In this digital age, being connected means having an online presence on various digital media platforms. This is true for the healthcare industry, as well. The proliferation of social media and other digital channels has changed the model of healthcare marketing. Don’t stay behind; leverage it to attract more patients into your practice.
Be exactly where people are making their healthcare decisions
Patients now refer to social media and other digital platforms extensively to manage their health and make health decisions. As they have become empowered with the Internet, they no longer accept blindly what a physician tells them. About 72% of patients use the Internet to research health information and to find a new physician. As patients have taken responsibility for their health and the decisions that affect it, you need to be proactive about your online presence. Constantly monitor and evaluate your online presence on search engines to make sure people can find you easily when they search your name or practice.
Beef up your online presence
While searching your practice by name, a website is something that all patients will definitely visit. A customer-friendly website is the first step toward building a positive online presence. Make sure that your website is updated with all the vital details, like:
- Your office’s phone, hours, fax, email and address
- A professional photograph
- Your credentials and experience
- Patient testimonials
- Calls to action
- A link to your blog
- Appointment schedules
- Social media links
Embrace social media
For the first quarter of 2015, Facebook users were about 1.44 billion, LinkedIn users were approximately 364 million and Twitter had about 236 million users. So for all the physicians, dentists, physiotherapist and hospitals, do you really have a choice of not putting efforts into marketing your practice online?
Refine your online marketing efforts by utilizing social media to your advantage. Targeting platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. can help create and develop your brand equity in the vast market of healthcare where patients look for quality services. Create a social media calendar so that you don’t miss posting updates. Think through the patient mind-sets and plan well in advance for your updates. Tools like Hootsuite make this task easier, as you can schedule the posts well ahead of time.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Focus on content marketing
Regardless of what social media strategy you choose, it will work only if the content is compelling. Readers want to read something new and innovative. Study your online patient behavior and analyze want they are really looking for. Develop and post content that satisfies their needs and quest for information. Don’t stick to just one type of media, and be sure to use infographics, pictures, videos, blogs and other ways to engage your audience – your patients and potential patients. You can frequently post tips and general information about health, fitness, food and well-being. Irrespective of their health issues, there are a large number of people who search for these topics for achieving better health.
For social media marketing, “content is king.” Make sure that you keep posting fresh content on regular basis so that your online presence is refreshed with every post you make.
Optimize for mobile
Statistics have proved that in the present-day digital scenario, mobile phones have superseded desktop Internet usage. All mobile users across the globe now expect an optimized experience for their devices. It’s obvious that they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. Physicians and healthcare practitioners need to ensure that their website is mobile-friendly. If not, it’s high time to go mobile.
Mobile phone Internet usage is the new catalyst driving consumer perceptions and decision-making. Therefore, a mobile-compatible website serves as a platform that enables a smoother and faster connection with your patients.
Relationship-building is one of the key elements for success in any venture. Healthcare professionals can solidify their list of patients by developing the dynamics of the physician-patient relationship. With positive social interaction and developing a positive online reputation, they can sow the seeds and reap successful benefits by attracting new patients to their practice.