The addiction treatment industry is held to a high standard due to the vulnerable population it serves. This means that the media, your clients, and the community all have special interest in publicizing and sharing your facility’s missteps — whether your actions and decisions are ill-intentioned or not.
Online discussions can run rampant long before you realize your treatment center is involved, so it’s important that you’re looped in and alert. Proactive monitoring allows you to stay ahead of conversations and respond swiftly and appropriately to any concerns related to your operations. This includes keeping a pulse on:
Scouring the news every day can be time-consuming, and sometimes smaller publications can write stories about your facility without your knowledge. Ashton Tupper, the Public Relations Manager at Recovery Brands, recommends a simple and free approach to monitoring the press: Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a service that sends an email to a user when it finds relevant news items for a particular topic. For example, you can set up a Google Alert for your facility name and receive a notification any time you are mentioned in the news. You can also stay up to date on industry-related headlines by setting up alerts for generalized keywords such as “addiction treatment” or “drug policy.”
Social media is all about immediacy, and users rarely take the time to refine their commentary. For this reason, conversations taking place on social media highlight issues that are of immediate relevance to your facility. Not to mention, they can be excellent indicators of public sentiment surrounding your organization or the treatment industry as a whole.
Monitoring these timely conversations requires vigilant social listening; however, staying on top of social chatter does not need to be a time-consuming task. Many free social listening tools exist to help treatment facilities track conversations across social platforms including:
Reviews are powerful tools for clients who are searching for treatment options. As we’ve discussed before, 74% of consumers read somewhere between two and ten online reviews before trusting a business — and your treatment center is no exception.
Clients place considerable importance on reviews when selecting a facility, so it’s important that you’re aware of both positive and negative reviews that may influence perceptions about your treatment center. Clients are also looking at how you respond to reviews.
Monitoring reviews can be as simple as bookmarking third party review sites where you’re listed including Facebook, Yelp, and our own flagship site, Rehabs.com, and checking in on these sites consistently (every day or every week) to make sure you’re on top of all reviews.