Marketing your products or services is all about staying ahead of the curve and being innovative. In the digitally driven world we live in today, Internet and social media offer outstanding platforms for marketing. In the context of healthcare, Internet marketing can help your practice grow by putting you ahead of competition and helps nourish good relationships with your patients. However, healthcare digital marketing is not without its pitfalls. It is a crucial area that needs special attention. You need to be proactive and smart enough to know how to navigate through complexities of online marketing. To sail through the tricky waters, avoid these common mistakes to take your practice to the next level:
Don’t set up an account on every social network: Be selective
While it’s a good marketing practice to have active profiles on major social media and physician review websites, you needn’t be on each and every one of them. Managing and updating these profiles on a regular basis is very time-consuming and takes a lot of your valuable time. Social media marketing for your practice should be an asset that adds value to your marketing plan and not a liability you have to fulfil by devoting all those extra hours and energy. A better approach would be to define your marketing goals and carefully and handpick the best digital platforms according to them. This way you can properly manage your accounts and update them with fresh informative content on regular basis.
Shying away from interaction
This is a very common online marketing blooper that can take a toll on the health of your practice. Even if you aren’t social in your personal life, you’ll definitely need to be in the virtual world to achieve your Internet marketing goals. Many physicians and other healthcare providers are hesitant to engage with current or prospective patients online due to the fear of violating HIPAA regulations. Some of them even feel they’ll not be able to face the negative/biased comments or reviews, so they refrain from taking any action. Unfortunately, that’s not how it goes in the world of Internet marketing. You can’t expect good results by just pushing content and expecting to make patient conversions through it. Interacting with patients develops a sense of credibility, demonstrates transparency and is a way to maintain a healthy relationship with your current patients and to nurture new ones. Neglecting this important aspect of Internet marketing obstructs both existing and prospective relationships.
Listen before you speak
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Again, this is one common healthcare marketing mistake that predominately occurs because of lack of skills to deal with negative/bad reviews. In the field of healthcare, it’s next to impossible to deliver 100% satisfactory results to all patients. There will always be patients who will be miffed about one thing or another. There are thousands of people reading these reviews and if you react aggressively or choose not to address these negative or biased views, it may sweep away the chance of potential patients visiting your practice. The way you deal with these reviews will be noticed not only by the patient who posted the review but by many others who will make a perception about your practice from this discussion.
The golden rule is to be “proactive” rather than “reactive.” Set objectives and deal with the negative reviews by responding to them in a balanced way. Don’t fear a professional online interaction, but always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. For the genuine grievances and feedback, assure the patients that these will be addressed and make sure to improve your practice.
Dealing with these reviews optimistically opens up the lines of communication between the physician and patients. Don’t fear a professional online interaction and figure out the “right way” to fight negative online reviews. Industry experts in online reputation management suggest that physicians should solicit positive reviews and leverage them to counter negative ones.
Internet marketing can provide a countless opportunities for hospitals, physicians and healthcare providers to reach out to potential patients that otherwise would not be possible. The mantra is to know what to pay attention to and what should be avoided. Even the biggest of marketers make mistakes while executing their strategies, but this doesn’t stop them from moving ahead. So being cautious and avoiding these common mistakes can open doors to endless possibilities.