Part 1 of 3: Getting social to promote your practice
This is the first of a three-part blog series on how to use social media to promote your practice.
The telephone book is on the way out. Listing your practice on Google is in.
Full-page ad in the yellow pages? How about a Facebook page instead?
As you look for ways to grow your practice and generate revenue, you’ll discover that social media has replaced traditional advertising.
“Social media is an important way to engage patients and the population that you’re trying to reach,” said Dr. Michael Jordan of East Lake Pediatrics, PA, with offices in Palm Harbor and Trinity, Florida. “The driving force behind our Facebook page is to give patients and families insight into how our practice works — before they get here.”
An estimated 2.8 billion people use social media worldwide, according to the latest statistics from the Pew Research Center. Every one of them is somebody’s patient … or will be.
Dr. Jordan recognizes the vast potential to use social media to reach his current and future patients. He lists East Lake Pediatrics’ contact information and office hours on its Google listing and on the popular review website, Yelp. His main focus, though, is Facebook.
Facebook users in the U.S. age 45 to 54 represent 21% of the total time spent on the platform.
“We want to make it fun and engaging on our Facebook page,” Dr. Jordan said. “So hopefully when people see it, they realize, ‘Hey, this looks like a fun place to take our kids, and these guys look like they enjoy what they do.’”
Florida Medical Clinic, which serves the same community as Dr. Jordan, has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It harnesses that social media positioning while providing specialty care in 30 fields with nearly 300 providers.
“We share a variety of content on social media,” said Kimberlee Bochek, digital web specialist for Florida Medical Clinic. “We post general health information and tips, practice updates, news about upcoming events, new doctors, departments, programs, and involvement in the community.”
“If you’re new to social media platforms, Facebook is your ideal starting point,” said Joe Agostinelli, Greenway Health’s social media manager. “Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other sites can be useful, but Facebook has a powerful reach and massive audience potential.”
Dr. Jordan’s Facebook page allows him to add personality to the company’s online profile. His best advice: “Don’t bog down your social media stuff with strictly medical content.”
For Kimberlee Bochek, social media allows Florida Medical Clinic to target specific audiences and track the progress of marketing campaigns.
“That is invaluable within healthcare,” Bochek said. “We chose to get active on social media because it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy.”
Agostinelli offers these tips to help you create — and maintain — your presence on social media:
- Keep contact information updated.
- Advertise the hours in which your practice is open.
- Monitor reviews posted to your page. (More on this in part two of our series)
- Engage with patients who have questions.
- Post “warm” office photos, photos that show the comfort and care your staff provides.
- Provide updates on new treatments, services, and procedures available.
In part two of our blog, Your reputation is at stake – and online!, we focus on how online reputation management is becoming more important to attracting new patients in today’s healthcare consumer marketplace.