Five wooden blocks with yellow stars, meant to depict online reviews; social proof

Test5 Ways to Use Online Reviews as Social Proof

5 Ways to Use Online Reviews as Social Proof

Many medical practices are ignoring the ultimate content marketing tool: patient testimonials. If you’re using pollin8™, rater8’s intelligent review-building algorithm, chances are you now have tons of amazing reviews to work with. Social media is the perfect way to optimize all those 5-star reviews.

Placing an emphasis on your patient reviews is key to increasing your online reputation and social media presence. According to Julie Revelant from ZocDoc, an online service that allows people to find and book healthcare appointments, more patients are now looking to online reviews to determine which doctor’s office to visit. Additionally, SearchEngineLand reported that 9 times out of 10, an online review is considered just as important as a personal recommendation, making online reviews the new word-of-mouth.

hand holding phone with social media applications

Sharing your patients’ feedback on social media helps build trust in your practice. Testimonials act as a form of “proof” of the amazing work you already do. Think about the last time you made an important purchase. Did you see the product and immediately purchase it? Or did you read as many reviews as possible before deciding whether the product was right for you? 

Potential patients looking for their next healthcare provider tend to be no different. Place yourself in your patients’ shoes: you want a healthcare professional who is trustworthy and lives up to their reputation. It’s a no-brainer!

When patients contemplate which doctor to make an appointment with, they go further than just verifying their insurance covers the visit; they also consider the “social proof” that a doctor is as good as the claims. Social proof can take the form of testimonials, reviews, likes, shares, mentions, retweets, and more. Trustpilot, a consumer review website hosting business reviews worldwide, further explores the topic of social proof and the psychology behind trust signals. 

Here are five ways you can use your patients’ reviews in social media content to help you boost your online presence, reputation, and patients’ trust in your medical practice.

1. Share testimonials and reviews in your social feeds

Just as simple as it sounds! Take a break from generating new content and let your patients do it for you. Scout for your top reviews and testimonials worth showcasing, and stockpile as many as possible. Start an ongoing “Testimonial Tuesday” post, or share 5-star reviews during slow content weeks.

Better yet, take a hands-off approach and let rater8 automate this process for you. rater8 Social prioritizes your best 5-star reviews for publication to your Facebook feed at a configurable cadence, ensuring regular new content with no effort required.

A great example of how to use testimonials on your social feeds comes from rater8 client, the Orthopedic Institute, Sioux Falls (@orthopedic_institute on Instagram). They were able to take their reviews further by including testimonials on their social platforms. Check out our recent case study to learn how the Orthopedic Institute improved its online reputation using rater8.

Patient testimonials act as ; social proof; this patient testimonial features the name and image of the doctor and the practice's logo

Gr8 Tip: Not sure how to get started with graphics? Canva is a great platform for easy design creation and features tons of templates for customer testimonials. You don’t even need a pro license to get started!

2. Include more elements than just testimonials

As you may have noticed from the above example, simply adding the testimonial is not enough to catch the attention of your patients. Jazz up your graphics by adding more elements to the testimonial (without breaking any HIPAA regulations, of course). Try some of these ideas:

  • Photo of the doctor mentioned in the testimonial
  • The date of the review
  • A link to the review, if available
  • Your practice’s logo and other elements from your brand

Including these elements can help legitimize the review while also creating eye-catching graphics. You already know the review is legitimate; now it’s a matter of sharing the social proof with your patients as well.

Aesthetically pleasing patient testimonial featuring the doctor's name and image, and the practice's logo
Plain patient testimonial with five gold stars on a white background

Take a look at these two examples above. Which of the two seems more legitimate and trustworthy? At the very least, which is more satisfying to look at?

Although they both feature great reviews and both are very real, putting a little more effort into your graphics and providing more information about where the review came from, or who it was given to, will help build more trust in your practice.

3. Share them on your social stories

Similar to sharing testimonials and reviews on your social media feeds, you can also add them to your social media stories. Unlike typical social media posts on your feed, social media stories disappear from your profile 24 hours after being posted. This allows you to post similar content more often without obstructing the overall branded look of your profile or clogging up your followers’ feeds.

Stories help you increase and maintain engagement while staying at the top of your target audience’s mind. If a patient already follows you, your story will appear alongside other stories from people they follow, including their friends, which means they are more likely to watch your story than come across your post on their feed. 

These are some of the social platforms that currently feature stories:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

It’s important to note that not all story platforms will be suitable for you and your target audience; however, at the very least, we recommend posting stories on the platform most suitable for your practice. For example, if you are a pediatrician and your target audience includes teens, then Instagram may be the best choice. If your target audience is in the 65+ demographic and spends most of their time on Facebook, then you should consider using these stories instead.

Gr8 Tip: In addition to Canva, you can use templates from Adobe Express (formerly Adobe Spark) to help you get started on your testimonial posts.

Below are examples of templates you can use to create aesthetically pleasing testimonial posts that catch the eye and will help you boost your medical practice’s social presence:

Template for a patient testimonial on an Instagram story; social proof
Second template for a patient testimonial on an Instagram story; social proof

4. Use testimonials on your website

While your medical practice’s website may not count as social media, we couldn’t leave out this crucial way to use your customer testimonials to help you improve your online presence. Any visitor to your website is already interested in something your practice has to offer. Adding testimonials to your website provides extra social proof and builds trust with your potential patients. 

Additionally, there is no rule that states that your testimonials should only live on their own page. Practices can, and should, add reviews and testimonials on their homepage, contact page, and service pages. You can even feature doctor-specific testimonials on their bio pages. rater8 makes this simple and automated with our testimonial widget, which you can easily embed on your homepage and on each provider’s bio page. Plus, if you’re already using pollin8™, rater8’s intelligent review-building algorithm, then you have plenty of reviews ready to go!

See how the Orthopedic Institute, Sioux Falls, uses rater8’s testimonial widget to feature 5-star comments from verified patients on their website.

rater8's testimonial widget featured on the Orthopedic Institute's website

5. Use testimonials on social media paid ads

Once you have a good grip on using testimonials organically, (check out this article from Hootsuite if you need a refresher on organic media), then it is time to take a dive into social media paid ads. 

Just like testimonials can help you increase your social proof on your social media platforms and website, they can also boost the trustworthiness of your paid social media ad campaigns. 

New York Times Bestselling Author and marketing expert Neil Patel has a great article on the steps you can take to optimize testimonials to improve social media paid ads.

Top 8 Takeaways:

  1. Take advantage of your reviews and testimonials to increase your medical practice’s social presence—they’re free content from your patients!
  2. Posting testimonials on your social media provides social proof, which improves trustworthiness.
  3. Easily create testimonial graphics via the resources we provided in our Gr8 Tips.
  4. Spice up your testimonial posts with additional elements, while always keeping HIPAA in mind.
  5. Share testimonials on your social media stories.
  6. Know which social media platforms to use for your target audience. 
  7. Add testimonials throughout your website; do not limit yourself to a single testimonials page. 
  8. Use testimonials in social media paid ads to increase your click-through rate.

Popular Posts


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on all things rater8!

Visit Us On Social

30-Day Free Trial

Take the sting out of 1-star reviews

Capture patient feedback and enhance your online image.

Want to see how you appear online?

Schedule a demo to see rater8 in action. Our team will put together a detailed online reviews analysis for your practice, evaluating your presence across Google, Healthgrades, Vitals, and WebMD to identify specific areas in need of improvement.

Google, Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD logos