Doctors are busy—and you’re good at making that work for you. You’ve mastered the art of sneaking in last-minute patients, you can practically update records with your eyes closed, and you’re amazing at your “bedside manner.” But the thing is…all these tasks don’t leave you with much to worry about something that seems as insignificant as social media. (We get it! You’d much rather pass out at home after a shift than update your Facebook post.)
But social media marketing can offer huge benefits to medical practices. And neglecting that online presence can leave a lot of those benefits on the table. Here are just three reasons why it’s crucial for doctors to have a strategy in place for social media marketing.
1. Show off who you are under your lab coat.
We always hear people talk about how doctors should “treat people, not patients.” But it’s worth saying that your patients should also see people, not doctors. Sometimes, and especially from the outside, a medical practice can seem like a faceless and even mysterious entity. Think about that for a second: how comfortable would you be, as a first-time patient entrusting your health to a group of people you’ve never met before.
Break through that barrier by cultivating a personal touch—and by helping patients match a face to your name. Try responding to patient queries, posting information about healthcare and treatments, and making your views about industry topics known. You should also show off their personality and interests, and give patients something to talk to you about when they come in for a visit. Showing a more rounded view of yourself, as a real person, can gain your patients’ trust.
2. Put out information about your practice.
We live in a world where we have a ton of information, always right at our fingertips—and that goes for your potential patients, too. Just like someone might search for info and reviews on a new television, they’ll also try to learn more about your medical practice before they consider stepping through your doors.
Essentially, perception is everything. Having a presence on social media, on whichever platforms your patients use most, can mean the difference between winning a new patient (and fan!), and losing them to a competitor with a better social media strategy. After all, if someone searches for your practice and finds zero information, they’re likely not to think you’re a leader in the medical industry. On the other hand, if they find content-rich social media channels, plus a steady stream of followers, they’re more likely to consider your practice to be credible and trustworthy.
3. Be seen as a thought leader in your industry.
Hopefully, you’ve already started a blog for your medical practice. (We really aren’t exaggerating when we tell you it’s one of the easiest ways to answer pressing questions, draw website traffic, and build authority as an industry leader). But boosting your existing blog content through social media can help you increase your online reach and, eventually, increase patients’ perceptions of you as a thought leader.
Plus, social media also helps you to jump into existing conversations to show off your knowledge. Search for existing LinkedIn groups and relevant Twitter hashtags to contribute to, or try responding on Q&A websites like Quora. By adding to existing conversations, you can help people with their problems, share your advice, and generate website traffic.
As a doctor, no matter what type of medical practice you work in, the advantages of social media marketing are way too great to ignore. The right strategies help you deepen relationships with current patients, connect with potential patients, and increase your online reach. Of course, we completely get that social media marketing is a pretty large time commitment, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us to reap all of the benefits—without the frustration.