Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube: we’re all at least semi-familiar with these popular social media platforms. Most of us use at least one of them to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s particularly useful for keeping in touch with those who live far away, though many of us would have to admit that some of our Twitter followers or Facebook friends are sitting in the same room with us at this moment.
Social media is fun and a great way to distract yourself from the stresses of the day. But did you know that this is a great way to market your medical practice? That’s right – more and more businesses, including medical practices, are employing the use of these platforms. As it turns out, social media is a very practical tool for marketing your practice. By using it regularly and effectively, it will help you to build your medical practice.
Why Social Media Is Important For Medical Practice Marketing
The primary reason these platforms are so important is because of visibility. The more visible you are, the more likely you’ll be able to attract patients into your practice. Since more people are using online resources to find just about anything from physicians to mechanics, being visible is extremely important. Having an active share online will make your practice appear higher in search engine rankings.
How to Use Social Media: 4 Questions to Ask That Can Help Build Your Practice
According to PhysiciansPractice.com, upwards of 70 percent of primary care physicians use some form of social media. With that many practitioners taking advantage of these platforms, the question begs asking: how can you stand out? Here are 4 questions to ask yourself that can help you figure out how to use social media effectively.
1. Who Is Your Ideal Patient?
The first question you need to ask is: who is your ideal patient. Granted, specialists have an easier time with this question. It’s kind of obvious that an OB/GYNs ideal patient would be women. But even these doctors can narrow their ideal down. Do they want to focus on prenatal care and deliveries, or would they rather specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological diseases?
Primary care physicians can think about whether their ideal patient is someone who is looking for a holistic approach to medicine, or who likes to use Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda in combination with Western treatments.
Whatever type of medicine you practice, it is always a good idea to think about who would fit your vision of an ideal patient. Knowing this will help you focus your marketing efforts on those people. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, you can avoid wasting time and energy by targeting your ideal patients on social media.
2. What Do You Want to Share?
The next thing you need to think about is what kind of information your ideal patient is interested in learning about. One physician in Kansas City, MO focuses her content on helping children make healthier decisions. Others focus on debunking medical misinformation that’s bombarding the internet. What kind of information would you want to share? Is there a question you seem to get every single day? If so, turn your answer into a blog or vlog and promote it on social media.
3. How Often Should You Post?
The short, and not very satisfying, answer to this question is: often. Social media posting is a trial-and-error, wait-and-see sort of endeavor. Some physicians post once a day, others post multiple times each day. It often depends on what your followers respond to and which platform you’re posting to.
4. Who Is Going to Write and Post the Content?
Social media takes time, something that is in short supply in most medical practices. Therefore, it is often best to get help from a medical marketing company, or disperse your efforts between staff members. Come up with a weekly posting plan and designate certain staff members to be in charge of posting. Make a posting schedule so everyone knows when it’s their turn to contribute.
Build Your Practice with Effective Social Media Marketing
It’s true that most of us use social media to keep in touch or watch funny cat videos; the truth of the matter is that these platforms can be extremely useful ways to build your practice. With the right content, and by posting regularly, your practice will soon begin to see the fruits of your social media labor: more patients streaming into your practice.