Technology has catapulted us into a new era of personalized marketing. To stand out from your competition, you must have a carefully tailored approach to your medical practice, both online and off. Today, patients are much more proactive with their healthcare decisions and do their own research online before making any decisions.
Targeting an audience:
Social media marketing (SMM) combined with your medical practice provides a huge opportunity to connect with a large portion of your target audience. It can enable you to connect and engage with your patients on a more personal, relevant level. It allows users to see inside your practice, building trust and helping your practice retain its existing patients. SMM can also be used to highlight new services and even book appointments.
Facebook (FB) is relevant to businesses of all sizes from all industries. Both organic marketing and on-platform advertising with Facebook offer huge potential to effectively connect with your audience in meaningful ways. Users engage with the FB platform regularly and enthusiastically, and they’re increasingly using it to find community instead of just getting updates.
Adespresso.com showed in 2018 that Social Media Marketing had legitimate business potential. Facebook boasts over 1.4 billion daily active users, accessing the platform an average of eight times a day. This provides business owners with an opportunity to engage with both current and prospective patients, eight times a day, using either organic or paid content. FB users average 35 minutes a day using the site, and this isn’t just time spent scrolling. Users log in and engage with their accounts. As many as 57% of consumers report that social media has influenced their purchasing decisions, and they also use Facebook as a search engine and research tool. People look for social proof and validation before making consumer decisions (Adespresso.com, 2018).
A larger and larger portion of the healthcare industry is making its presence known on social media with time. Marketing a medical practice on these many platforms will benefit patient revenue by providing increased opportunity for new patient intake and an increase in current patient retention. This can build your brand and provide you with an enthusiastic referral base.
Social Media Marketing growth:
How can you use SMM to ensure growth and success? It can be used to spread the word about your practice, providing community awareness of your brand and the services you offer. You should post news regarding your latest treatments and services, share appointment availability, post about new doctors at the clinic, and provide a public service by recommending flu shots, medical check-ups, and other routine appointments that are often forgotten about in a busy life. Having a Facebook business page showcases your practice to potential clients, signaling stability and professionalism in your community and workplace. Feature your staff and your actual practice. Discuss the things you and your staff are doing outside of the practice, such as involvement in community events, fun runs, or staff birthdays. This makes you and your practice more wholesome and human, helping to build transparency and trust.
SMM offers a great opportunity to educate the public. You can stimulate engagement with interesting general educational posts. Often, a medical practice will follow its local government’s lead when posting certain content regarding special events, i.e., diabetes week or mental health day. This is a great chance for you to create awareness, but be different, try to approach the message from a different angle than everyone else advertising such events and information.
Your site’s content is critical to its success. By cross-posting content from your blog across several platforms, you can improve your reputation and become known as a leader in your field. This also boosts your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Innovative use of geolocation and hashtags further enhances the search engine rankings for your practice’s website.
Having a social media profile also allows you to connect with other healthcare professionals. You can easily search and connect with other doctors in your local area and around the world. This can provide you with a pool of experts to refer to whenever necessary. By making these connections with other medical professionals on your various platforms, you are gaining the ability to tap into their audiences as well. This is especially true if someone in the medical community shares one of your posts.
When starting out with SMM for your medical practice, you need to consider which platform is the right fit for you. Adherence to the rules and protocols of local governing healthcare bodies is critical. Take care not to reveal any sensitive information that will violate laws, regulations, confidentiality, or any other rules or guidelines for medical practices. Your site and profile must be set up correctly in accordance with a given platform’s policies and conditions and be optimized to capture important data for targeting audiences through advertising. The more data your site collects, the more accurate your lead generation becomes.
Planning for success:
Planning of your content is essential. Start with a calendar of relevant topics to post and discuss. You can plan how often you will post or allocate social media management to someone else in your practice, as you see fit. Depending on your goals, 1-3 posts a week is adequate. Consider how to grow your social media following through likes and followers. You also need to consider a budget and other resources if you intend on advertising. Last, but not least, review your account regularly and plan how to improve your social media strategy and tactics over time. SMM is time-consuming to set up properly, so if you don’t have the time or are unsure how to do it adequately, have a professional Social Media Marketer help.
To thrive in the modern competitive environment, medical practitioners and other healthcare professionals must practice good medicine AND good marketing. Marketing, at a bare minimum, must be used to help increase your website rankings and visibility. Your target audience is tech-savvy and will search for anything and everything on the internet. SMM will help you to locate, educate, and retain more patients profitably.
If you’re not using SMM in conjunction with your practice, you are missing a wealth of opportunities to build patient profiles, increase retention, and engage meaningfully with the broader medical community. If you are looking to maximize your professional healthcare brand online, reach out to our team today!