Why doctors need to be on social media

Having an active social media presence has become mandatory across different industries, even the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many physicians find social media marketing intimidating.

The way patients approach healthcare today is different than it was a decade ago. Today, social media is the most relevant advertising channel for you and your practice. It is a cost-effective way to increase reach, build credibility, and attract new patients.

Still on the social media fence?

Here are 5 reasons why you should include social media in your marketing campaign.

Increase reach

With over 3 billion social media users, it is almost inevitable that the majority of your target audience has a presence on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The majority of them log in on their accounts on a daily basis.

While social media was originally created to cultivate personal relationships, you can use it to get you and your practice in front of your target audience. Your existing patients are probably already following you, but social media allows you to reach more than just the patients you see in your clinic or office.

With the right strategies, it can help you broaden your audience and bring more patients through the door. Don’t be one of the many practices that are missing out on the opportunity to reach millions of people on social media.

Build a relationship with your audience

According to a study that was published in the Annals of Family Medicine, doctors spend an average of 17 minutes with each patient. That is not enough to address the patient’s immediate concerns, much less to build a relationship. Social media gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience and communicate with them outside the office.

As a healthcare professional, you have an opportunity to help people by correcting the spread of medical misinformation, helping chronically ill people feel less isolated, and encouraging them to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Of course, you need to make it clear that you won’t be providing medical advice. This should be done in the office.

With time and consistent effort, you’ll be able to gain their trust and loyalty. If you can create the ultimate experience for your patients, they aren’t likely to go to another doctor.

Attract new patients

The internet has changed the way people find doctors. They are no longer limited to physicians in their area. Although word of mouth and referrals still rank high as a means of finding new doctors, many patients would turn to the internet to find healthcare practitioners of all kinds.

In a survey that was conducted by Doctors.com, they revealed that 63% of respondents choose one doctor over the other because of a strong online presence. You want you and your practice to be at the front of a patient’s mind when the need for your practice arises. And that’s exactly what social media marketing is for.

Social media can be an invaluable resource to attract new patients. As mentioned above, it provides a way to reach a new audience, engage with them, and promote your services. When done right, it will bring you a steady stream of new patients and grow your practice.

Patients want you out there

According to a survey conducted by the National Research Corporation, over 40% of internet users rely on social media for health information. Some would turn to social media for advice when they have questions about healthcare problems or issues.

Your potential and existing patients are already on social media, and using these platforms to get in front of them makes sense. There is already a demand for health-related content, so why not give it to them?

In a hyper-connected world, people want to be able to communicate directly with major brands in their lives, including their doctors. Take advantage of this opportunity to market your practice and services to the exact people that are looking for you.

Become a thought leader in your field

More and more people go online to look up medical information. Since anyone can post practically anything, health information online is often unreliable. As a physician, you can’t just remain quiet and uninvolved while people spread inaccurate information.
Information sharing is one of the greatest benefits of social media.

Doctors have a powerful voice. It is time for you to dip your toes into the virtual waters and disseminate scientifically-proven medical information to the general public.

Always bring value to the community. Give tips on how to stay healthy. Share information about current illnesses going around. Upload links to new research about your area of specialty. If you can make complicated topics easier to understand, then you’ll be able to help millions of people across the globe.

 

Why doctors need to be on social media

Twitter Checklist

The Twitter Checklist covers the top things you need to remember as you are setting up your Twitter account for business.

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Pinterest Strategy and Goal Setting Workbook

The Pinterest Strategy and Goal Setting workbook walks you through how to create your Pinterest boards and posting strategy as well as how to establish your goals on the network.

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pinterest strategy and goals

Pinterest, just like any other network, requires care, commitment, and attention to detail when it comes to implementing your strategy and measuring your results. In today’s blog and this week’s Growth Prompt, we are building your Pinterest Strategy and Setting Goals for measuring your success.

Earlier in the month we’ve explored the in’s and out’s of what Pinterest is, as well as, how to create images, manage your boards, etc, but today we are taking that deeper dive into the strategies to use to optimize Pinterest for your business.

In addition to the information provided in this blog post, be sure to download this week’s growth prompt HERE. This PDF includes space for you to create your Pinterest Strategy and to Establish your Goals on Pinterest.

Download Growth Prompt.

Part 1: Creating your Pinterest Strategy

Step 1: Be Consistent.

On Pinterest in particular, it is of utmost importance to be consistent with your pinning. Why? Pinterest will show your followers a collection of recent and popular pins when they sign onto Pinterest. Imagine that none of your pins appear for days and then all of a sudden 10 branded images pop up at once.

First, the person isn’t going to know who you are and second, they are going to feel like you are spamming their Pinterest feed.

Rather than only signing on one time per month, instead we recommend trying to have a consistent flow of pins to your boards that consist of both your pins and those of other people.

To build Consistency into your Pinterest Strategy, you want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of:

  • When you can pin (ie, can you only commit to pinning on your computer at 10pm while watching Netflix or can you carve out time during the day)?
  • If you would benefit from a 3rd party application to pin and repin on your behalf?

3rd Party Apps to Help Manage Pinterest

Yes! These apps do exist and there are 2 in particular I recommend utilizing.

Tailwind:

The first, Tailwind*, has a robust pin-scheduling tool for your own pins and allows your to set schedules to pull from other pins, as well. Tailwind also includes Tribes, which are groups of people who have agreed to share each others pins on a specific topic.

Boardbooster:

Personally, I utilize Boardbooster* for my Pinterest management. With Boardbooster, you create Secret Boards and pin images to these boards rather than your public boards. In boardbooster, you then create a schedule for how many pins you would like to move from the secret board to your public board and what time of day you want these pins to be published. Boardbooster also has a looping function to repin old pins from your boards at a set schedule.

One downside of Boardbooster is that you can’t really visualize the order of publishing your pins, so let’s say you make 3 images for a blog post, when you pin them to your secret board, you also need to pin other images.

I love boardbooster, however, because I can spend one movie just pinning other images to my secret boards and not worry about Pinterest for a month.

Step 2: Create Multiple Pins for your Blogs.

Rather than just creating one pinnable image for your blog post, change the design and wording slightly so you have 3-4 images for each blog post. This especially works well if your blogs are 1000+ words long as you can create a pin for each topic you cover.

To manage this, I recommend creating a few layouts and templates in Canva that you can just swap out words and images. Then, as mentioned before, rather than pinning all the images at once, add them to your secret boards (if you use Boardbooster) with other images between and try to space out their publishing dates (or at least times).

You’ll also want to make sure the images are rotated into a board specifically for your brand and website. I recommend calling this board “From the XYZ Blog” or “Company Name Pins” – just something that makes it very clear that these pins are only from your website. Put this board at the top of your Pinterest boards as a featured board and you are good to go!

So, how do you incorporate multiple pins in a blog post without being overwhelming? Get your hands dirty with HTML and you’ll be good to go! 🙂

I recommend the following process for adding multiple pins to your blog post:

  1. Create images and name them with your blog topic then upload the images all at once to the end of your blog post.
  2. When you upload the images, add individual ‘alt tags’ to them with the following formula: BLOG/PIN TOPIC, keyword 1, keyword 2, #firsthashtag, #secondhashtag, keyword phrase 3, #thirdhashtag
  3. Drag and drop or copy and paste images to where they fit in the content (for example, if you have one topic at the start of the blog and it flows into another topic, you may want to include one pin that includes language from each of these sections rather than using the same language on every pin.
  4. With the remaining images that are at the end of the blog, you will now want to HIDE them!
  5. Just into the HTML for the blog post (in WordPress this is the Text tab above the content editor) and scroll down in the text editor to the end of the post. You should see the html code for the images here. This looks like: <img src=”URL” alt=”info you added to the alt tags”/>
  6. Directly before the first image you want to hide, add the text: <div style=”display:none;”>
  7. At the very end of the post after the last image you want to hide, add: </div>
  8. Click save and you are all set!

Step 3: Incorporate Pins from other Websites.

The last core piece of your Pinterest strategy is to include the Pins of other accounts and to pin images directly from other websites.

When you pin from other accounts, be sure you are looking to find popular RICH pins that include keywords in their descriptions and are frequently repinned. Typically, when you search for a topic, these pins will appear first in the search results.

Why do you want to only repin rich pins? These are often shared more frequently and if your account is posting pins that are shared frequently, you will tend to show up more frequently in Pin search results.

You also want to pin images directly from different websites because then you have the added benefit of having your profile link appear alongside the pin rather than only appearing when someone clicks to expand the pin!

Part 2: Setting your Pinterest Goals

There typically are two main goals businesses set for Pinterest. The first is much easier to accomplish than the second, but both simply require that you are consistently active on Pinterest.

 Goal 1: Gaining Name Recognition and Exposure.

Gaining name recognition and exposure is a great goal for Pinterest and is actually fairly easy to accomplish!

With my Pinterest account, I was able to grow from 100 followers to 60,000 pin views in a matter of 3 months. How? I wrote blogs and used Boardbooster to consistently pin new images, my images, and repin for me while I worked on other aspects of the business.

You can do this too, if you follow the strategy steps outlined above.

 Goal 2: Growing Traffic to Website.

Though to reach the first goal of gaining exposure doesn’t necessarily require you to blog, growing the traffic to your site ABSOLUTELY requires that you blog for your business! This makes attaining this goal a little more difficult as you need to build time in your schedule to blog and create pinnable images.

Once you create your schedule for writing blogs and the images, then, as long as you are using keywords in your descriptions, sharing the pin to group boards, and testing out different pin designs, you can be fairly certain people will click through to your site.

Final Thoughts: Freebies

So, as I wrap up, there is also the important notion to remember about what to do once people get to your site!

I always recommend including Content Upgrades in your content as a way to capture the names and email addresses of those who click through the site. This means in addition to creating the blog post and images, also creating a download and a form to add even more information to your post. Once someone signs up to download the form, you ‘own’ their email address and can send them weekly tips and news to continue helping them on their educational journey in your industry!

We’ll be doing an entire section on the ins and outs of Content Upgrades (Freebies) and Welcome Series, so stay tuned!

 

One of the best visual tools to use on Pinterest is Infographics, over the past few years, infographics have become a big deal. They are a great way to visually explain data to people. These images can really be used for just about any industry and I think that’s why they work so well.

People can get too caught up in making an infographic, what data do you use, where do you find that data, how do you create the image, what colors do you use etc. The list goes on and on.

We have created a 5 step system for you to follow to create the
BEST infographics for Pinterest!

 

  • 1 – Picking the right topic
    • Does it relate to your business?
    • What topics in your industry do people find interesting?
    • Is this topic something you are passionate about?
    • What data do you want people to receive?
    • Can you tell a story within the graphic?
  • 2 – Be creative, funny or useful
    • Can you get a reaction out of people
    • Explain something to your audience that will resonate with them
    • Explain the data you want them to learn on their level
    • Will your image be shareable?
  • 3 – Keep it simple
    • Have a simple and clean image
    • Keep your infographic to 3-5 points
    • Using text and images within your infographic
    • Have a good Call-to-action within the graphic, don’t give it all away in one image
  • 4 – Look and feel
    • Make sure you are using clear fonts that your audience can read
    • Tie your infographic into your brand colors only use 2-3 colors per image
    • Put your sources on bottom and your logo
    • Keep you infographic consistent with your brand
  • 5 – Size
    • Make your image longer rather than wider
    • Infographics should be 735 pixels wide and under 2,060 pixels long
    • Remember with mobile if they are longer than 2,60 pixels they can get cut off

Wonderful, now you know how to create your infographic, what it needs to look like, the things you should have and shouldn’t have, but now the BIG question is where do you get all the data?? I know as an entrepreneur I am always looking at infographics on Pinterest for our company and for our clients, I say WOW that is awesome, I want to create something like that. BUT where did they get the data, how do they know the key points they want to talk about??

We have put together a FREE download here for you with 6 key techniques to collect data to make the perfect infographic. As you can see there is a lot that goes into making just ONE image, right? This is a process. It’s really about finding that perfect topic that you really want to share with the world and being able to explain it in such a way where everyone gets it! You have to do your research with each infographic, make the process fun. As you think of these ideas for your infographics, keep a journal or word doc to start collecting your data. 

Conclusion

Remember you are always going to analyze your data and try to create a story with that data. Once you have your data, story, and image complete you can craft together a successful launch. Where will you place this image first? Each infographic needs to have your call-to-action, visually appealing and clearly branded. Here are a few steps we recommend for a successful launch:

  • Write a blog post about your Infographic with the image within the blog content
  • Share to Pinterest, Google, Facebook
  • Make another image that is the correct size for Instagram and share on Instagram

When you follow these steps to create the best infographics and implement our techniques to your data and design process you will be able to deliver an infographic that will resonate with your audience. An image that they will want to share and will build your brand.

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The Blog Sharing Checklist goes through the steps for you to take to share your blog across social media and your newsletter most efficiently.

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