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Did you know that practices just like yours are leveraging social media to attract more patients? That’s right! By implementing a successful social media marketing strategy, healthcare providers are able to attract patients, generate more revenue, and build a stronger relationship with patients. As a healthcare professional, the question of how to increase patient volume at your medical practice is a big consideration. With two billion active monthly users, social media platforms such as Facebook are an important part of helping you reach patients where they spend time online.
Social media for doctors is a key component of how your practice is perceived by current and prospective patients. Therefore, practices of all shapes and sizes should prioritize a few key things in order to market themselves as a top-tier provider.
In addition, patients have a tendency to seek information online (on social media, online review sites, etc) about doctors/specialists in order to make informed decisions on the best medical practices to go to for care. And the information and comments that patients find online have the power to either support or deter them from choosing a medical practice.
Useful Tips to Utilize Social Media
There is a variety of ways that healthcare managers are utilizing social media to enhance their services, promote their practice, and provide patients with accurate medical information. Here are the top ways professionals in the field are using social media:
Social media bio/profile
Simply having an informative online profile or bio and designing it in a way that quickly shows users who you are and what your practice is about can impact whether or not patients interact with your brand online. This is a good starting point. However, you can even spruce up your profile by adding a fun, memorable profile picture or designing an engaging profile banner. By doing so, you’ll help your profile stand out and possibly catch the attention of a few potential patients.
For healthcare organizations, blogs are useful for reaching out to the general community or specific populations to inform and engage.
By providing content that will be viewed as valuable, expert information, your potential patients get to see the knowledge that you have gained in your field. And it’s important that you share your blog posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular sites for blog post sharing); this will help more people see your posts. And, in time, posting blogs that are helpful and informative on a regular basis can make you the “go to” resource in your particular niche within the industry, which will subsequently lead to more inquiries and higher conversion rates.
A microblog is a short piece of content designed for quick patient interactions.
Microblogging is a combination of instant messaging and content production. With a microblog, you share short messages with your existing and potential patients to improve engagement. Social channels like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest offer popular platforms for microblogging.
In a fast-paced environment, microblogging allows healthcare providers to share time-sensitive information. A quick tweet tells the viewers about breaking news and other crucial updates. In addition, microblogs maintain relationships in between longer blog, video and infographics posts.
Podcast, videocast and photo sharing
These approaches present a great opportunity to repackage and broaden the distribution of existing audio, video and digital picture files for education and information. These types of media are efficient and effective ways of communicating directions, prevention and safety tips, disease and condition alerts, newsletters, pre/post-op instructions, and patient rights and compliance policies.
Also, the use of social media during operations provides healthcare facilities with the ability to gain attention from industry-specific outlets as well as mainstream media. As a marketing approach, organizations create a buzz on social media with these updates, creating excitement and enhancing public awareness of an individual organization to attract patients and medical personnel.
Follow other users and influencers
Most of the time, following someone, will get a follow back very quickly. And, interaction with influencers, that is not promotional or furthering your own agenda, will earn you respect and convince them and their followers that it’s worth their time to follow you.
Compare and improve quality
Another effective way that healthcare managers utilize social media is by spending time evaluating their competitors to get insight into the services they offer and overall patient satisfaction. By taking a look at different practices and their social media involvement, professionals have the ability to mimic their successful methods to enhance their own. And some organizations are able to offer enhanced customer service through social media; providers are able to determine whether or not they need to take more appropriate action to quickly respond to requests and improve customer service.
Include website link
Use your social media profile to draw patients to your website, where a potential patient can learn more about your practice. A great way to inform your viewers about your practice is to embed your website link on every post on each of your social media profiles. When responding to a posted comment by a visitor, including the link at the end of your own comment. You’ll increase the chances that the visitor will click on the link and possibly even become a potential patient.
Respond to comments in a timely manner
People like receiving responses to their comments on social media, just as they like when your practice responds to the comments that they send you on your website. When you respond quickly, patients are more likely to remember their initial comment and also feel like your practice values their feedback enough to respond to them.
Getting feedback and showing gratitude to their recommendation goes a long way for medical practices. It helps your practice to understand patients better, and it will give you ideas on how to improve their experience. In the same way, appreciating them for recommending someone to your practice makes them feel that they are not just numbers, but a valuable patient who is being appreciated.
If you do leverage social media, let your current patients know where to find you and encourage them to share your information with their networks. Lastly, don’t forget to be social! Followers want to feel like they’re connecting to a real person while being authentic and relatable.
As social media continues to become a valuable asset to healthcare organizations and new methods of use are implemented, the industry requires administrators or social media advertising agencies to set guidelines and procedures for effectively managing these channels. Website4MD, a company who is well versed in healthcare digital marketing, provides the best social media advertising services while adhering to HIPAA regulations. Step up your social media marketing by reaching out to our team of marketing experts.