Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has undergone drastic changes. With significant advancements in the field of technology, patients now have access to more information than ever before. Physicians are slowly adopting new digital marketing strategies to increase new patient visits and retain the existing patients as well. Social media platforms have become a growing necessity for all small businesses, including medical practices. As a healthcare professional, the question of how to increase patient volume is a major consideration. Reports suggest that on an average people spend about 144 minutes on social media platforms every day. With 2 billion active monthly users, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are crucial to reach a wider group of patients. However, as a physician how do you make yourself stand out from thousands of other physicians or medical practices that are advertising and striving hard to gather the attention and maximum “Likes” and “Views” of targeted users? Whether you are a medical practitioner or physician who is looking for efficient ways to improve the visibility of your clinic, it is vital to incorporate a solid healthcare digital marketing strategy to widen your clientele.
Significance of Digital Marketing for Physicians
Digital marketing and SEO for doctors can be challenging. This is particularly because medical professionals need to go that extra mile to build a sense of trust and assurance with potential patients in the online space. Apart from marketing aspects, social media platforms can be effectively utilized by doctors as a tool for networking, educating patients and also as a customer service tool to answer non-urgent patient queries for funneling appointments. If done rightly, social media marketing can provide huge benefits and opportunities such as –
- An opportunity to reach more people than just the patients in your practice
- Ability to communicate with current patients (including sharing product recalls, new updates on health trends, and medical breakthroughs)
- A platform to find new patients
- Improve brand awareness
- Experience a visible increase in leads
- Boost digital profile and improve healthcare website’s SEO
Social Media Marketing Tips for Physicians
Posting to social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook won’t bring magical results or a flood of new patients to your door. Like any other digital marketing medium, social media also takes time, testing and patience, and to succeed, your efforts need to be guided by a well-considered strategy.
So, how can physicians use social media platforms to improve their deductive skills, market their medical practice, educate existing patients and move new patients into the marketing funnel?
Here are some top digital marketing tips that could help physicians navigate the wonderful world of social media and stay relevant and patient-centric –
- Develop a Clear Strategy – Before you get started, ensure that you have a clear, definite social media strategy in place. Incorporating a more strategic approach will ensure your marketing efforts don’t go in vain. This is the stage where research is done. Take note of what other physicians or competitors are doing on social media and devise strategies on how you can do it better. The strategy will include – the specific social media goals, which specific channels you will use, how you will use them, what postings may be done as well as whether paid social media channels will be used.
- Choose a specific social media platform – With a plethora of social media platforms available, choosing the right channels is crucial to achieve your social media marketing goals. The strategy for social media will vary from one physician to another. For instance, Facebook (FB) is the obvious choice for most healthcare practices. In fact, this is the venue where maximum number of users may be present and hence highly competitive. However, there are definitely good opportunities on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. For example, if you want to be perceived as a thought leader or connect to the industry, it is best to engage with professionals and publications on Twitter or LinkedIn; on the other hand, if you are a medical practice looking to gain new patients, choose Facebook.
- Bring value to your community – One of the top ways to establish a good reputation for your medical practice on social media, is to bring value to your patients and give them a reason to follow you. This can be done by sharing information about current health topics, general tips on how to stay healthy, or updating about the medical practice like opening hours or staff changes. Tone of voice is another important factor in social media marketing. Make sure to avoid jargon and keep your posts concise.
- Be more than just an information provider – Utilize social media as a platform to share relevant information on common health issues and diseases, preventative health tips and other public health issues in general. Share and communicate educational and health information and encourage behavioral and corrective changes. Connect with the audience and implement marketing strategies when applicable.
- Understand the laws and regulations applicable: This is very important and these regulations may vary from one country to another. Do not post any content that could compromise the patient’s confidentiality. Give only advice that has been thoroughly researched and verified.
- Make sure you use searchable keywords in the content you post and in your social media profiles: Given the importance of online search when it comes to boosting business, it is vital to include relevant keywords related to your medical specialty, the treatments/services you provide, and your location in your profiles and posted content.
- Measure your results – What works for one physician may not work for another. Make sure to use content that actually works and has the most engagement. Adopt strategies to give patients the information they need. Use tools like Google Trends and see what people are searching for. When creating content, try to link current events or trends in order to gain traction in a relevant manner.
- Track and Monitor – Utilize social listening tools such as HootSuite, SproutSocial etc. Correctly utilizing these tools for your healthcare brand will not only do you good, but also give you details on what the audiences are saying. Any campaign you operate will bring leads to your website and blog. Track the number of users contacting the physician in person and by clicking links on the campaign. Also, remember to use unique hash tag for each campaign.
- Advertise your availability outside of regular office hours: If you are providing additional hours of service, such as special hours around holidays, you can spread word about that via social media. You can even let patients know in real time, about any last-minute call-in appointments that may be available via Twitter.
- Strengthen relationships with your patients: Social media is a great venue for bolstering relationships. Make sure that you reply to questions, comments, and reviews. If required, give carefully considered feedback as well.
Source link – https://www.facebook.com/MedicalOfficesOfManhattan
Effective digital marketing is critical to growing your physician practice and social media is a core part of this. Social media is growing every day and more doctors are embracing this powerful marketing tool. By choosing the right platforms and ensuring consistent and timely posting, you can boost your medical practice’s presence online through social media channels. Professional medical SEO companies offering healthcare digital marketing services can provide the best support and solutions, and help you improve patient – provider engagement.