How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence During the Pandemic

The unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak has holed up a huge chunk of the global population in their homes. It has created a healthcare crisis alongside an economic crisis. Unfortunately, no one seems to be able to say when the COVID-19 outbreak will end.

With emotions high, it is important now more than ever to put extra thought into what messages you share with your target audience.

Here are 6 ways healthcare providers can maximize their social presence during the COVID-19 crisis.

Educate your audience

Studies suggest that nearly 66% of internet users get their news online, specifically from social media.

Information is powerful and can help save people’s lives, especially during this pandemic.

COVID-19 cases have surged across the globe, so does the number of people searching for information about the virus. People need answers to questions like:

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  • How will I know when it is time to seek help at a hospital?
  • Should I stay home if the symptoms are minor?
  • Where can I get tested?
  • How do I avoid infecting others?

As a healthcare professional, you have enormous potential to educate your community. Your first step would be to provide answers to combat those concerns. Write a blog or record a video, and then post it on your social media page.

Beyond the fact that it is the right thing to do, sharing valuable, accurate information can help you grow your authority and build your organization’s thought leadership.

Counteract misinformation

Living in the digital world, information is just a mouse-click away. This free information age is a good thing. Unfortunately, false information is rampant, especially on social media. Some people who see them may think what they are reading is actually true, and that could be harmful. Worse, people are sharing “fake news” to their family and friends.

In a step in the right direction, WHO has launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to combat COVID-19 misinformation. The WHO Health Alert was developed in an effort to provide instant and accurate information about COVID-19. This movement aims to help people understand the facts related to the disease, protect themselves from COVID-19, and prevent its spread.

Counteract misinformation by sharing factual, accurate information about what is currently known about COVID-19. Another option is to share blog posts from trusted sources such as the CDC and WHO.

Encourage social distancing

Despite the surge of COVID-19 cases across the globe, a lot of people still underestimate the seriousness of the virus.

At this point in time, people’s safety is a top priority. You can use social media to help people understand that this is absolutely serious. Globally, more than 2.25 million people have been diagnosed with the virus, and more than 170,000 have died.

Use your voice to convince people to comply with social distancing, stay at home, and consequently help flatten the curve.

Take every opportunity to engage

With COVID-19 sending people indoors for more hours than they’re used to, many of them are relying on social media to stay in touch with family and friends, consume news, and entertainment.

Your fans and followers are spending more time online than they ever have before, and you want to stay connected to them. Take this opportunity to engage with your audience and deepen your relationship with them.

Social media is a great place to start a conversation, inspire, and spread the good news. Get in front of the camera and talk to your audience. People need hope. They want to see that there is a reason to smile. We all know that it is a difficult time, but you want to continue to uplift and inspire your followers.

By answering questions and concerns, as well as providing updates about patient recoveries and treatment options, you are acting as a resource to those who are anxious and could use some extra help to get through this difficult time.

You still have to comply with HIPAA

There are no dedicated HIPAA social media rules. But as a medical practitioner, you still have to comply with HIPAA regulations.

You must protect the privacy of your patients at all times. That means you should never include information that can be used to identify individual’s patients or their medical records. This includes name, photos, date of birth, medical data, social security number, etc.

Consider telemedicine

Living under lockdown conditions while a pandemic encircles the globe can be difficult. As basic supplies go short and some healthcare professionals get diverted to COVID-19 wards, some patients are struggling to get treatment.

Integrating telemedicine to your practice means being able to see patients who need routine checkups without risking a visit to a medical office. Instead of leaving the house and sitting in a waiting room full of other vulnerable patients, patients can get the care they need at the comfort of their homes.

How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence During the Pandemic

How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence During the PandemicHow to Maximize Your Social Media Presence During the Pandemic

6 Killer Strategies to Increase Patient Referral

In today’s competitive healthcare environment, it is important to have a strong patient referral base. As a healthcare provider, you are probably aware of how powerful referrals can be for generating new patients and growing your practice.

When done right, a patient referral program can add years of income to your practice. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices your office should maintain to get new patients through the door.

Listen to the Medical Marketing Podcast

Build a strong relationship with referring practices

Professional referrals are the lifeblood of every healthcare organization. Building and nurturing those relationships is essential for bringing in new patients.

Always keep the communication lines open with the referring practice and let them know what steps you will take to address the patient’s condition. Email them, call them from time to time, or arrange lunch appointments with them. Quick updates to the referring physician about the condition and progress of the patient tells them that you are committed to patient care.

Don’t forget to thank anyone who refers a patient to your practice. This will motivate your colleague to refer you more often.

Improve customer experience

Not all referrals come from other practices. Happy patients are more likely to give you good feedback as well as refer you to their family and friends.

To create a memorable experience, it’s important to get your internal house in order so it’s ready to welcome new patients to the practice. You want to ensure that patients feel comfortable and cared for, both in the reception area and exam room. You and your staff should pay close attention to the concerns and queries of your patients and make sure that they are cared for.

A percentage of your new patients should come from referrals by existing patients. If not, then you may need to address your customer service policies. Remember, unhappy patients won’t refer you to their family and friends. Worse, they’ll tell them to stay away.

Reach out on social media

Many patients turn to social networking sites to establish an ongoing relationship with their primary care physician.

The point of social media is to effectively reach your target audience and connect with them. It gives you a tremendous opportunity to interact with patients in ways that are not possible during appointments and consultations. This is your chance to talk to them and have a friendly relation with them.

Promote engagement by starting conversations on various health topics, providing healthcare tips, and alerting patients to new services and discounts you offer. Sharing your blog posts on social media is a great way to provide valuable healthcare information while driving patients to your website to learn more.

When done right, social media marketing can help you enhance your online reputation, solidify your brand, and bolster your authority among patients.

Be a thought leader

Most doctors go into medicine to help patients, not bask in the spotlight. But there is no denying that being a thought leader can help you attract new patients.

Being a thought leader in the healthcare industry requires lots of knowledge, effort, time, and desire to impact change. To achieve this status, you need to make your expertise and ideas known.

Write blog posts that are relevant to your practice, but don’t just write just to have content out there. Make sure that you produce quality content. But it shouldn’t stop at blogging. You can educate existing and potential patients on your healthcare practice by creating videos, podcasts, and newsletters. You can also offer speaking engagements at local hospitals.

Have a web presence

Many healthcare professionals feel as though their practice should be able to thrive on its own through referrals. But given the certainty of change in healthcare, it is important for healthcare providers to have a strong online presence.

Many patients will go online to acquaint themselves with the practice prior to making an appointment. Making a good first impression starts with a well-designed, patient-friendly website. Not only will it give potential patients an easy way to get to know you, but it also makes your practice look and feels engaging.

By having your credentials, education, services, and procedures on your website, you can help instill a sense of trust in your future patients.

Get more mileage from patient testimonials

Patients want to make sure that they receive care from the best doctors in their field. Testimonials can help build trust in your practice and offer validation for the quality of your services.

Tell your patients’ success stories in a way that people will take notice. Quotes and written testimonials can be powerful marketing tools, but videos can bring testimonials to life.

Short two-minute video testimonials will capture the attention of potential patients and drive more patients through the door. To get higher-impact testimonials, you can guide patients by asking leading questions. If you are an eye doctor, you may ask questions like “How has LASIK impacted your life?” or “Are you happy with the results?”

6 Killer Strategies to Increase Patient Referral

6 Reasons Why Doctors Should Use LinkedIn

You’ve heard LinkedIn is important but is it really? The short answer is yes.

LinkedIn is a social networking site that allows professionals and business people, regardless of their industry, to connect. With more than 600 million users over 200 countries, it is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. Despite its popularity, many people ignore this platform simply because they do not understand how powerful it can be for exposing and growing their business.

Do you have a LinkedIn account? Here are 6 reasons to create one or dust off your long-forgotten one.

Opportunity to network

We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. LinkedIn was built with that proposition in mind.

If you’re looking to build a strong network, LinkedIn is the best place to start. It is great for building strong networks with other healthcare professionals. It has a decent search feature that can help you find people in your industry. There are also numerous healthcare groups on LinkedIn that you can join in. Use your LinkedIn connections to build a community. It is up to you to decide how much time and energy you want to put into this process.

Professionals who are using the platform are open to networking, connections, and possibly, professional referrals. When you’re an active LinkedIn user, your opportunities to interact with other healthcare professionals are virtually limitless.

Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise

LinkedIn is essentially a digital translation of your CV. It is a great place for keeping all your career information. In fact, there is an entire section available devoted to recognitions and awards you’ve won. This could be an excellent way to tell your audience that you’re good at what you do.

Many people have a Linkedin account. The problem is that their profile is incomplete. Remember, your profile is the first professional impression people will have of you. Completing your profile with your experience, skills, and credentials will increase your credibility. Think of it as your online CV. Go ahead and show off your skills, academic accomplishments, and professional successes.

Content sharing

Unlike other social media platforms, where the focus of sharing is generally personal content, LinkedIn is a suitable platform for professional content.

The open publishing format of LinkedIn provides users an opportunity to both teach and learn. Here, you can share content that reflects your line of work and presents your thoughts and ideas to a wider audience. You can share blogs that have the potential to create a buzz around your name, participate in discussions and express your thoughts or views on certain topics.

Publishing high-quality content regularly creates trust with your connections and positions you as an expert in your field. If your post is featured on LinkedIn Pulse, your reach is exponentially increased.

Tap into industry news

In today’s competitive job market, it is important to stay up-to-date with industry news and trends in order to thrive. With new regulations and technologies affecting the healthcare industry, there are lots of industry news to stay on top of. LinkedIn makes it easier for you to stay relevant in today’s evolving healthcare landscape.

Joining industry-specific groups allow you to connect and interact with industry peers. From here, you can get the latest news, post, and announcements.

Be found online

Whether you like it or not, people are going to look you up on Google. Linkedin profiles get ranked high by Google. That means, your profile can appear toward the top of the search results page.

LinkedIn is a great tool for managing and controlling your professional digital reputation since you’ll have direct control over how your online identity is presented. Plus, it will be easier for future patients to find you.

Your profile will not only appear when they search your name but also when searching for your specialty.

Further your personal branding

Your brand is what people say about you. Try Googling yourself to see what comes up. These are the first impressions people will have of you.

In today’s digital world, first impressions are formed online, and Linkedin is the best place for people to “meet” you. Your profile is a showcase of your skills, experience, and achievements. It is a great way to present your professional experience, tell your story, and the goals you want to achieve. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Don’t forget to update your profile photo.

Remember, you will never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure that you do it right. Make one that will differentiate you from the competition and reflect who you are.

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Increase patients wiht digital marketing strategy

In this podcast we review the exact strategy Social Speak uses with their healthcare practices to boost new consultations and build brand loyalty online.

Please view the video at Youtube if you would like to see the screen share – click here to access.

The Social Speak Digital Strategy for Medical Marketing (our Roadmap to Digital Marketing) includes:

  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • SEO and Physician Interviews
  • Landing Page
  • Automated Email Follow-Up

The tools discussed in the podcast include:

If you are looking to increase the ROI from your digital marketing in 2020, please reach out to schedule a consultation today! We can’t wait to learn more about your practice.

Listen to the Podcast

Watch the Video

Read the medical marketing transcript

00:01 Caitlin McDonald: Hello and welcome to the Social Speak Network podcast. My name is Caitlin McDonald and I am one of the co-owners over here at Social Speak. So today, we were gonna wrap up the year talking about SEO as we’re moving into 2020. But I’m kind of pulling an audible and I really want to take the time to share the exact strategy that is working right now for our healthcare clinics. Now, this strategy is one that we’ve been utilizing for quite a while. However, it’s really working right now, so I want to make sure that moving into 2020, you’ll be able to implement this for your healthcare practice. Now, we also are available to help out as well. This is our specialty, managing the marketing campaigns for clinics and hospitals across the country. So if you do wanna schedule a free consultation, we’d love to chat with you, see if we’re a good fit, and I give you a couple of tips and pointers to get you moving in the right direction.

 

01:08 CM: So this strategy really utilizes a lot of different marketing techniques, but it is pretty straight forward. So I’m gonna be… If you’re on our podcast, I’ll be talking through everything. If you jump over to our YouTube channel, you’ll be able to follow along and I’ll be able to show you some of the tools that we do utilize for our clinics and if you prefer reading, the transcript will be on our blog probably next week.

 

01:42 CM: So let’s get started. Let me share my screen here. And as I mentioned, the first part of our process really begins with the strategy. So when we’re taking a look at the strategy, we want to focus on a few different things. First and foremost, we do still utilize social media marketing. Social media is there to expand your reach and spread your authentic brand voice online. If you’re targeting younger individuals, older individuals, it really doesn’t matter, you need to prove that you are active online and a legitimate business. One of the ways to do this is by posting to social media accounts.

 

02:28 CM: So doing this builds brand loyalty by staying true to your values. It also helps you stay top of mind. Yes, your posts won’t necessarily reach everybody who’s following you online. In fact, it’ll probably only reach a couple of people, so we utilize ads to help with this as well. However, if somebody is actively looking for you, most likely your Facebook page will show up high in the search results so you wanna make sure that you are active there. And then, Facebook and social media also help you cultivate relationships and attract clients.

 

03:03 CM: The second piece of the strategy that we follow is blogging and SEO. Creating content, any content isn’t gonna work anymore, it’s creating the right content at the right time for your target market. So what does this actually mean for you? It means creating timely information so that you are found online, and it helps to build trust with your audience. For a couple of practices, what we are doing is doing physician interviews or interviews with your staff and transcribing those in a Q/A format, so that you are answering the questions that people are actually looking for online in a way that’s easy to digest and where they can really start building trust with the physicians in your practice.

 

03:55 CM: And then the last way is through lead generation. So with lead generation, really, our goal is to capture prospect information. Yes, you have to be aware of being HIPAA compliant, but we’ll dive into that. So here, you need a strategy to boost your new leads, to shorten the sales cycle, or that cycle for actually getting a prospect in the door, booking a consultation, and then also to increase your recurring revenue. So if you know somebody who typically comes in for one procedure, then ends up coming in for follow-up visits for something else, it might be good to focus on that first procedure and getting leads for that so that you can then share information through email marketing or in the office itself to get them booking those follow-up appointments as well.

 

04:52 CM: So this is where it gets really fun and it’s actually putting together that plan and diving in to do what you need to be doing for your marketing. So this is our roadmap to digital marketing and really goes through all of the different steps. Today, I’m gonna be focusing mostly on this lead generation piece. So, in lead generation, we’re really reaching people during their patient journey. So, as I mentioned, we’re figuring out what symptoms they have, what problems they’re experiencing and how they want to live their life differently if they come in and see you.

 

05:33 CM: So when we’re doing this, we’re utilizing Facebook ads for brand awareness and to get leads, Google AdWords for search targeting, and this is a great way to get people when they’re making that decision about who they’re gonna work with, and Facebook ads for re-targeting. So here, Facebook and Google really are the ad networks that we are utilizing for this. So I’m gonna jump on over here and I have up Google AdWords. Most of you probably already have an AdWords account. However, if you call… This is kind of a nice little tip, if you’re just getting started, tipping your toes in the water, you can actually call up this number here in the top of the page and a representative can help you set up your first campaign. If you don’t have someone on staff who knows how to set up AdWords, I do recommend utilizing Google’s own network of consultants who can set that up because it’s complementary. And again, a great way just to get started. Now, as you’re building more in-depth campaign, setting up conversion tracking and things like that, I do recommend working with an expert. Our team has a team of experts on staff who can help out with setting up campaigns, restructuring them from what Google originally sets up or what a previous agency has set up to make sure that they’re actually working for you.

 

07:08 CM: We oftentimes come into clinics and see that the geographic area isn’t quite right, or maybe a mixture of different services are piled into one ad group. All of these things can be detrimental for your practice. So an example of this, I just did a search for “pediatrician, Marlborough, Mass” and there are three that come up. But if you take a look, there’s no ads here. So if you are a pediatrician around there, it’s a great thing, [chuckle] a great opportunity for you. But what you’ll see is there are oftentimes fewer ads than there are doctors and other listings that come up. So that’s a great way to make sure as you are creating your campaign, that you’re showing up up here at the top. I don’t have Facebook up, but Facebook is very similar as well. Oftentimes, a health clinic will come on in… Or, excuse me, a marketing agency will come on in, they’ll set up a Facebook account and, or even someone on your staff. And one problem that we’ve seen is that oftentimes, these ads aren’t targeted for your audience correctly. So you want to make sure that you are being very specific in your targeting at least at the beginning, so that you can learn who’s responding to your messages and who isn’t.

 

08:42 CM: For Facebook, for example, let’s say you are working with individuals who have non-healing foot ulcers. Typically, this is caused by diabetes, so you can actually target people who have shown an interest in the National Diabetes Association, for example. They’re not gonna say on their profile that they have a foot ulcer, but they are going to be following, or most likely going to be following or have expressed interest in a national organization or a magazine, or another coach or something like that who has targeted them already. So this is a great way to kind of refine your messaging.

 

09:26 CM: Additionally, let’s say, your practice focuses on, I had pediatrics before, what you can do is you can target people, potentially, who just got married, or who have a toddler or have a… Or following other parenting pages. And this might be a great way to narrow down your target market there. Now, within those ads themselves, there are a few things that you need to really do in order to see a return on your investment. So one of the first things that we utilize is lead pages. Now, lead pages is not HIPAA compliant, however, you can embed a form on here that is HIPAA compliant so that the leads go into your system, the lead capture system, and the landing pages are just hosted on your website, built by lead pages.

 

10:30 CM: The reason why we do this is because we want them to be very specific and tailored towards that one service and towards that one target audience. So if you’re targeting a, I don’t know, a family member of somebody, who has somebody else in the family who’s suffering from addiction, you’re running ads to raise awareness about the support and resources that are out there, that landing page is gonna be different than what you want to appear or the language that you want to have that’s geared towards that person who’s suffering themselves. So here, lead pages is just the tool that we utilize. You can build a landing page just through WordPress, but we love lead pages because it is very easy to alter the page style, it allows you to do AB testing, so create two different versions of the same landing page, and have lead pages automatically show which one, whichever one, and then over time, you can tell which one is performing better. It also has great graphs. So typically for healthcare centers, we utilize conversion tracking a few different ways on lead pages itself. We want to optimize the number of people who are clicking on a link.

 

11:51 CM: Here’s a little example right here to schedule a consultation. That will then open up a pop-up, on that pop-up is the form that you create through that third party. So, on lead pages itself, we can’t tell how many people have then filled out the form, but that’s why we use the Facebook Pixel and Google Tag Manager. So here, lead pages, again, it’s just a great, easy way to set up those landing pages and test them. And have it be where it’s just a single page rather than going to… And I’ll just click on, I don’t know, one of these… So let’s say this is your website, this is the UMass Memorial Health Care Center. So if somebody goes to this page from an ad, there are so many other places to click. So we found that that is not good for increasing your ROI and conversion rates. So having a page that they go to where it’s just that single page with the call to action of scheduling a consultation, it works really well. Then there’s a question of what content should you utilize on that page and in the ads. So we actually have a form on our website, and I’ll put this in the description, socialspeaknetwork.com, work with us, onboarding lead generation.

 

13:27 CM: And this is geared towards kind of a broader audience than just healthcare centers. But you can fill it out and here you can select free consultation is what you’re trying to get. But then we have questions here that really will help you identify those key concerns, key questions, key fears of your patients, your target patients, and we have the questions so that they lead you through exactly sort of what you need in order to create the ad text as well as the text for the landing page. And so, we help you kind of really identify and nail down your target market and then create a story around it. So, in this story, we often do actually start with a sentence or two that’s somebody’s story. It could be your own story, a patient testimonial, or even just a made-up story that fits in with the benefits that you can provide for your clients, for your patients. From there, we go into the benefits of actually coming in to see your practice, and finally, the call to action to schedule a consultation. Creating a doctor video around this as well is also a great way to increase brand awareness.

 

14:56 CM: So again, work with us, onboarding lead generation, the link is down below. But you can just go through this exercise, and at the end, I believe that we do have, even go through an email sequence that you can utilize at the end, when you click submit, we will send you in an email those answers that you put in there so that you can then copy and paste or utilize them, you could also print out that form if you don’t wanna submit the information. However, we’re happy to chat with you about the process as well. So those story ads work really well on Facebook. And then, on Google, we’re utilizing headlines and short calls to action to contact you.

 

15:52 CM: Now, once somebody clicks on an ad, they go to lead pages, then what happens to them? If you don’t have to be HIPAA compliant, we recommend utilizing MailChimp. It’s very cost-effective, it’s a great way to get started, and it has wonderful bells and whistles that a lot of the big boys have. So it’s a great way to create those welcome series, as well as quick follow-up emails and everything.

 

16:22 CM: Now, if you are HIPAA complaint, we highly recommend utilizing Influx MD. It looks like not all the images have loaded on here, however, we have a great relationship with them. And so, a lot of our clients utilize us to help facilitate the creation of emails and everything, and basically, Influx MD takes somebody from being a prospect to scheduling their first consult. From there we’re really able to track the ROI. Influx MD is able to tell through our tracking where the patient or the prospect originally came from. It can automate and systematize the process of sending those initial questionnaires and forms that somebody needs to fill out. And then it can directly sync up with your patient management system. We really like it, just because it helps with the customer relationship as well as the lead management and then it has that sales and email marketing automation as well. So it really reduces the burden on your staff and helps prove how effective the marketing is. So, we utilize this a lot. We utilize Google analytics and we utilize Facebook Pixels as well, just to see where leads are coming from, see the cost per lead and everything like that. So, let me just jump back over here, see if there was anything else. Okay, and this is… It’s actually just a health coach, but it kind of shows you that process with the landing page, they click the button, here’s the form, and then they get a drip sequence of emails.

 

18:13 CM: So if you have been wondering if your marketing is working for your healthcare practice, maybe you didn’t quite have as good of a year in 2019 as you had projected and hoped. This process is really what we’re seeing to work right now. So we start with the Facebook just having information going out to your accounts to build trust in your brand, then we utilize blogging as one piece, and a physician interviews as another piece of your SEO strategy. What we’ve really been seeing work well for SEO is building back links. And so, submitting your website to different directories, different websites to have the link added to content. We have a whole team that’s working on that. It is a very manual process, but we have seen tremendous results there because you do wanna make sure your organic listing or your website is showing up organically as well as the ads and the map listing and everything. And another piece of that SEO is building reviews on Google and on Facebook, just so that you can have that social proof. So those reviews work really well to make sure that your map listing is showing up higher, as well as social proof.

 

19:42 CM: And then, it’s running the ads. So we run ads based on interest targeting on Facebook, keywords on Google, and then retargeting ads on both Facebook and Google, to make sure that if we’ve already paid for somebody to get to the site or landing page, we are recouping some of that cost by showing them repeat ads. Of course, we haven’t collected any information about them, it’s just based on the cookie on their website, that Facebook and Google are in charge of. [chuckle]

 

20:16 CM: From here, we utilize or we recommend utilizing a tool like Influx MD to make sure that you are remaining HIPAA compliant as you are emailing and creating relationships with these prospects who have become leads. And throughout this whole process make sure that you have the Google Webmaster tool… Excuse me, Google Tag Manager, so that you can track conversions, as well as clicks for phone numbers, or map clicks. And the Facebook Pixel installed on your site so that you can really track the ROI from Facebook ads.

 

20:53 CM: So I hope that this has been helpful leading through the actual techniques and strategies that we utilize for our clients. If you do want to schedule a consultation, we are more than happy to schedule a time for you. And we’d love to learn more about your practice, your target market and what you’re currently working on and struggling with right now. Thank you so much for tuning in and we will see you in the New Year on the Social Speak Network podcast

6 Best Practices for Physician Referral Marketing

According to a report in the Annals of Family Medicine, 45% of physicians receive new patients through referrals. Like any medical practitioner, you want to make sure that your practice is supported by your referral partners and your community.

We know that you are doing your part in referring patients to other physicians whom you feel are the best. But are they returning the favor of referring their patients to you?

If you’re looking for ways to get more referrals, keep reading. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices your office should maintain to maximize the potential of your patient referral program.

Get out of the office

In a fast-paced hospital setting, it can be especially hard to connect with colleagues. If you want to bolster your referral network and keep your business thriving, then you need to make the decision to get out of the office, even if it’s just once a month.

Meet new physicians and healthcare leaders in your community. Reach out to existing providers who you refer to and who refer to you.

Identify physicians you want to partner with. You’ll want someone who is a good match for your practice, share your values and hold themselves to a high ethical standard.

Build a relationship

The best way to grow your referrals is to build, maintain, and improve your relationships with referring providers.

Professional referrals are based squarely on sound relationships and expertise. Doctors and their staff will only refer their patients to people they trust, like, and feel are competent.

Make a continual effort to show your referring doctors that you value their partnership. You can call them up just to see how they and their families are doing, drop by with a frappuccino for them or take them out for lunch.

In most cases, it is not the doctor, but a key staff person who actually handles the referral mechanics. If you want to grow your referral base, then you should take the initiative to get to know not only the physician but also their staff. Be certain to identify and include the key gatekeepers. Capitalize on those connections and they will be more likely to pass your business card on.

Simplify the referral process

Most doctors would simply advise their patients to book an appointment with a certain doctor.

Unfortunately, 50% of professional referrals never result in a doctor’s visit. The referral process should be quick and simple.

Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a big slice of the referral pie. Even if the referring physician and their staff adore you, they’re not going to send patients your way if your referral process is frustrating, time-consuming, and just plain clunky.

Simplify the referral process by investing in a secure online referral portal, where they can send you the patient’s information, including contact information, suspected diagnosis, and reason for referral.

Since you already have the necessary information, it will be easier for you to decide the course of action and how quickly the patient needs to be seen. As a result, you’ll be able to serve both the referring physician and the patient better.

Make referring physician look good

When doctors refer their patients to you, it means that they trust you. Your office will serve as an extension of theirs, so they are counting on you to provide patients with excellent service.

Often, patients report back to their primary physicians about their experience. Make a special effort to accommodate the referred patient as soon as possible. Also, make sure that you take good care of the patients and treat them right.

Ensure the referring physician that there will always be room for their patients at your practice.

Be grateful

We grow up learning the importance of good manners, and that usually starts with saying “thank you”.

If a patient is referred to you, take the time to call the referring physician to thank him/her for the trust and confidence. You can also send a hand-written note if that’s your style. Let the referring practice know that you appreciate the referral.

Stay in touch with the referring physician

When a patient is referred to you, it is always vital to follow up. This is a crucial step that many physicians do not do.

One study suggests that 40% of patients that follow through with a referral never went back to their primary physician after the care is initially provided. Always send the patient back to the referring physician. The last thing you want is for the referring doctor to feel that their generous referral has cost them a patient.

Let the referring practice know that the patient has already been scheduled and that you will continue to communicate about what transpires. You want to assure the referring doctor that you’re invested in their patients’ health and that the patient will be receiving the best care possible.

6 Best Practices for Physician Referral Marketing

Facebook Groups for Health and Wellness Practices

Today’s podcast is about Facebook groups and how to utilize Facebook groups to get in front of prospects, to build a community around your services, and really create that brand image where you are sharing valuable information and building conversations with your target market. So Facebook groups really have a few different purposes.

You can view them as a forum on Facebook, you can view them as a way for people to connect with a community around a certain topic or even in a specific location. And we have seen great success for wellness coaches, dietitians, nutritionists, wellness centers, healthcare organizations, creating groups were their own prospects and members as a way to make sure that they have more consistent communication with those individuals.

Listen to the Podcast on Facebook Groups for Health Care

Watch the Video about Facebook Groups in Health and Wellness Marketing

Read the Transcript

00:00 Speaker 1: Hello everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Social Speak Network podcast. I’m your host, the sweet Caitlin McDonald, the founder over here at the Social Speak Network, and over the past couple of weeks, and moving forward into the next, maybe even a couple of months, we’re going to be talking about the top 10 things that your wellness practice Health Care Center can do on digital marketing to see a return from their investment. And so today, I’m going to be talking about Facebook groups and how to utilize Facebook groups to get in front of prospects, to build a community around your services, and really create that brand image where you are sharing valuable information and building conversations with your target market. So Facebook groups really have a few different purposes. You can view them as a forum on Facebook, you can view them as a way for people to connect with a community around a certain topic or even in a specific location. And we have seen great success for wellness coaches, dieticians, nutritionists, wellness centers, healthcare organizations, creating groups were their own prospects and members as a way to make sure that they have more consistent communication with those individuals.

01:42 S1: Now, in order to make this happen, you have to really make sure that you’re not making the group about you. The group has to be about fostering a community, fostering conversations, and relationships and making sure that you’re not just talking about your own services and your own business. Yes, it’s a great way to share content that you create, but that content that you create, as we’ve said over and over again, really needs to be educational information that your target market and your prospects can take and run with. So for example, let’s say you are a health coach and you have new programs that are coming out. And so these programs, you really wanna share to your community. Now, you could go ahead and share them to your Facebook group. But rather than doing that, I would recommend creating a behind-the-scenes information that somebody might be able to find more expansive version of within the group, excuse me, within the program itself. However, you’re sharing just enough to get them started on the right path. This allows people to do it themselves if they want to, or to understand your expertise, so that they can turn to you for help with guidance down the road.

03:09 S1: Now you don’t wanna just be in there, posting about the group, excuse me, posting about your services individually, because this turns people away, it’s not interactive. Instead of doing that, post questions, answer questions, hop on Facebook live just in front of your group members and really try to foster that, those conversations. Now, it is important to note that right here, I’m talking about a group that is specifically to build a community around your services, and your practice. However, there are a lot of other more broad groups that already exists on Facebook. So, before you create that next group on diabetes, let’s say, make sure that there aren’t groups already out there that are doing a great job. If you’re trying to recreate something that’s already out there, it’s going to take a lot more time and effort to get people to join your group, because they’re already invested in these other groups. Now, I’m not saying don’t do it [chuckle] Facebook Groups are great thing to create, for your practice, but it does definitely take more time if it’s already existing in your space and in your specialties.

04:33 S1: Now, what you could do, if there is a group already made in your area of expertise, is go ahead and join that group. Offer guidance and ask questions, comment on other people’s posts and really start positioning yourself as an expert in that space, and as someone who is trustworthy or as an organization that’s trustworthy. And doing this helps you get that brand recognition, but again, you can’t talk about your services in somebody else’s group. Typically, there are guidelines about this, and it’s just not very professional behavior. We call this in, I mean in most industries, coaching clients from somebody else. And yes, a lot of times, your clients may have worked with somebody else in the past, but you don’t wanna be too salesy as you are trying to build that trust, and really come across as a figure in the space. Then the next tip about utilizing Facebook groups, and this is going back to creating a group yourself, is to be really specific about the purpose and to recognize that it’s going to be difficult to manage the group by yourself.

05:51 S1: And so in terms of understanding and being specific about the group’s purpose, this really helps set the expectations for your group members as they’re joining the group, what they’re going to see, what type of content they’re going to see, and how they can utilize the group to help further their own knowledge, education, and health. And so you want to, if you have a specific purpose and you’ve written the guidelines for the group, it’s important to actually stick to those. So somebody joins, they see the guidelines, maybe they answer a few questions before being approved, then you have to make sure that you are really sticking to those guidelines and being truthful yourself as well as holding other people accountable. Then the second piece there, was [chuckle] inviting other admins and managers to the group. So, in a group, you can have multiple managers. We recommend not just having one person in charge of the group. This really makes it so that there’s less… What we’ve seen in our experience is that there’s less interactions if there’s only one manager. When there are more managers you can even help foster discussions between one another, and people always can have their questions answered more quickly.

07:13 S1: So you can either divide the management based on your own expertise and what topics you are comfortable talking about. Or you can divide it by day of the week, or even time of day. Depending on how active your group is, you might even need somebody on call over the weekend to make sure that those questions are being answered. If somebody’s posting something in the group, and nobody is commenting back in replying, people are going to stop writing back. Now, having multiple group member, or excuse me group admin also makes it easier to keep new conversations forming in the group. So by this I mean, let’s say it’s been a quiet week and no members are really posting anything. As a manager of the group, you can then go in and post something to start spurring the conversation. Maybe you have the first week of the month, you have a standard question that goes out and you see how it changes over time. Maybe it’s asking people for their favorite exercise routine or their favorite activity of the season with their family. Potentially, it’s posting recipes that have to do with a single ingredient that’s timely or seasonal. So all of these things are things that you can do to help boost that engagement on the group, and because you are managing the group, that helps you prove your own expertise and position within the space.

08:47 S1: One other thing I recommend is having individuals introduce themselves when they join the group, and by doing this, you are getting people one, committed, two, participating in the group. If the first thing they do once they join is they start posting in the group, typically they’ll keep on doing it. If you don’t ask them to introduce themselves, oftentimes, they’re not going to. And then another thing that you can do is make sure that when somebody’s requesting to join you ask them questions prior to joining. So you can ask them what topics they’re most interested in, so that you talk about those topics, and for their email address. Now, this email address, if you have a disclosure there, you can mostly add that to your newsletter as well, or you can check to make sure that they’re already on your newsletter and they have to be part of on your newsletter in order to then join your group. So it’s a great way just to build your email list as well.

09:53 S1: So above all, the biggest takeaway when it comes to Facebook groups is really making sure that you are being considerate of others. You aren’t selling yourself too much and that your really, your main goal is to build that community and those relationships with the members of your group. So again, my name’s Caitlin McDonald. I’m the co-founder over here at the Social Speak Network. And thank you so much for tuning into our podcast on Digital Marketing for Health and Wellness Practices. Next week, Amber is going to be diving into utilizing on some tools for social media. So be sure to stick around there. You can download and subscribe to, our podcast on iTunes as well as Podbean and it’s also over on our website, the socialspeaknetwork.com. Thanks so much, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Digital marketing is becoming the new wave of healthcare marketing. With the growing competition in the healthcare industry, it is important to stay on top of digital marketing and keep your organization at the forefront of change.

Ever wonder what it takes to create a successful healthcare marketing campaign?

We listed down some tips that you can incorporate into your marketing plan right away.

Know your target audience

A successful healthcare marketing campaigns starts with knowing who your audience is and what they value. To produce great results, you first need to create a well-defined persona profile.

Vividly picture who is it that you want to attract to your doorstep and what matters most to them. The more specifically you define your audience, the more likely you are to inspire a positive response.

Carefully and precisely defining your target audience will ensure that you’re not making the wrong assumption about what your audience values. Plus, it will improve your efficiency since you’ll have a good idea about what media to use and how to shape a compelling message that brings a response.

Combine healthcare and social media

Today, social media isn’t just a place for family and friends to stay in touch. It also allows doctors and medical experts to connect with their current and potential patients.

Now that you know who your target audience is, use social media to reach your key audience. Tapping into online communities and sharing health information can be a game-changer in your healthcare marketing plan. Keep in mind, though, that each platform has its own voice and audience. When you create social media content, make sure that the message is tailored to different audience and channels.

Make wellness a lot more fun

Health and wellness is a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean that your campaign should be boring and uninspiring. Let’s take cues from UnitedHealthCare’s successful healthcare marketing campaign – We Dare You.

UnitedHealthcare created an interactive campaign that dares people to make one small change to live healthier lives and document it on social media. Each month, there are new challenges and quizzes aimed at inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle. There are prizes involved too.

The multi-awarded “We Dare You” campaign not only led to healthier habits, but it also fostered an interactive online community of brand loyalists.

Establish an email marketing plan

Email marketing is an effective means of transmitting messages to your current and prospective audience. In fact, studies suggest that email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers as compared to Facebook and Twitter. When done right, it can help you grow your practice and reach a larger amount of patients.

With email marketing, the audience is openly receptive, and relative cost is low, and the rate of return can be exceptionally high. You can promote your services in a cost-effective way while building a relationship with your patients.

Google yourself

Studies suggest that physicians and other medical practitioners receive up to 45% of new patients through referral. Though most patients would consider the referral of other doctors, family, and friends, the majority of them will run a Google search of your name and check out your reputation before booking an appointment.

The survey revealed that 60% of patients wouldn’t book an appointment with a medical practitioner that has bad reviews. This is why you should Google yourself now.

By running a quick Google search of yourself, you’ll have a good idea of how your practice looks from a consumer’s perspective and know where to start when creating your digital strategy. 

If you unearth some negative results when you Google yourself, try to have the post taken down. But if that doesn’t work, then the best thing you can do is to suppress them with positive content.

Be a source of helpful information

In today’s digital world, most people’s inclination would be to open up a browser in Google and research about their own or their loved one’s condition. With so many people turning to the internet for answers, it is important that healthcare marketing is there to be a helpful and supportive guide.

Regularly post high-quality content that answers people’s questions and help them learn more about medical conditions they may be searching or procedures they may have to undergo. It is also a good idea to share important and relevant medical information to help people improve their health. This will help build your credibility and position yourself as an authority in your field. People may not run off and make an appointment, but you will be in their minds the next time they get sick.   

6 Tips for a Successful Healthcare Marketing Campaign

Facebook Advertising for Healthcare Industry

In this podcast episode we talk about how Facebook Ads work and the top benefits for having a Facebook ad campaign running for your wellness business.

  1. The first benefit is getting in front of new people, new prospects. So you’re actually helping your business see an ROI from the social media efforts that you have.
  2. The second thing is that you are nurturing those relationships of people who have heard about your brand or your practice, but haven’t taken that step to come in and learn more or meet with one of your staff. Running these Facebook ads helps you make sure that you stay top of mind to the people who haven’t yet come in.
  3. Then the third thing that it does, is it helps you re-engage with the patients who have been in to see you and just need a reminder every once in a while, that it’s time to come back in and schedule their next appointment.

Take a listen and read the transcript below!

Facebook Advertising for Healthcare – Digital Marketing Podcast Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Social Speak Network podcast. I’m Caitlin McDonald, one of the co-owners over here at Social Speak, and in today’s podcast episode, we are going to be talking about Facebook ads. Facebook ads are really important for health and wellness businesses and for healthcare.

Facebook Ads help you establish brand recognition and brand trust quickly and easily. They also allow you to get in front of the right people at the right time. Managing Facebook Ads for your healthcare business is really to not only build your prospect list, but also to nurture those prospects.

Last week, Amber talked some about creating a social media content calendar and figuring out how many times to post and what topics to post about, and so this is taking your social media presence to really another level.

Types of Facebook Ads for Wellness Center

On Facebook, there are a few different ways that you can advertise your business. There’s organic posting, there’s boosting those organic posts, and then there’s a whole slew of different ads that you can run from the Ads Manager.

In our digital marketing for healthcare we try and focus on the conversion ads. The reason why we do this is because it helps tap into Facebook’s algorithm for figuring out who’s going to be most likely to take that next step, and we’ll get into this in a few weeks, but that next step often is signing up to be a lead on your website.

This is something I’m going be getting into in a few weeks here. However, I did want go through a couple of real life Facebook campaigns that we’ve managed for some of our clients. The reason why I’m bringing­ up real Facebook Ad campaigns for some of our wellness clients is because I want to set the stage about the amount of time and effort is can take to nail down and optimize a Facebook campaign that’s going to work for your unique offerings and your unique target market. So let’s dive in.

The first business that I want to highlight is a Healthcare Education Association. They provide healthcare resources and education to constituents online and through live conferences and events. This group has a tremendous following, however, they are trying to grow and boost their new members. Over the years, just because of some ideological differences between some of the older members and the newer members, they have dropped some of their old membership base. Now they’re trying to really grow with new members that are more aligned with where their organization stands. This healthcare organization had only ever run boosted posts before. Yes, this does boost an organization’s exposure and engagement, but are you really seeing a return from that investment?

This is where the Facebook conversion ads come in that we created.

The Social Speak process with Facebook ads, typically, is having some sort of free resource or free download, even free consultation, that somebody can sign up for when they click on your Facebook ad. We’ve used webinars, e-books, and, in this case, we took articles that the client had previously written and bundled them together in the form of an e-book. Our first ads tested out the interest in this resource, which audiences lead to the most clients and conversions, ad what imagry and text were most effective. In this first go, there were three different audiences, but we did not see anything more than a 1% conversion rate. We spent about $160 in advertising budget spread across our A/B tests and saw one lead come in. Giving these tests a rest, we moved to the next digital project.

When optimizing Facebook ads for your wellness practice you shouldn’t just work on testing how you position your free resource or content upgrade, but also what offer is going to align most closely to the needs of your target market.

At this stage, we moved on to their next resource that we could offer and we did this a few different times, and we came across a quiz that they had. After repackaging the quiz so that it lived directly on their website we were ready to capture the leads directly into their email system rather than going through a third party. With this quiz, we found that through running the leads ads on Facebook rather than sending somebody to a landing page, we’re able to get the cost per lead down to almost $2. Additionally, we tried two different other campaigns, one for a fact sheet, and one for an e-book, focusing on a different topic, a different service that they provide from the first e-book, and each of these were able to get a sub $3 cost per lead as well. We’re still in the process of testing new services to promote new offers to promote, new educational resources to promote for them. We’re building another quiz that has to do with that second topic that we are talking about with them, and through this process, we’re continually able to decrease that cost per lead and get consistent results.

The reason why I shared this one first and kind of that failure story of spending $160 for one lead, is that your whole staff and your whole board needs to have the expectation that optimizing Facebook ads does take time. And so yes, you want to have an end goal of, I want to only spend $10 per lead, $15 per lead, $1 per lead. You need to have that goal, but you need to have the expectation that you’re not going to be there right now. So for this organization, we want that cost per lead to be lower, and we are working to get there. But we are testing out different audiences, different offers, different ad content, as a way to get there. I think in all, we’ve run over 100 or 150 different ads for them, that maybe it’s the same ad text but a different picture, different ad text, same video, or different audience, same audience, merging audiences together. And so it really is a process where you need to let the data speak for itself. And if it doesn’t stick on the first try, try again. So have kind of that budget in mind and that end goal right into the forefront.

The next client I wanted to share is a dietitian and health coach. She has been working with us running ads for over the past year. For any ad campaign, we do recommend giving it at least six months to make sure that with that first example is process that you are giving it time to really figure out if you’re getting results or not. Afterwards you have to then convert the leads into actual folks who are booking appointments with you, coming in, signing up for those paid services, or purchasing a product from you. So with this health coach, this dietitian, she has been running ads long before we even first sat down with her. And for her, our technique is really to focus on each of the different e-books, downloads, free offers that she has. She is very geared towards sharing educational resources, as are most of our clients. And for this client, we’ve had a few home run offers, timely offers, holiday diet tips and back to school tips and things like that, that have worked really well; with landing pages getting 60-70% conversion rates. However, the cost per lead has still been a little bit higher.

In this recent campaign, she had a great idea of grouping all of the resources together and having a complete resource library that folks who enter their name and email would gain access to. We created a new conversion campaign for this and a new landing page. And rather than creating individual ads for each of the different items that we want to test, we used Facebook’s, it’s not new, but newer feature where you can actually test multiple headlines, bodies and calls to action in each of the ads that you’re running and images or videos. And then Facebook will automatically pair and match and test the different items for you. So it takes a lot of the guess work out of creating those 100 or 200 different ads to make sure that you’re testing all of the different combinations. So for her this new campaign, we’ve been able to bring her average historical cost per lead from about $3-$4 all the way down to $0.50 cents. Now at this 50-cent mark, she is just pushing money towards this campaign and we’re continuing to see Facebook’s algorithm lead to better and better results. Now for her, because she is getting this quantity now, we are making sure that we still have that quality.

We’re working on that next part of the campaign, which is that email marketing follow-up. And here, we’re testing to make sure that that open rate and click rate on her emails actually is going up rather than going down as we’re getting more quantity in there.

Setting Goals for your Healthcare Facebook Campaign

The goal for your Facebook campaign should be within the first, I’d say, three months to really start seeing movement in a positive direction. And that could be starting with a cost per lead or conversion of $60 and working it down. But you don’t want to throw all your money at something until you see that upward momentum towards positive return. So for this dietitian for example, we are telling her to throw money at the campaign because it is currently working, and she’s getting conversions from it. If it was that first example that I gave, we did not spend their whole monthly budget until month three [chuckle] when we were finally able to push the dollars behind a campaign that was getting the results in the price point that they needed.

Always start small, test multiple things at once, and utilize Facebook’s ability to really optimize the campaigns for you.

A trick for optimizing a Facebook Ad Campaign

Now, one of the tricks that we have for tapping into how Facebook can optimize this is utilizing a landing page or a lead page sort of alternative. You can put this directly on your WordPress website or Square Space website. We typically use LeadPages, which is a software to build the lead pages. You can send an automated email afterwards and test to make sure that it really works. I recommend doing this for your business, your healthcare center as well. But of course, if you need any help, we are here to help.

As I wrap up, let’s just talk again about those top benefits for having a Facebook ad campaign running for your wellness business.

  1. The first benefit is getting in front of new people, new prospects. So you’re actually helping your business see an ROI from the social media efforts that you have.
  2. The second thing is that you are nurturing those relationships of people who have heard about your brand or your practice, but haven’t taken that step to come in and learn more or meet with one of your staff. Running these Facebook ads helps you make sure that you stay top of mind to the people who haven’t yet come in.
  3. Then the third thing that it does, is it helps you re-engage with the patients who have been in to see you and just need a reminder every once in a while, that it’s time to come back in and schedule their next appointment.

In terms of what to expect, don’t expect results in the first day. Yes, you might get lucky and you might find that combination where they are coming in right away. Most likely it might take upwards of three months. Now, don’t spend your whole marketing budget in those first three months. Wait for you to see that upward momentum and that path towards getting a positive ROI. From there, give it another three to six months to really run its course and make sure that you are getting after you get that lead, that prospect, that you are then getting someone in the door.

In health care, yes, there are services that need immediate bookings of appointments and somebody needs to come in right away for a consultation or even a surgery. However more often than not, for health and wellness, it’s about educating, teaching people why they need to come in and getting them to know, like and trust your brand. Again, my name’s Caitlin McDonald. This is the Social Speak Network podcast. You can follow us on Podbean, on iTunes or head on over to our website to check out our blog posts and social media as well. I’ll see you next time on the Social Speak Network podcast.