful, not arrogant, in your replies. The goal is for the patient to say, “I can connect with you,” even before they schedule an appointment with you. This pleasant feeling can be generated by comments that showcase your friendly personality.
- Upload before-and-after pictures: Your potential patients may want to see your skill and artistry. Before-and-after pictures are one of the most-visited pages on any plastic surgeon’s website, and their popularity may make them great additions to your RealSelf profile. The dashboard allows users to update their favorite cases and add relevant details. You can showcase your work and help potential patients imagine their results. However, before uploading pictures, be sure to obtain patient consent for online use. The uploaded images should mostly reflect your personal work administering a procedure. You must refrain from posting any content or image that violates HIPAA or other health-privacy laws.
- Track and manage your reviews: Unlike other third-party review sites, RealSelf gives you the option to control the order in which your reviews appear on your profile. Clearly, moving the best reviews toward the top of the page is the best strategy, but you must also consider your specialty procedures and the age of each review. Also, if you have any negative reviews, try to delete them. If you believe these reviews are fake or incorrect, you should contact RealSelf with your issue. To encourage your patients to leave you a positive review, you must send personalized emails and surveys after their visit to your practice.
- Explore other promotional opportunities: You can consider upgrading your RealSelf profile to a PRO account. A PRO account offers a number of benefits, including deleting other doctors’ ads on your profile, a bigger photo gallery and the option to add a link to your practice website. With a PRO account, you can also highlight special offers to motivate potential patients.