When used wisely and cautiously, social media platforms can be potentially channeled to promote individual and public health as well as a physician’s professional development.
Social media provides an excellent platform for physicians and other healthcare providers to engage with the public, educate patients and improve professional networking and education. Going one step further, owing to its popularity and usage by all segments of society it is now increasingly being used by the healthcare industry as a marketing and promotional tool. Changes in the world of social media happen at a phenomenal pace, so it’s important to take lessons to improve your social media promotional strategy. Read below for some quick tips:
Make strategic choices
While drafting a social media marketing plan, make sure you analyze and follow the demographic and user data. The choice of social media channels should be based on the target audience and goal of communications objectives. Social media is a vast space and you need to go to the people where they are. Depending on your marketing goals, you can chose to target people directly from platforms like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or can specifically target niche groups like moms, pregnant women, diabetics, people suffering from particular diseases like obesity, hypertension, PCOD and so on.
Create portable content
Don’t restrict yourself to providing text information to your patients and readers. Expand your horizon by developing portable content such as online videos, infographics, newsletters, white papers, brochures and other patient education materials. Creativity adds an interesting angle to the otherwise dreary health information. Readers who will use these thought-provoking information substitutes will form a positive perception about you and your practice.
Facilitate viral information sharing
For any type of content you post on social media, ensure that anyone reading it can easily share it forward. Facilitating viral information sharing for your messages can help establish a positive online reputation. People who will benefit from the information your post will definitely share it with their peers, family and friends and can indirectly become your brand advocates in the social world. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are some mediums through which you can encourage sharing among users.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Change is law of nature. Even your patients keep evolving with time. So how will you come to know what patients really want out of a consultation? For instance, someone with diabetes because of obesity might be seeking a diet and healthy lifestyle consultation to cure the disease naturally. Here social media comes to rescue! You can spark a discussion among patient communities on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These discussions reveal the mind-set of patients and revelations can be manifested in the form of better services at your practice. Social media, therefore, keeps you abreast of changing patient preferences, choices and decisions.
Provide thought leadership to patients
Social media empowers physicians to stay well-informed about how patients perceive healthcare, that too directly through their eyes. Social media connections with patients gives them insight about the problems patients face with healthcare services, their own health in general and issues they come across while working toward their healthcare goals. Physicians can share their knowledge and expertise with those who need it. Sometimes it’s just an experienced opinion they need. But ensure that you always remain professional and remember to keep private discussions/details offline (keep the HIPAA guidelines in mind).
Learn from metrics and re-evaluate your efforts
Time and again, just take a step back and analyze the consumer patterns. Social media channels offer many metrics that can be used judiciously to focus and improve your communications efforts. By carefully evaluation of the trends, you also get to know about patient insights in many valuable aspects. This in turn helps you to be better-equipped to understand the challenges people face and solutions they are looking for. Monitoring trends and discussions on social media networks provides a direct feedback loop with your audience. Through the feedback, you can adjust your social media strategy, reshape messages, improve processes or shift tactics.
Social media has brought a revolution in healthcare. Social media marketing can provide you with an excellent platform to evolve your healthcare business. By carefully integrating information from the social media space and effectively strategizing marketing plans, healthcare organizations can connect with their customers in more meaningful ways that provide value and increase trust.