Everyone needs a doctor, but this does not mean that all you have to do is open a medical practice. Medicine is a very sensitive field of activity. People need to trust a doctor before they book an appointment. So, what do you have to do to build trust with potential patients? In this article we will show you how social media marketing can help you generate a steady flow of new patients for your practice.
Social Media, the New Marketing Field for All Types of Businesses
The reality is that the marketing landscape has changed dramatically during the last decade. Social media platforms have grown from online forums where friends connect and keep in touch into ecosystems where people do various things: keep up with the news, follow their favourite celebrities, and find products and services.
Since they can see what brands and businesses their friends like and endorse, consumers are more confident to select a service provider from Facebook, Twitter on Instagram than from a mere Google search. This form of word of mouth is what your medical practice needs, as well. It is called social media marketing.
How Can You Promote Your Medical Practice on the Social Media?
There are many types of social media marketing strategies, so there is no magic formula that works for everyone. What we will try to do in this article is show you a few guidelines and best practices.
However, the golden rule for social media marketing is simple: be social and be authentic. The social media can work as a traffic and sales funnel for your practice if you understand that you mustn’t try too hard and too obviously to sell.
These being said, here are a few actionable tips to help you create an effective social media marketing strategy for your medical practice:
1. Find Where Your Potential Customers Get Together
In social media marketing, it is all about being present on those networks where you have the highest chances of reaching out to potential clients. You don’t have to have accounts everywhere. At any rate, it takes a lot of time to manage social media accounts, so you don’t want to spread too thin.
Thus, the first thing you need is a profile of your ideal patient. Once you know them, you will be able to select the social media networks to use for your marketing strategy. For example, 62% of people over 65 years old are active on Facebook. As for younger generations, 59% of Twitter users and 66% of LinkedIn users are under 50 years old.
2. Build Your Own Unique Brand Image
Image is everything in social media marketing even for medical practices. You need to inspire confidence and allay patient’s fears. How do you do that? Share photos of your practice. Post interviews with your staff. Show patients how they are greeted once they step inside your practice.
These visual materials (especially videos) have a high engagement rate on the social media. What does this mean? People stop to like and share them and even leave comments or ask questions. More engagement means more chances for someone who needs a new family doctor to see your content.
3. Encourage Your Patients to Leave Testimonials
Social proof is everything, especially for a sensitive field like medicine. The best way of persuading a new patient to trust you is by sharing your current patients’ opinions. Be proactive in collecting such testimonials: attach your social media accounts to appointment reminder emails, to your email signature and to any other forms of digital communications with your patients.
A satisfied patient will be more than happy to share their good opinion of your practice and encourage others to try your services. More testimonials mean better reputation for your practice and more new patients.
4. Showcase Your Certifications
Many doctors strive to keep up to date with the latest procedures and techniques. They find time to attend courses and earn new certificates. Do not keep them only on your office walls.
Instead, post them on your website and on your social media accounts. These documents are the proof of your professionalism and compliance with rules and regulations. Make them work for you and earn you more patients.
5. Be an Active Presence in Your Local Community
Facebook and LinkedIn have groups – closed communities where people with similar interests discuss on relevant topics. Business pages are now allowed to join Facebook groups, create posts and answer questions.
Since your medical practice serves a local community, it is a good idea to join local community groups and share valuable information. For example, post your schedules for children’s vaccination and alerts for the flu season, allergies, etc.
Soon, your practice will be seen as a valued and helpful member of the local community and more people will come to your office for treatments.