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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

Change is the only permanent thing in life, they say. That’s never been truer in the world of healthcare marketing.

Healthcare marketing is continuously changing. Keeping up to date with the latest digital trends and consumer preference is key to remain competitive and acquire a steady stream of patients.

Keep these trends in mind when planning your healthcare marketing campaign.

Excellent digital experience

Most hospital websites focus on providing information such as the address, business hours, doctor’s bios, specialties offered, etc. As competition in the digital landscape heats up, more and more hospitals and healthcare providers are putting a greater focus on patient experience.

83% of patients visit a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. That means a patient’s experience begins with your website. Their online experience will determine whether or not they will convert from leads to actual patients.

For a better online experience, make sure that your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate. Patients love the idea of convenient scheduling. If you offer online booking or have a customer service chatbot they can communicate with, that would be a plus.

You are bound to see a high ROI if you focus on creating an exemplary online experience for potential patients.

Video Marketing

According to a study that was conducted by Hubspot, 45% of people watch more than one hour of video a day. Out of the 45%, an astounding 81% have been convinced to buy a product or avail a service after watching a branded video.

Incorporating video content into your marketing strategy can help build trust and provide a much deeper understanding of what your healthcare company has to offer. Prospective patients are now researching doctors who specialize in the procedure they’re looking for before scheduling an appointment. This is where video content proves useful.

Through videos, you can verbally and visually explain how the procedure work. This can help ease fears or uncertainty. Plus, it helps prospective patients get to know the doctor before a consultation, so they gain a sense of trust beforehand.

If you haven’t already, we urge you to start creating video content, both for your website and social media accounts, sooner rather than later. 

Search engine optimization

They say the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. Why? It’s because 55% of users won’t go past the first three organic results. 

According to studies, 89% of consumers turn to the internet when they’re looking for answers for their healthcare queries. You want your website to show up at the top of Google’s search results. Otherwise, you’ll be losing to your competitors.

With more and more people turning to the internet for medical advice, it is important to capitalize on these searches by making your website as visible as possible. To get on page 1 of the search engine results, you’ll need a strong website and an even stronger SEO strategy.

Online reputation management

Your online reputation will have a significant impact on your practice. Why? It’s because a huge majority of patients turn to the internet to research physicians.

The survey revealed that 84% of patients read online reviews to help them gain insight into healthcare providers. 86% of them will be hesitant to schedule a consultation with you if they read a negative review or comment.

To stay competitive, you need to make a concerted effort to manage your reputation, both online and offline.

Whether you like it or not, patients are going to leave reviews. The sad truth is that dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave feedback than happy customers. With a single review, comment or article, the reputation of any healthcare organization can be tarnished.

You can’t make negative feedback go away, but you can encourage happy patients to speak out for your brand. It is in your best interest to encourage patients to leave reviews.

Mobile healthcare apps

Gloomy faces of ailing patients waiting outside the doctor’s office, long queues, and a dull, monotonous hall – this is the picture one would imagine while waiting at a doctor’s clinic or a hospital about a decade ago.

Millennials are the largest U.S. generation, and they demand convenience. They are switching to providers that offer a much higher level of convenience. This is where mobile healthcare apps come in.

In today’s era of the smartphone, keeping in contact with a healthcare provider has never been easier. Patients can chat with their doctors and ask for advice about a symptom or a condition. They can also book appointments with their doctors, access doctor’s prescriptions, and even purchase medicines through their mobile devices. In addition, patients can easily monitor their health conditions themselves through apps. This helps them stay one step ahead of the disease; hence, reducing the need for invasive treatments.

Healthcare apps are also beneficial for doctors and medical staffs. They can check the patient’s reports and prescribe medicines if required. Doctors can even make referrals through the apps. 

 

 

 

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