Setting up profiles on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest and others has become a must for physicians to establish their online visibility. These social networks can be valuable tools only if you use them regularly for connecting and communicating with your patients.
Social media isn’t just about a like, share, tweet or comment. It’s also a platform used by patients to make decisions and manage their health. According to a report by Pew Research Center, seven in ten (72%) adult Internet users have searched online for information about a range of health issues, one in four (26%) adult Internet users have read or watched someone else’s experience about health or medical issues, and 16% of adult Internet users in the US have gone online to find others who share the same health concerns.
By reaching out to patients/potential patients on social media, physicians can create impactful communication channels that can drive patient decisions in their favor. But a mere presence on social media channels isn’t enough. Physicians need to think like marketers to better understand and participate in conversations through social media channels, as these directly impact their online brand perception and reputation. Here are few tips on how your practice can make the most of its social media presence:
Plan your presence on major social media channels and physician-review websites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, RatemyMD, Vitals, Healthgrades and so on) and keep your practice website updated.
Engage patients through various channels such as blog posts, group discussions, posting informative materials and through direct communication wherever required. Social media can be used as an ideal platform to share your practice visibility, connect directly with target patients and influence their opinion about your practice. Healthy relationships with patients will drive up appointments and referrals, increasing profits for your practice.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Conduct regular reputation analysis by conducting thorough research about your name and practice on Google and other major physician-review websites where patients can post their experiences and rate you. Carefully analyze what patients are saying about you or your practice and gather feedback. You can use these insights to improvise services at your practice.
Help people to lead better lives by posting informative content on social media channels that can be inculcated in everyday life to bring about a lifestyle change toward a healthier life. Every effort you put into a social media platform is an opportunity to convert potential patients. Whether you post some informative health tips on Facebook, initiate group discussions on LinkedIn, tweet with some general fitness tips, post a blog on some advanced treatment options – all of them will help you connect better with patients. When people like what you have posted, they will share it with others, so you’ll have access to communicate with more people while interacting with your existing patients. Your brand will be visible and your active online presence will help develop a sense of credibility. A positive online reputation is imperative for physicians, as many people refer to all possible sources of online information before booking an appointment.
Social media has revolutionized healthcare services and has put the patient in the driver’s seat. If done right, it is the best way to create awareness about your practice and build a connection with your patients/potential patients. It’s not just important; it’s a must for physicians now!