Wrangling in new patients is difficult in areas with competitive healthcare. This is especially true for specialty clinics and small hospitals that are dwarfed by large hospitals, though there are strategies via social medical marketing that can help boost your local exposure.
As everyone knows, having a strong online presence is a necessity for every industry. Marketing teams over the last few years have researched and developed strategies for generating likes, shares, followers, and other Web disciples to no avail, largely because theInternet is always changing. Simply put, every online strategy needs to be unique based on a business’ personality. As a healthcare specialist, you need to find ways to ensure your online followers know that you are an authority in your field and a practice they can trust.
Building up a reputation as an expert with social medical marketing is easy with the right approach. Firstly, you need to develop a strong social media presence by securing accounts on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform you think will help. Not only do these allow you to share information and stay in touch with patients, you are also taking control of your practice’s (your brand’s) name. Even if you decide to leave one account alone because you’re not seeing results, you can always go back to it later.
Next, you need to fill your profiles full of information that makes it easy for patients to find out who you are, what you do, and where your practice is located. This links back to branding basics; you need to develop a marketing platform, brand imagery, and messaging that relays info back to your patients that is easy to understand. Stay consistent throughout your profiles, too, in order to reduce any confusion.
Incentivizing Social Media
Having media accounts is useless without followers. Few patients have a reason to follow their doctor on Facebook — it’s up to you to convince them otherwise. Start by asking patients to like your pages and profiles (put your info on a business card, perhaps?) and even incentivize the process with deals. Or, if you’re really into making a splash in the online community, send patients information via social media about upcoming appointments and health information they may find informative. The same idea applies to emailed newsletters, text message appointment times, and other reminders.
Marketers have found that people react better to bright, attractive imagery rather than boring blocks of Web text. When you’re making posts or publishing blogs on social media, accompany them with multimedia like videos, infographics, and images. People are more likely to halt their newsfeed scrolling if they come across something that pops off the page. Think visual when you start out on your campaign and find pictures and graphs that accurately reflect your information.
Websites are like secondary storefronts for modern businesses. In terms of social medical marketing, link to and from your website with your social profiles and keep it stocked full of new, original, and accurate information about your practice and the healthcare industry. As mentioned, the best marketing campaigns set you up as a professional authority in a field. Writing pamphlets, articles, and blogs can help support this idea — all you have to do is link them through to your website.
Enlisting the Masses
It would be impossible for you, a busy doctor or healthcare professional, to do all of this on your own. Instead, enlist help from your staff and other experts. Did you get a new x-ray machine? Call up a radiologist and have them write up a few hundred words that you then publish on your website. Don’t be afraid to try new things, either; sometimes the most successful strategies are the ones no one has ever tried before.
The most important thing to do is to keep at it. Don’t give up if you don’t have every Facebook follower in town; focus instead on the long-term goal of creating an online brand and presence. Healthcare is a difficult, competitive field on the Internet. It is your job, and you should employ social medical marketing in order to support your practice as an authority and to provide patients with information.