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.
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.