Today, social media has reached a stage where it cuts across every customer segment. In healthcare, it shows its impact on many aspects, including the sensitive area of a physician-patient relationship. The need of the hour is to keep a close watch on social media trends so that physicians can leverage this platform to develop an effective online marketing strategy.
How important is online marketing for your practice?
The physician-patient relationship is the nexus of Western healthcare systems. Patients have evolved with social media and continue to do so as there are new developments that empower them to make better decisions. Among these unforeseen market-driven surprises, it’s imperative for physicians to evolve or else they will be left behind the competition.
A large chunk of US population is turning to social media for their health solutions. For that reason, your digital footprint is now more important than ever before. Your online presence and reputation determines the path of your practice and shapes how patients perceive you. Social media networks are new channels to represent your practice as a brand in the online market. It’s time for physicians to adapt, act and embrace the change to gain business advantages from online marketing to influence patient perceptions. A peek into some key benefits of online and social media marketing:
Wider brand exposure
Internet marketing through social media is one of the most powerful ways to showcase your brand and build brand equity. It gives you an excellent online platform to position your practice and spread the word about what kind of healthcare services you offer. A strong online presence helps establish a physician’s trustworthiness and boosts traffic and search engine ranking. Moreover, it increases the bandwidth of brand exposure as social media allows you to provide links to your website from many other sites. This generates additional traffic to your practice website and also gives a higher ranking on search engine results.
Discover your patients
Your patients are online now. Americans have an online obsession and the numbers seem to be increasing exponentially. So you need to be in their league! For all your online marketing efforts, you need to be proactive and stay in constant touch with your patients. This puts you in an advantageous position of discovering their needs and expectations while interacting with them. You’ll get valuable insights about what motivates them, what kind of treatments they are looking for, what they think about other competitors and so on. Analyzing the trends will open doors to new ideas for patient engagement. You can help them with what they need in many ways, for instance creating patient support groups, posting informative tips on general health or writing blogs on topics of patient interest.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
A great way to bring in more referrals
The Internet and social media are the new-age “word-of-mouth” for physicians. Every connection you make on these digital channels is an opportunity to convert. Once you have an established an online presence, you can connect with new patients and other visitors to your posts, who can potentially be your patients in the future. Needless to mention, it’s also a great way to market your practice among your existing patients, who are already your brand advocates. When you regularly post content on social media, it shows in their news feed. Satisfied patients will definitely share it will their friends, family and colleagues, and this can bring more referrals to your practice.
Helps to strategize better marketing plans
Usually physicians are tied up in their hectic routines, which leaves them with little or no time to analyze the competition. But if you are actively involved in social media marketing, it gives you insights about what others are doing. Observing the online marketing efforts of other physicians will give you a fair idea about what they are doing. You can pick up ideas, reformulate them and add them to your online marketing plan.
Connect with people at a low cost
Ever wondered what online marketing costs you compared to other marketing efforts? It just involves the investment of time. This makes online marketing a great opportunity, as there is a larger audience that can be tapped through different online marketing strategies. Whether you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or write a blog post, you can connect with different segments of people and increase your brand exposure.
Marketing only works when you market yourself well. So for the good health of your practice, embrace social media and market yourself to build a practice brand.