As of the first quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.65 billion monthly active users. What’s best about it is: It’s free, fast, easily accessible and used by all age groups. But why should your practice have a Facebook page? Let’s explore some reasons why you should follow the Facebook bandwagon.
Social media networking has expanded the social life of health, which now goes far beyond a doctor’s office. Facebook is one of the most popular social media channels in use by millions of people across the globe. It can be used as an ideal platform to share your practice visibility, helps connect directly with target patients and influences their opinion about your practice. If leveraged correctly, it can be used as a powerful tool that offers an excellent platform for collaboration between users and is a social interaction mechanism for a range of individuals. The ease and simplicity through which the process of information exchange and communication takes place through Facebook is the prime reason for its prevalent use.
Healthcare providers have increasingly started using Facebook to grow their online visibility and for attracting new patients. Your practice needs to have a Facebook page to thrive in the competitive scenarios of healthcare. Let’s have a look at some reasons why your healthcare practice should be using this social media giant:
Use it as news feed to keep your patients informed about new events
You can post all important announcements about your practice like opening of new branches, changes in office hours, special promotions or discounts on healthcare packages, addition of a new provider to your team and so on. Without any hassle, your patients can get to know about the important updates through the Facebook news feed.
Provide scientifically accurate and reliable information to patients/potential patients
People love to learn new things and constantly seek information that can satisfy their hunger. Though information on any topic is just a few mouse-clicks away on the Internet, getting reliable and accurate health information still remains a challenge. You can regularly post scientifically accurate articles, messages, tips and blogs to educate your patients and schedule them to be posted on Facebook. 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, and these can be the determining factors for growth of your practice.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
For building positive online credibility
Facebook is an excellent platform to build relationships with your patients and create new ones with others who could be your future patients. A positive presence on this eminent platform is a “social proof” of your credibility. When you actively engage with your audience by replying to their questions and sharing informative posts, it’s visible to many others who form a perception about your practice through these interactions. Positive engagements and conversations definitely build a positive online reputation — an essential component for the success of a physician’s practice in today’s digital world.
Recommendations on Facebook can help you attract new patients
People usually trust recommendations of other patients who have already received consultation/treatment from a physician. Positive interactions with patients make them brand advocates for your practice. If they write a recommendation about your practice on Facebook , prospective patients may think of booking an appointment with you. They can easily get the details about your credibility and reputation from your Facebook interactions.
Search engines like Google use social media factors, such as an active Facebook page, as a ranking factor. Is your practice doesn’t have a Facebook page, you can be losing the SEO benefits it can bring to your practice. Active engagement with patients/potential patients on your Facebook page encourages visitors to share, like or comment on the content, which in turn brings better SEO results. If you have linked your website to your Facebook page, it can increase the traffic to your website more than any other social network.
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 lives. Facebook provides an excellent opportunity to healthcare providers to take a more active, engaged role in managing patient health. The need of the hour is to innovate and connect with healthcare consumers through social media channels in more meaningful ways that provide value and increase trust.