At Simply Social Media we are passionate about helping doctors and medical practices utilize social media successfully!
Social media marketing is an opportunity for you to connect with your patients like never before.
“It’s just a question of whether you’re going to let other folks do it for you, or whether you put things out there on your own and control your own brand,” Dr. Gaines said. That doesn’t necessarily mean posting 10 times a day to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on, but it does mean finding your niche and seeing what you have to add to the social conversation that is already happening within your specialty or in your local health care community.
“You want to make sure you’re up to date on any buzz related to that niche, so that you’re posting, writing or commenting and being part of that conversation.” Social media is not the only way to do that, but smart use can amplify other brand-building efforts such as speaking engagements, medical journal articles or news media engagements.
One university study showed that brands engaging regularly on social media have higher customer loyalty rates.
During a regular office visit, a doctor might be a bit rushed and not have the opportunity to engage with his patients the way he’d like. Social media allows him to reach out to them en masse and share his thoughts about their overall health.
It is also a good way to keep up with birthdays and big life events. Creating that ongoing dialogue that social media allows is something patients will appreciate. They aren’t likely to go to another doctor in the area if you are offering them everything, they need both online and off.
Social media can be intimidating to many physicians. But the truth is, it can also be a huge, cheap marketing asset. It’s free and most of your patients are on social media. Call us at Simply Social Media and we can help you overcome your obstacles. Call Simply Social Media at 248-773-7110.
Consider that just having a Facebook profile for your practice can improve your search results online. We can professionally help you with that.
Social media is also ripe with opportunity for patient engagement and spreading the word about your medical practice online. Whether you’re starting a new practice or just looking to expand your patient base, social media should be part of your practice marketing strategy.
You wake up feeling extremely ill or with a high fever, and you pick up the phone to call and make an appointment—only to be met with either a busy signal or nonstop ringing. You might even lose patients over this type of thing.
The issue at many doctors’ offices is that the receptionist taking the calls for the appointments also has to greet patients as they arrive, pull files, and do various other tasks. It’s a lot for one or two people to handle.
Even better? This type of software will send automated email or text appointment reminders to your patients. This saves your staff time and allows them to focus more on the customer service experience when the patient is in the office.
... with approximately 67% heading there for customer service needs. If your competition offers online customer service options and you do not, you risk losing customers. Even though the doctor likely doesn’t have time to answer questions and deal with customer complaints, assigning the office manager or another employee to handle these issues on social media can put you a step ahead.
Imagine, instead of spending so much on an answering service that you have, a registered nurse or nurse practitioners who takes live chat online. They can let patients know if they need to go to the emergency room or if the issue is minor and can wait until the next day. Ideally, this person would be able to schedule an appointment on the spot, too.
There are a number of ways to educate via social media. One way is to upload a link to new research about your area of specialty. For example, if you are a cardiologist, you might share a study that was just completed about the impact of high cholesterol on overall cardiovascular health.
Another idea is to record Facebook Live or YouTube videos and share them with your followers and the public at large. Do you have a suggestion that you think would improve the overall health of your patients? This is a great way to share that info.
Talk to anyone you know and you’ll likely find they are on some form of social media. From baby boomers to millennials to your local 13-year-old paper boy, social media is a big part of everyday life. Currently, there are approximately 2.46 billion social network users around the globe, and this number increases from month to month.
Facebook is still the social media giant, holding 18% of the market share and boasting around 1.87 million users who are active at any given time. The closest competitors don’t even touch Facebook’s numbers, with WhatsApp only having around 1 million active users and Twitter at a mere 317 million active monthly users. If you only do one thing to reach out to patients online, get on Facebook. However, there are advantages to other forms of social media as well.
There are a number of ways doctors specifically can use social media to expand business, stay in touch with current patients, and inform the public. Once you see the benefits available to your practice, you’ll see the need for a social media presence.
...the overall impression formed by an active social media plan that highlights the physician’s or practice’s role can tip the scales.
We all know that being a social media expert doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best doctor, but there’s something to be said for building your presence. You’re showing that you’re involved with the community, and allowing patients to feel like they will be seeing someone who is a trusted voice in health care.
Engaging with and promoting high-quality research on social media also can help educate medical students and aspiring physicians, as well as help reporters and editors who are looking for story ideas to pursue.
“I know some physicians think they can get through their whole career and not deal with social media,” Dr. Gaines said. “And I don’t think it’s mandatory to be on social media to take care of patients. But it’s such an opportunity to broaden your reach as a physician. We have so much knowledge after going through our training. Why limit it to the 40 patients you see a day when you could be reaching thousands of patients a day on social media?”
Dr. Gaines, for example, did a lot of writing and research on health care disparities during her time as a health care editor, and specifically explored matters affecting the African-American community.
The beauty of social media is that you can reach people who wouldn’t automatically read or digest that information. By using some of the social media tools or hashtags, you can bring your information to a much wider audience than would normally read what you publish” for a physician or medical audience.
As your professional interests change with time, so can the focus of your social media postings. “As long as you are deliberate about it, you can definitely drive something home for a while, and then explore a different passion.”
That takes time and can sometimes be a bit of work. Here are some things you have to figure out to get started:
Social media for physicians’ offices is one of our specialties. Our social marketing specialists develop relevant and unique content specifically for your office, and execute smart ad spend strategies that reach potential customers and fans who convert. We know where to look, what to say, and how to behave professionally. We also routinely run the logistics for you and send you a report. We can stay in touch with your office staff, if you desire. Contact us today!