Implementing social media within the medical industry is something that I am a strong proponent of. I believe it is a great way to get your voice heard by not only your patients and prospective patients, but people across the globe. Social media is the platform with which you share meaningful information to your fans and followers. Your success or failure in social media depends a lot on how you envision social media working for your practice. What is your honest reason for developing a social media strategy? For most, it is a way to generate new patients. This is correct, but this should not be the only reason you develop social media. Social media is not about just the doctor or the practice, social media is about the patient.
Consumers want what they want, when they want it. Traditional marketing within healthcare is often unsuccessful because patients don’t want to be sold. Most consumers use the Internet to gain medical information, not to buy. The way you can help them as a medical practice is by providing useful medical information pertaining to subjects they are interested in. The more information you provide over a period of time, the easier it will be for the consumer to remember you when they have a need for a doctor. That is how you end up getting the patient – by becoming a thought leader in your specialty by providing quality information to people.
I am not saying that you cannot use social media to let patients know about the great promotions or events you have coming up. I am, however, saying that social media should not be used just for that. Social media is not about you. It is about making connections, helping others, sharing ideas and building business opportunities. Social media provides you with a platform to reach an unlimited audience.
With social media, we recommend talking about a practice 20% of the time. The remaining 80% should be used to discuss topics related to your specialty, but not directly about you. Use social media to educate, not only on why they should choose you as a provider, but also on how they can make their lives better.
As you plan out your social media strategy, consider all types of information that may be useful to prospective patients. Use social media as a way to introduce your fans and followers to other authors that provide quality information.
The opportunities to grow your practice are endless with social media. Just be sure to keep the patients’ needs and interests at the top of the priorities list!