Social media has become a ubiquitous feature of modern human civilization. It can influence how we learn, what we wear, how we interact with each other and how we entertain ourselves. And that’s just scratching the surface of how sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, among others, have revolutionized human behavior. This giant change in communication has become intertwined with our lives to the extent that we can scarcely imagine what life was like before they existed.
Social media has forced a dramatic shift in the way that businesses today reach out to new clients and build with existing customers. The power of these influential tools has not gone unnoticed by the medical profession. Even so, there are still some medical practitioners who believe they’re either too busy to fuss with social media or that their line of work does not require marketing.
“Open a practice and they will come” isn’t a pretentious way of thinking; it’s the conventional wisdom. The world has changed, though, and physicians must adapt. As noble as the profession is, medicine in its purest form is a service, and one that must be marketed to reach the wider patient community. This is where social media for doctors comes in.
With an estimated 68% of adults in the U.S. counted as Facebook users, doctors are increasingly turning to social media to grow patient lists and expand their knowledge. It’s true there are skeptics and purists who are suspicious about the medical community’s reliance on social media. Some argue this creates a culture of “digital diagnosis”, a worrying trend of patients doing their own research on unaccredited websites and recklessly misdiagnosing their symptoms.
While this is a recognized challenge, social media for doctors is an excellent antidote for the culture of online medical misinformation. Through the use of social media, you can share your medical expertise and advice with patients, both existing and prospective. You can steer them clear of bogus websites masquerading as legitimate sources of medical counsel. Social media for doctors allows the medical profession to bring efficiencies to healthcare.
At Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, we have an in-depth appreciation for the transformative power of social media for doctors. With more than two decades in the field of marketing with a specialization in the medical field, we understand the far-reaching value of digital outreach to your medical practice. The potential of social media to positively impact the way you practice medicine starts with something as simple as streamlining your schedule.
Social Media Builds a Lean, Efficient Operation
As a busy doctor, you don’t always have time to keep up with an appointment book. Perhaps you’ve got the latest software installed on the office computer to keep track of appointments. Trouble is, if that software isn’t networked to anything, late arrivals and cancellations can wreak havoc on your schedule.
It’s difficult for patients to understand that when they simply skip appointments, it has a ripple effect on both your day and accounts. An appointment cavalierly missed is one that could have been filled by another patient, one who instead went to a different doctor because you had no opening. Social media for doctors presents an excellent opportunity to keep your medical practice running on an even keel. Because so many people are accustomed to communicating by text or posting on social media, it would be second nature for a patient to notify you of a cancellation beforehand. This might save you an hour or two that could then be given to another patient in need.
You can use social media sites to post available appointments and office hours, perhaps linked to your website. This is where your appointment scheduling software would come in. Patients could make their own appointments based on available dates, freeing you and your support staff to attend to other important matters. A medical practice using social media in this way operates more smoothly. This, in turn, means a happy clientèle and more robust revenues. Our Social Patient Center (SPC) also offers a fantastic way for you to keep vital information all in one place.
Standing Out in the Medical Crowd
Doctors are often reluctant to think of what they do as a service that requires “getting the word out.” A few decades ago, word of mouth was one of the most reliable forms of advertising. In the world of today, however, it’s important to not only tell potential patients what you do but to also offer compelling reasons why they should choose you above so many others. That’s why many doctors are turning to video as a way of reaching patients online. Video is continually growing as one of the preferred forms of content in the social media landscape. Several doctors already leverage this medium to expand their practices and effectively cater to their patients’ needs.
You may want to consider recording a series of FAQ (frequently asked questions) videos and post them to your social media accounts and website. Such simple videos establish you in the minds of viewers as an authority on matters most important to them. Consequently, they’re more likely to keep you in mind when the time comes to make their bookings for a checkup. Video is also a good way for prospective patients to get a sense of your bedside manner, which can be a deciding factor for any client.
The key to getting the most out of video marketing on social media is to have a strategic plan. At Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, this is just one area in which our expertise comes in handy.
The More You Know, the More You Grow
Social media for doctors presents an excellent portal into continued learning and keeping up to date with changes in medical regulations. Apart from networking opportunities with peers in your field, social media sites provide unfettered access to online scientific journals that would otherwise escape your attention.
Peer interaction is invaluable for any doctor keen on learning about new techniques to treat patients. In the field of plastic surgery, for example, if there is pioneering research on non-surgical intervention for specific patient cases, online discussions based on the latest available data and trials could push consensus through much faster.
A doctor who keeps pace with the most current, evidence-based research is a resource for patients that only increases in value. The more you know, the better able you are to serve your patients. This can only lead to a healthy, thriving practice.
Revolutionize the Way You Communicate with Patients
The advent of social media has the potential to change the way you relate to your patients. You may have already experienced an appointment with a patient that revealed itself as a complaint that didn’t require an in-person visit. It’s not the patient’s fault; if some inexplicable symptoms present themselves, it’s only normal for a human being to seek medical attention or advice. Social media for doctors presents an invaluable conduit through which patients can exchange information with you so you can possibly identify the cause of the complaint. This could save both you and the patient valuable time as patient concerns can, at times, be addressed through an online conversation.
Additionally, social media platforms offer doctors a unique way of following up with patients after procedures are performed or prescriptions are written. Using Twitter or Facebook pages, you can check in periodically with a patient to determine whether they are keeping up with their medication or getting the recommended amount of rest. Social media networks offer an enhanced immediacy to their communication because so many people are attuned to their social media pages and apps throughout the day.
This efficient way of keeping channels of communication open between doctor and patient is important to achieving an outcome that’s best for your clients.
The Key to a Healthy Practice
Social media marketing is one of the most exciting developments in the medical profession today. It helps doctors strike the right balance between effective patient outreach and sound medical business practice while avoiding an overtly salesy approach to attracting more clients.
Perhaps you’re daunted at the prospect of juggling a demanding medical practice with your family life while keeping up with your social media marketing. Thankfully, there’s no need to be. A digital marketing team that specializes in medical marketing makes all the difference in the world. You need a group of people who understand what you are about and the way you want to communicate with your patients.
Crystal Clear Digital Marketing has a wealth of experience serving the interests of doctors, dentists, health and wellness practitioners and many others. The social media landscape is our backyard. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help you.