Social media marketing has become one of the best ways to market a medical practice. It’s an inexpensive and versatile way to connect with both existing and potential patients. Despite its popularity, some medical facilities are intimidated about using social media, specifically Facebook. Some are concerned about the time commitment. Others are concerned about how to safely handle social media under the HIPAA guidelines. Regardless of whether you are just starting in social media or if you are already established, the following tips will help you market smart on Facebook.
Do Remain Professional – It is important to have a strategy for what will be posted on Facebook. Mentioning what you are doing this weekend is insignificant. Save these posts for your personal profile. Medical practice posts should cover topics that are relevant to your audience. A few suggestions are medical trends, new technology and treatment options for certain conditions. If you find an article you think would be helpful to your fans, share it by posting a link to it.
Do Reply to Posts and Comments in a Timely Manner – Let your patients know that you are regularly monitoring your Facebook page by responding to posts in a timely manner.
Do Tell Employees to Not Tag Themselves in Any Images Posted – For privacy purposes, it is wise to not tag any employees to images that are posted. If you want to share a picture of an employee, have a staff page on your website and direct patients to that instead.
Do Encourage Staff to Act Responsibly and Professionally While on Company Page – What your employees post on your Facebook page will reflect on your practice. Encourage them to share, but be sure the information shared is relevant to the audience.
Now for the Don’ts:
Don’t Talk About Yourself All the Time – One of the best ways to lose fans is to talk about yourself constantly. Self promotion should be limited to 30% of posts. Instead, talk about medical topics relevant to your practice and audience.
Don’t Tag Patients in Images or Posts – this is a HIPAA violation. Patients can post photos of themselves, but unless you have written permission to do so, don’t.
Don’t Acknowledge Fans as Patients – One of the biggest mistakes a practice can make is responding to a post by acknowledging them as patients. For example, Danny says, “Dr. Smith, you are the best doctor ever. Your treatment has made a world of difference in my life.” Your response should not be, “Thanks Danny. We think you are great too.” Even though that is a wonderful comment, it should be made privately and not on a public forum. Instead, you response can be, “Thank you so much for the kind words. They mean a lot.” Remember, play it safe by keeping it general.
Don’t Answer Medical Questions Online – Your Facebook page is not a place for medical questions to be answered. When medical questions are posted, your response should be to direct them to call your office.
At MindStream Creative, we understand that launching a social media campaign takes time and dedication. There is a vast amount of information available to your patients on the Internet. You can help them sort through it by posting content that is accurate and helpful. If you do not have the time needed to get started, allow MindStream Creative to help make your social media campaign successful.