Let’s face it. A trip to any medical professional’s office can be unpleasant for the patient, especially when it is their first appointment. There are usually many things going on in their mind, ranging from their current ailments to possible insurance issues. Meanwhile, patients are required to be open about everything to those who are trying to help them. Often times, the stress of an office visit can be significant and may leave them reluctant to return. How can you resolve the stress and tension of this situation? It may not be surprising to learn the answer is communication. But how exactly do you reach out to your patients?
Social media marketing goes beyond promoting your office from a sales standpoint. It allows medical professionals of any specialty to connect to their patients in a sincere and approachable light. By utilizing the tools of social media, you’ll be able to show your patients that you’re an office comprised of people that want to treat, heal, and help their customers in any way possible. To put it simply, it makes you social! Read on if you want to have a closer relationship with your patients in an innovative way.
You may or may not be surprised to learn a large majority of your patients are already on social media. There are over 1.5 billion people on Facebook alone — chances are you’ve treated a few of them. Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, social media users will check their feeds to see what their friends, families, and favorite pages are sending out into cyberspace. It has become a way to reach out to those important elements in your life. Are you in those news feeds? It’s a great opportunity to be in the forefront of their minds. Now, you may be wondering to yourself, what kind of things could a medical professional post on social media? It’s a fair question, and there are many unique and engaging answers!
To become an interesting and comfortable presence in your patients’ lives, both on and off the computer screen, you’ll need a diverse mix of content to post. It is important not to be too sales-oriented in your content. That may end up backfiring on you. Instead, you’ll want to post things that are both relatable to your specialty and interesting to your patients to balance out promotional posts. Here are some of the most effective content ideas for medical professionals:
- Did you know that June is National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, or that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Your patients might not know, but will be pleasantly surprised to see their physicians, dentists, and more promoting these great causes on their social media profiles. Trust me; there are a ton of these kinds of holidays, ranging from days, weeks, and whole months. You will definitely find some that are relevant to your practice. This will show that you and your office staff have a care and concern for these causes. It will show the authentic nature of those they come to for medical aid.
- There are other ways besides holidays to promote health issues. By utilizing social media’s handy hashtag tool, you’ll be able to show that you’re involved in a universal effort to thwart certain diseases, or to promote healthy living. After a post about Alzheimer’s awareness, you could put #Alzheimers or #EndAlz, and your post will show up everywhere these hashtags pop up. You can also promote things like #FitFriday or #HealthyRecipes, complete with a link to something helpful that promotes good health practices.
- Speaking of links, curated content will be your friend through your social media marketing. These are news posts, press releases, tips, and more interesting ideas that can benefit your client. This will show your patients you’re not just in it for the co-pay. Instead, you actually care about their well-being, and are offering them helpful resources to aid that goal. Be sure that the sources you use are reputable. Since you’re bringing your followers to a website that’s not your own, you may want to look around the page to be sure there is nothing offensive or controversial.
- Social media takes certain constraints away. You can make it so your Facebook, Twitter, and other pages are avenues that patients can use to contact the office. A quick response to a direct message can do wonders for your reliability and your patients’ trust in you. Having them bogged down by a ten minute wait time could result in them becoming frustrated. However, if you train your staff to promote social media platforms as a way to communicate, they will commend your practice for its convenience.
- LinkedIn is a great tool for you to show yourself in a professional light. While you want to come off friendly, your patients might find solace in just the fact that you’re a reputable professional that is well-established in your field. By promoting your practice (and yourself) on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to receive an added benefit of social media—connections with colleagues. If you’re not already on this platform, see just how many fellow medical professionals are. There are over a million! This is also a great way to share your knowledge. LinkedIn Groups offer you the ability to share articles you’ve written about the practice. Once again, here is another way to show you have a passion for caring for patients and the people that come to see you.
- 2016 is showing social media leaning towards video more and more. By creating fun and informative short videos offering original content like health and nutritional tips, you can show your patients (and followers) exactly who they’re coming in to see.
By having engaging content like above, you’ll also have a high probability of attracting new patients. Many people use the internet to research new prospects for many aspects of their lives, and their doctors aren’t any different. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms are great ways to show you in a positive and professional profile. Because of the importance of a good online presence, you may want to request your loyal patients to post helpful reviews, recommendations, and 5-star ratings. After all, people really value the opinion of their peers and this alone could do wonders for you.
Social media isn’t just a way to see what your friends are up to, nor is it just a way to push products. It’s a way to organically reach out to your patients and show them a new side of your practice. So, what are you waiting for? It is important to get established on social media as soon as possible, and to post regularly, to stay on your followers’ news feeds. Many people think their practice may be too busy to strengthen their relationships with their patients. It’s understandable, the life of a medical professional and their staff is extremely hectic, and creating a strong social media presence takes time. Typically, at least an hour a day of content creation, site work, and scheduling is required. Often times marketers are busy with other aspects of the business, and something as important as your social media presence should not be put on the back-burner. By outsourcing it to a team of professionals, you’d be able to rest easy knowing that your patients are benefiting from a modern and familiar connection to those who they put in charge of their health.
Be sure to contact us today, and we can guide you in the right direction with your social media marketing!