Social media marketing is a tool that many brands, big and small, have been using to reach their customers and directly engage with them. There are several great tools that can be implemented to increase traffic to your website, promote sales, and drive more visitors to your location. Social media marketing for doctors is no different.
It is important that doctors utilize the power of social media because they may have customers who come into their offices on a regular basis. Unlike other businesses who hope to make a certain number of sales each week, many doctors perform a need-based service and never seem to run out of people coming into their office. So why should doctors use social media marketing?
What is Social Media Marketing for Doctors?
Social media marketing is the utilization of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to market a person or brand and directly engage with their audience. Many doctor’s offices don’t feel the need to have social media presences because they already have a steady flow of people coming in and requesting their services. However, this simply isn’t the case; it can still be greatly beneficial to the practice, and it’s also beneficial for practices whose services are elective.
Why is Social Media Marketing Important for Doctors?
The more web pages that you have your brand’s name on, the easier it is to be found online. With the technology available to us, the first thing most people do when they have a question is consult Google or other search engines to help them find information.
The great thing about social media is that you can geographically target those who are living near you. And let’s face it, aside from specialists, people are going to want to find doctors that are near their homes. Creating these profiles and including your town and state is a great way to show up in search engine results for a particular area. Doctor’s offices are most likely to attract people from the surrounding area.
As mentioned before, the more pages and websites you can publish with your office’s name on it, the more of a web presence you will have. But why is this important? It’s become the norm that if a searcher can’t find a website or information on a practice, then the practice seems less trustworthy and less “with the times.” This will cause searchers to find somewhere else to go where they can readily get information.
This makes the opposite true as well. When your website, social media sites, and your review sites all pop up, it tells the searcher that you’re in business and looking for people to come to that location. Besides, the more the customer knows before going in, the better they feel about choosing your office.
Answering Important Questions
Social media and listing pages can help to give the customer valuable information. This can include office hours, which insurance companies you work with, a telephone number to reach you, and your physical address. Instead of having your phone lines clogged up with these questions, if patients can find this information online, they can keep your lines free.
It is important to note here that all information should be kept up-to-date. If you move to a new location, change hours, or are closed for certain holidays, this is information your patients should know.
Engaging with Your Audience
Social media, especially platforms like Facebook and Twitter, are great for directly interacting with your clients. They might have questions about the services you provide, and being able to quickly answer them will go a long way in terms of customer service. Word-of-mouth is still a popular form of advertising, but having a stellar social and web presence will only give them good things to say about you!
You know you have a great practice, and your loyal patients know you have a great practice, but how will strangers know that? The simple answer is reviews. Facebook, in particular, is a great place for your patients to leave reviews and show off how great you are.
Even in the case of a patient leaving a negative review, this can still be turned into a positive thing. By responding to a negative review and aiming to either solve the problem or soothe the reviewer’s ruffled feathers, you show other onlookers that you take care of problems that arise. While you want to show off how good you are at retaining customers, it’s almost suspicious nowadays to see nothing but glowing reviews. You’re human, and things certainly happen, but you can show those interested in your office that you appropriately handle the problems as they come up.
Social Media Marketing for Doctors: Implementation
There are various things you could be doing to create a social media presence and market to current and potential future patients. Social media marketing for doctors is also a wonderful way to get feedback on current practices. Here, you can get the candid views of what people really think about your practice and how you run things.
Creating Social Media Profiles
The first step is to create your social media profiles. This seems like a no-brainer, but you have to have the published profiles in order for them to begin gaining traction. Start off with Facebook and Twitter, for example. Fill out these profiles with as much information as you can and begin to post to them regularly. This will give you a good idea of which platforms more of your patients use. If you find you’re getting more interaction on Twitter than Facebook, then it might be time to switch the focus.
Keep Information Up-to-Date
As mentioned above, your patients will be using these sites in order to look up crucial information about your office. When utilizing social media marketing for doctors, having information that is out-of-date can create issues with current and potential patients down the road. It should also be said that any information you share (articles, infographics, images, etc.) should also be accurate. Conveying accurate information is extremely important as a medical practice.
Use Relevant Keywords
When creating posts on these social media platforms, the articles you include (if they were written by you or your staff) should contain relevant, searchable keywords. For example, if you work with kids and you are located in Tallahassee, then a keyword like “pediatricians in Tallahassee, FL” would make sense. Also, consider the services you offer when creating your keywords.
Don’t Forget About Visuals
Whether it’s videos or pictures, social media sites of all sorts are very visual platforms. Visuals resonate with people more than plain text does. Visuals are most important on Facebook, but they should also be shared on Twitter and other platforms like LinkedIn whenever possible. This could even include the creation of infographics in order to present statistical data in a more visually appealing way.
Share the Knowledge
As a doctor, you will already have a lot of authority when it comes to medical issues. On social media, you can share your knowledge with your customers in order to encourage them to live healthier. They are more likely to trust information coming from their doctor than another random person they heard about on the internet. It will also bolster your authority on the subject along with your credibility.
Connect with colleagues and other physicians you know in order to become better connected with other practices. This might be especially helpful if they are specialists and you can forward information they are sharing to your own patients. The more like-minded people or pages you follow, the more you can create conversations and engage with your followers.
Clear Up Misinformation
Just as much as you want to share truthful information, you can also take the opportunity to point out errors or myths. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the medical field, and this would be a great way to help expose some false facts flying around. The topics covered in a doctor’s office can be very confusing, but here, you can be the voice of reason that people look to for help.
Contact Crystal Clear Digital Marketing!
Social media marketing for doctors doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially if you work it into your routine piece by piece and work with the experts at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. Our goal is to help you FIND, SERVE and KEEP more patients profitably. Contact us today to discuss your digital marketing options with a specialist!