While advertising on social media may not be the first idea that pops into the minds of many physicians, the reality is that a strong social media presence can drive new patients to your practice and strengthen the relationships with existing patients. In an age where Google search results are king, increasing your online presence is of paramount importance. No matter what your goals for your practice, social media should be a part of your marketing plan. Here are seven ways to make your social media marketing more effective:
Pick the right platform for your prospective patients
Consider who your ideal patient is. Are you a pediatrician looking to target young families? A cardiologist focusing on elderly patients? An OB/GYN reaching out to women in their 20s and 30s? A plastic surgeon who provides reconstructive surgery for surviving cancer patients? The demographic profile of the patient you are looking to target matters when choosing a social media platform to focus on, whether it is Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so find out where your demographic spends their time online. Also, consider the type of content you think you’d like to share. If you have lots of cute baby photos, Instagram might be a great place to start. For articles and news, Facebook or Twitter may be more appropriate.
Use their words, not yours
As a medical professional surrounded by other people in the medical field all day, it can be easy to forget that not everyone understands medical terminology. To create engaging content that won’t just be skimmed over, use clear, simple language that your patients use rather than medical abbreviations or jargon that would only resonate with other doctors. Always write for the audience you wish to attract.
Focus on social marketing rather than sales marketing
The goal of your social media marketing strategy may ultimately be to increase sales, but sales marketing shouldn’t be the first place you start. Instead, focus on comradery with your prospective and current patients and work to build relationships and trust. If prospective and current patients see you as a trusted and valued source of sound information, they’re likely to keep coming back. Answer patient questions in a timely fashion, respond to comments and reviews and post interesting content (such as relevant articles) that will drive engagement. Social relationships will lead to more clients, and their loyalty to you will increase as well.
Use paid advertising
We can hear it now. “Pay to advertise on social media? Why would I do that when I can post for free?” Social media is free, but to target the users you really want to reach, advertising is by far the most effective strategy. For example, Facebook ads allow you to target prospective patients based on things like their age, location, income levels, interests, and more. Rather than casting a wide net and hoping to catch a few decent fish, focus your efforts with advertising and reel in the big one you’ve been waiting for. Advertising is available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and more, so you have the opportunity to reach your demographic no matter which platform you use most.
Share patient testimonials
Do your patients love you? Of course they do! Use those relationships to your advantage on social media by sharing patient testimonials. Finding a great doctor can feel impossible when you have nothing to go on but a listing on your insurance company’s website, so offer patients a hint of what they can expect from your practice. Hearing about the great care you provided or the difficult health issue you resolved will make people far more likely to try your practice, so ask long-time or highly satisfied patients to leave reviews for you on social media. Then, share them!
Keep your profile updated
It may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your profile up to date is critical when attracting new patients. Doctors change locations, phone numbers, and office hours, especially around the holidays, so make sure to keep your information accurate. Giving patients a heads up about upcoming vacations and office closures is especially helpful!
Share services and promos
Highlighting popular services throughout the year, such as mentioning that you offer immunizations during the back to school season, is a helpful reminder to patients to choose your practice when they need a service. Have a fancy new device that your practice is now using? Post a short video online showing how it works! Then, create a promotion around the highlighted service. A promotion can be something as simple as offering a discount on a specific service for a limited time, or something more long-term like creating a patient referral program that rewards current patients for bringing in new clients. The possibilities are endless!