I remember the day I was talking to my previous physician employers about Facebook marketing. We all had the same hesitation because there was concern about derogatory commentary from unhappy clients. Almost instantly, we both realized that 95 percent of our patients actually loved us so what were we really concerned about?!
Then the research began…how were we going to create a Facebook page that would generate good morale and insight a buzz about our office? We watched the video from Jeffrey Gitomer called “OH NOOOOOO NOT FACEBOOK!” It was truly eye opening for my physicians to watch, since I already understood that social media was about to take off and truly HELP businesses like ours. I was lucky in the sense that my physician employers kept an open mind and could overcome the “unprofessionalism” stigma that was going around in the medical community about Facebook. Now all you have to do is hire a reputation management company! Here is the video that became the game changer for us:
The decision was made and we started our journey into the taboo social media land for our medical practice. Our staff was so excited to introduce our medical family and I began creating a buzz! I posted signs in the waiting room to “LIKE” us on Facebook and then I requested everyone’s email signature to host our link. It was all very exciting! We began by posting educational information about maintaining good health in the hopes it would create value to our patients. Then I began reviewing our “likes” and I swore I could hear crickets in the background. It was pathetic; a mere THREE people liked our content. AARGH! What could possibly be wrong? My physicians were providing insightful information that had been researched before posting?!
So I began thinking about what I personally enjoyed looking at on Facebook and a big ole light bulb went off…FUNNY, anything humorous was worth LIKING! It wasn’t long before we began ENGAGING with our audience and accumulating more “likes” to our page. I am not proud of the cheesy sign I had in the waiting room about our new and exciting information about our FB page…LAME!! The way to engage people is to do just that, show your imperfections & connect to their humanness.
Next we pondered about how we were going to stand out! Have you asked yourself that question? What makes YOUR practice stand out! Well, we decided to make a music video. That’s right, a MUSIC video. How many medical offices do YOU know that have one? I mean a GOOD one?! I started looking at our competition and any medical office that had a video attached to it. WOW, talk about snoozers! I could not believe how BAD they were so standing out was NOT going to be a problem for us.
The next hurdle was to convince a medical staff to buy into my vision. It was crazy enough for everyone to get a kick out of and off we went to the planning stages. The timing was perfect because we were opening nights and a great opportunity to DISRUPT the industry. I am proud to say it got over 5,000 YouTube views, not viral but certainly worthy of it! It was easy from there on out to get the word out because everyone was talking about it and it generated a TON of new patients into our practice.
So what could we do to top this? Well, how about a REMIX?! That’s in the works for later this year. In the meantime, it’s vital to stay relevant in this competitive industry. How are you keeping up with the market and causing disruption to stay on page one of Google? How are you monitoring your marketing efforts? Do you consider how Fortune 500 companies operate to get to the top? Why can’t your medical office run like the Ritz Carlton? Have you spent any time in your waiting room to encounter what your patients endure? Do you know if your answering service has competent staff representing your practice after hours?
These questions are vital to ponder if you are a business owner. You are missing the mark entirely if you do not have someone constantly bragging about your services. Why shouldn’t you brag about that medical degree? I would tattoo it across my head if I had to endure all of those years of schooling coupled with outrageous loans to pay back!! Tell everyone how awesome you are or HIRE someone to do it for you! I never encourage my physicians to market their office because an employee should be promoting the doctor. I proudly speak of the contributions they make to our lives, tireless hours they endure and sell their STORY.
There are many simple solutions that can improve the value of the service you provide. You went to medical school, not business school. As a practicing physician you are not suppose to know the about Google Helpouts (but SOMEone in your organization should). I will leave you with my insights about growth.
Top 10 issues that will prevent you from doubling your growth in the next 12 months
- Lack strategic growth thinking
- Growth can only be backed by facts, numbers, & statistics
- Growth occurs when you lead, manage, delegate, & focus on what you are greatest at
- Growth comes from a strong back office
- Growth comes from building a ‘FAMILY FIRST’ culture
- Growth comes from continuous and constant training
- Growth has no fear
- Growth comes from coaching
- Growth comes from hiring the best
- Growth comes from a business model