A few weeks ago, we talked about how, as a doctor, it is your obligation to go to the patient with answers if the patient will not come to you for medical information. As you may have noticed, the health-related searching trend on Google is only increasing. It is probably becoming quite common for you to encounter patients who step into your office with Internet printouts. In recent weeks, how many times have you heard one of them say, “Well, I read on WebMD that…” If your patient is using the Internet to find all of the answers to his or her health-related questions, then isn’t it your job to make sure they are receiving accurate information?
Oftentimes the information patients stumble upon during their Internet searches may not be entirely factual or may be too broadly or narrowly applicable. Without you there to put the information in perspective, how is the patient to understand or benefit from it? This is why it is important to understand that the development a social media marketing strategy is key, not only for generating leads, but also for increasing patient satisfaction.
Increasing patient satisfaction starts by understanding what the patient wants, and it is clear that patients want information. They want applicable information. They want accurate information. And they want information right now. While these qualities are not mutually exclusive, finding information that shares all three of them is not very common. Studies have shown that the patient wants information from you, because personal physicians are still a more trusted source than forums or search engines. You likely encourage all of your patients to come to you with any questions or concerns, but how often does that happen? Not many patients want to deal with the hassle of automated telephone messages, answering machines, or co-pays simply to ask a question about a symptom or ailment.
Medical marketing via social media can be a strategy that involves more than just practice growth. It is a way for you to give back to the patient by not only providing them with information straight from your brain and your fingertips, but also by leading them to other accurate Internet sources. Keeping a blog on your website will allow you to address common topics that you may come across in your day-to-day routine. You can also link to and recommend other blogs and social media sites. Social media can also be used as a forum for patients to ask simple questions and express concerns. You can poll your patients for information, and compile a list that helps grow your practice by understanding what it is that they want and need out of you.
MindStream Creative strives to provide you with new and up-to-date information that helps you keep up with the growing demands of your dynamic healthcare marketing needs. Keep checking back for other tips and ideas about how to help your patients search smart.