“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Albert Einstein.
Online communities offer an edge to your practice as they enable you to offer information to others that is of value. It creates a sense of trust and credibility will ultimately make your practice successful.
What value can online communities add to your practice?
An online community is an interactive platform where the two-way conversations can serve marketing goals for your practice. Being a part of online communities can influence the success of your practice. Many physicians have started engaging via online communities as they facilitate communication with patients/potential patients, foster innovation, provide interactive support and help build brand equity.
Once you are convinced that online communities can influence the success of your practice, you can start a few by following these simple beginner tips:
Strategize and create a roadmap
Creating and managing online communities involve a lot of thought process and yield desirable results only when they are strategized carefully. Successful online communities can be created on many social media platforms by responding to tweets, lively discussions on LinkedIn, replying to messages and comments on your Facebook page or creating pages for discussion on special topics on all these platforms or your website.
Content is king here, as well
Digital patients and readers look out for interesting content in the online communities that informs and educates them about solutions regarding their health concerns. The “golden rule” is to provide tailored content customized to the latest trends through which people can get accurate information on topics they are searching for.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Encourage people to share content easily
Almost all social media channels facilitate easy content exchange. Ensure the same within your online community, too. Encourage people to share their experiences, stories and knowledge on the topics your online community is about. If users find your online community informative, it can become a comfortable nest for those suffering from similar health problems. Ease of content exchange can encourage everyone to open up about their experiences and provide guidance to those who are looking out for assistance.
Constantly monitor your online communities
Monitoring your online communities is one of the most essential tasks for maintaining online credibility. It will ensure that your online community stays like a well-maintained garden where people would want to visit regularly. Continuously monitor all discussions and take proactive steps to defuse discussions on any topic that may potentially turn nasty. Also, take appropriate measures if you feel the situation has slipped out of control and as quickly as possible stop the situation from escalating.
Create an engagement strategy
If people can be engaged around their information needs by building specific online communities, it can be a symbiotic association – serving the best interests of patients as well as physicians. Online communities often are not self-sustaining. Create an engagement strategy for involving readers in more than one form. Get creative and experiment with different content forms like blogs, infographics, videos, quick tips, short stories and so on to engage all members of the community.
By their nature, online communities are online social hubs where providers interact with people in addition to connecting with one another. The discussions and information exchange that take place from your end reflect a lot about your practice. The social proof that can be developed by analysis of your engagements is a direct representation of your skills, expertise and reputation.
These are good enough reasons to get started! Create online communities and engage people. You won’t have to wait long to see the ROI of your efforts.