With the staggering number of daily users active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, social media marketing has become essential for every kind of business out there—and medical practices are no exception. Medical professionals can and should take advantage of social media to gain exposure for their practices and connect with current and potential patients.
Social media can be intimidating to a lot of business owners. However, it is an outstanding, often free-to-cheap marketing asset. In fact, social media might be the best way of informing the general public about your expertise and availability. Just as in your practice, achieving peak social media marketing status requires a certain level of dedication and commitment to excellence. But never fear—here we bring you a list of sure-fire marketing hacks designed to put your practice on the social media map.
1. Set up professional Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Step one: set up professional accounts for your medical practice on the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These will be used to build your online presence.
Having a business profile on any of these social media platforms will go a long way in improving your online search results. You can begin with the three mentioned above, then expand as time goes on. Optimize your discoverability by ensuring that every section of your profile is filled with detailed, accurate, and current information.
2. Find out where your patients gather online.
After setting up your online profiles, your next move is to determine where your target audience (your patients) spend most of their time. Do your current patients favor Facebook, or do they seem to prefer a short-and-sweet platform like Twitter? Once you have some answers, build a social media presence there. However, just because your patients might be all over the place doesn’t mean you should be everywhere too—this will only make it harder for you to make a concerted effort anywhere. Select two or three of these networks where the most of your patients are present. Concentrate your efforts here.
3. Update your profiles regularly.
Keep your information current! This includes contact information, hours, achievements, and new developments. This will make it easy for patients to get in touch with you, book appointments, or ask questions
4. Include SEO keywords in your content and profiles.
Online searches drive business. When potential patients enter keywords related to your practice into a search engine, you want to appear in the top results! Take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) in your online marketing efforts by including relevant search keywords both in your profile and in any content you post.
5. Advertise your availability.
Promote the availability of appointments by periodically posting your regular hours, posting information about special hours during holidays, or informing patients about your services in real-time. And if you make any changes, post about them!
6. Distinguish yourself in your field.
Become a prominent figure in your profession by sharing useful, smart, and relevant content. Post topics can include developments in your field of medicine, new or ongoing research, or information that might provide an immediate solution to the medical issues or health challenges of your patients. For instance: If you are a family dentist, share image-heavy tips for children’s tooth care; if you are a pediatrician, post first aid tips for common bumps and scrapes. By creating and posting engaging and useful content, you will establish yourself as a trusted expert and prominent figure in your line of work, and start to build a following. Before long, you will be your patients’ first call when they need advice from a medical expert.
7. Build relationships with patients.
We’ve established that social media is crucial for your practice, BUT—your medical marketing endeavors should not only be concentrated on increasing your online following. While you’re working hard to create and share helpful content, it is important that you build real relationships with your patients. Read through the comment sections on your posts, respond to questions and reviews, and provide a thoughtful response when due. By doing this, you will be able to build lasting relationships with your patients. Once you gain their trust, they will refer friends and loved ones to your medical practice.
8. Offer incentives.
Give your patients something to show for using your services. Use your social media page to share necessary updates regarding the services, rebates, and promotions you offer. These can range from a free medical checkup or eye test, to friends-and-family referral incentives, to whatever else sets your practice apart!
9. Follow other physicians on social media.
Reach out and connect with friends, colleagues, and peers in the medical profession. Use your social media presence to introduce yourself and network with other experts in the industry. By connecting with like-minded and knowledgeable individuals, you can gain a strong following of other reputable professionals.
10. Join the conversation.
Become and remain a part of the conversation. Join groups, go through comments, contribute, offer advice, share experiences, etc. Be an active participant. Always make sure your contact information is readily available for follow-up and continuing conversations. Availability, approachability, and engagement are the keys to a successful social media marketing presence!
There you have it! These tips will help you take your social media marketing efforts to the max. Social media provides an opportunity for you to engage with your patients while spreading the word about your medical practice online. Whether you’re looking to enlarge your patient base or are just establishing your new practice, social media should be an important component of your marketing strategy.
Need help? Call us today at 978-239-9715 to discuss your social media strategy, and start marketing your practice to the stars.
About Wendy Hamel
As co-founder of Med-Marketers, and serving as Director of Client Programs, Wendy is directly responsible for guiding creative strategy and overall execution on client services for the company. Wendy has over 20 years of marketing and management experience serving technology, healthcare and retail. Prior to Med-Marketers, Wendy was the Director of Marketing at RAID, Inc. where she was instrumental in developing brand awareness and business development programs that helped the company transition into new markets and exceed vertical revenue goals. For the last 10 years, Wendy’s direct focus has been practice consulting and strategic marketing for orthodontists, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, dentists and primary care physicians within the Greater Boston area.
Her areas of expertise include online marketing, social media strategy, web design, SEO and collateral design.