The world of the Internet and social media is teeming with competition. Physicians face a continuous challenge of distinguishing their online presence from the crowd of hundreds of others. A physician’s digital DNA governs his or her reputation.
The process of finding a healthcare provider has undergone a drastic revolution and is no longer dependent on just word-of-mouth marketing. More and more people are now turning to the Internet to make their health decisions. Before visiting a doctor for the first time, patients now conduct a thorough analysis of a physician’s online reputation. If you want potential patients to find your practice online and chose it over the others, you’ll have to develop a credible online reputation. But the big question is how?
The solution is simple but quite challenging to implement. You can engage with people on various social media platforms and create a positive relationship with potential patients, even before they enter your practice. Digital conversations now have the power to directly impact your online brand perception and reputation. Here’s how you can engage people online and become their physician of choice:
Address all major health concerns on your website
A key component of digital healthcare marketing is to create impactful physician-patient communications that inform, influence and motivate patients to make better health decisions to improve their quality of life. People are constantly looking out to learn new things and gathering essential information to make informed health decisions. You can address general health concerns and specifically target the critical health issues affecting your immediate community. Regularly post articles, messages, tips and blogs to educate your patients and schedule them to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or in emails. This helps in establishing a sense of trust and credibility about your practice among all patients and other readers who can be potential patients in the future. You can be in touch with your patients even if they aren’t visiting you. This helps build loyalty along with a positive reputation of your practice, and these can be the determining factors for growth of your practice.
Be “socially” engaged on social media
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Spruce up your social networks by creating accounts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest as these mediums are valuable tools for creating and strengthening patient relationships. To enhance your brand exposure and visibility, you need to actively engage with your audience by replying to their questions, sharing informative posts, posting videos about various important health issues and so on. The more you engage with patients/potential patients, the more they will like your practice brand as it gives them a sense of trust and credibility. Engaged and satisfied patients are more likely to become loyal and ultimately brand advocates for your practice.
Frequent communication is the key
How often do you reach out to your patients? Successful enterprises and businesses don’t just communicate with prospects and their existing customers on special days. It’s very important to communicate frequently with your patients and know what they think and feel about your practice. By encouraging open communication, you can build positive relationships with your patients, which in turn will help you understand what they feel about the services offered at your practice. It’s possible to combine email, face to face, social media, physician-review websites and phones for connecting and communicating with your patients. Carefully analyzing and proactively tracking what services patients look for regarding their health needs can provide insight into their minds.
Patient experiences are now the epicenter of healthcare. A better patient experience definitely starts with a better online experience. To innovate and evolve with the changing mind-set of patients and an effective patient engagement strategy is indispensable in today’s competitive world and is a vital key to maintaining a strong brand image.