It’s often hard for a doctor to find the time for effective digital marketing. When you aren’t seeing patients, you’re probably using what little time you have to write new blog posts and try to drive traffic to your website. You might feel as though social media is something best left to corporations with large online marketing teams. If you’re neglecting social media in your practice’s digital marketing strategy, though, you’re leaving some significant potential benefits on the table. In this article, we’ll explain some of those benefits.
Interact With Your Patients
The greatest benefit of marketing your medical practice on social media is that doing so gives you an opportunity to connect with your patients. With social media, you can keep patients informed about the latest services you’re offering and provide updates about your office hours. If you’ll be away for the holidays, for example, social media gives you an easy way to notify your patients and let them know who will cover for you while you’re away.
Becoming active on social media can also keep your medical practice at the top of patients’ minds and potentially increase the amount of business that you receive from your existing patients. During flu season, for example, you can use social media to remind your patients that it’s time to come in for flu shots. During the summer, you can post a reminder about the benefits of seeing your family doctor for routine checkups.
Social media can help your practice retain its existing patients. If your patients know that you’re a helpful doctor who cares about their health, it’s less likely that they will ever consider seeing a different doctor. Take the time to interact personally with your patients on social media and provide thoughtful answers to their questions.
Become a Thought Leader
One of the easiest ways to bring consistent traffic to your medical website is to post on social media each time you add a new blog post or article to your website. You’ll give your patients an even better reason to follow you on social media, though, if you post content on your social media pages that aren’t available elsewhere.
Every social media platform that you join gives you an opportunity to post useful content that increases awareness of your practice and positions you as a thought leader. If you have the capacity to write a large volume of content, you can cast a wide net by posting great content on all of the most popular social media networks. It’ll be impossible for social media users not to know your name.
Posting articles aren’t the only way to create a presence for your medical practice on social media. You can also join existing conversations by looking for groups on LinkedIn or running hashtag searches on Twitter. Question-and-answer websites such as Quora are also great places for you to contribute to discussions, help people with their problems and generate traffic for your website.
Rank for Difficult Keywords
Have you spent any time monitoring Google’s rankings for your most important keyword phrases? If your website is relatively new and doesn’t have many inbound links yet, it’s likely that what you’ve found has disappointed you. Each new patient is extremely profitable for a medical practice, so you’ll find that every keyword for which you’d like your website to rank will already have plenty of existing competition.
With time, you can increase your website’s rank for competitive keywords. For now, though, you need a way to give your practice a presence on competitive search results pages — and posting content on social media is one way to do that. Popular social media websites have already gone through the difficult process of building names for themselves, so an article posted on a website such as Facebook or LinkedIn often has an excellent chance to rank well for its target keyword phrase.
You can take the strategy of posting content on social media even further by focusing on the same keyword phrase across multiple social media platforms. Suppose, for example, that your website has an article with an extremely competitive target keyword phrase such as “heart health.” You may have written the best article about heart health that’s available anywhere online, but it’ll still be a while before the article gets any attention. Your competitors have older, more established websites with plenty of inbound links. How can you get a leg up? Social media can be a crucial part of your strategy for improving the rank of your article.
If you’re an expert on the topic of heart health, it’s likely that you have a great deal to say about it. You could probably write many interesting articles about heart health in addition to the one on your website — so write a unique article for each social media platform. In each article, link to the heart health article on your website. As your social media articles gain attention and contribute to your notoriety, they’ll increase your website’s search engine rank.
Connect With Other Professionals
Professional relationships are important in any industry. As a doctor, having strong relationships with other doctors gives you people with whom you can consult when you have patients with unusual medical problems. Having professional connections with other doctors also gives you a pool of experts to whom you can refer your patients when necessary. Those doctors may also refer their patients to you occasionally.
It’s also wise to connect with other medical professionals on social media because doing so gives you the potential ability to connect with their social media audiences. It’s valuable to you whenever any person shares your social media posts with their followers. When a fellow doctor shares your content, though, you’re receiving a vote of confidence from a respected authority in his or her field — and that carries extra weight.
Connecting with other doctors on social media is easy. Start with local doctors. Make a list of the doctors in your area, and search social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to see if those doctors have profiles. Follow those doctors, and send messages to them to introduce yourself. Many of them will follow you in return.
LinkedIn is also an excellent social network on which to connect with fellow doctors. Since LinkedIn’s primary purpose is to give professionals a way to connect with one another, you can find LinkedIn groups in which doctors converse. Search LinkedIn to see if a group of doctors in your area exists. If you find a group, join it. Read the discussions in the group. When you feel the time is right, jump in and introduce yourself.
Pay for Qualified Local Traffic
Like search engines, social networks earn much of their revenue from selling advertising space — and since people share their lives with one another on social media, social networks tend to know their users very well. When you advertise on a search engine such as Google, you target a specific search keyword. You can also use geographical targeting to ensure that only people in your region see your advertisement.
When you advertise on social media, you may pay a bit more — but you can target a much more specific group. Depending on the advertising features that a social network offers, you may have the ability to target people based on specific demographic details. For example, you can target people based on their ages, genders and education levels. You may also be able to target people based on their interests and professional affiliations. If you want to acquire specific types of people as new patients, social media makes it easy to advertise to very specific groups of people.
Facebook is an online advertising platform that can actually select a target audience consisting of people who are likely to become new patients. Suppose that you have an active advertisement on Facebook. The advertisement sends people to a page with a form for requesting an appointment. When a visitor submits the form, your website redirects him or her to a page containing a message of thanks and telling the new patient that someone from your office will call shortly. In Facebook’s advertising interface, you can enter the URL of the “Thank You” page. Whenever a visitor loads that page, Facebook will recognize the event as a conversion. If you tell Facebook to optimize your advertising campaign for the most possible conversions, Facebook will begin showing your advertisement to people with statistical similarities to people who have submitted the form. Over time, the conversion rate of your advertisement will increase.
Get Help With Your Social Media Marketing Now
For any medical professional, the benefits of social media marketing are simply too great to ignore. Social media helps you find new patients while building deeper relationships with your existing patients. Social media connects you with other medical professionals and helps you increase the search engine ranking of your website. Getting the maximum possible benefit from social media isn’t easy, though. Social media marketing requires a major time commitment, and time is something that you may not have in abundance. We can help. Contact Crystal Clear Digital Marketing today for help with all of your social media marketing needs.