The social media revolution that we are currently experiencing is changing a lot of things, including how doctors get – and keep – patients today.
That’s why, if you put just a little bit of time and effort into creating a social media presence in no time you could have a valuable asset that sends a steady stream of new patients to your practice.
It’s true. And you don’t have to be a social media expert to do it either. You can be a complete novice and still realize tremendous benefits from using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and others.
Here are five ways you can benefit from using social media:
- Connect better with patients
Recent studies indicate that physicians spend just 13 to 16 minutes with patients during typical appointments. That’s not a lot of time to build a relationship that will keep that patient coming back in the future.
However, on social media you can continually create opportunities for patients to get to know you better. You can post educational content that keeps them informed about important medical issues. You can let your personality shine through a little more than you can in a clinical setting. You can also solicit feedback and answer questions.
Thanks to social media, patients are able to see another side of you. They’ll feel like they know you better and they’ll come to respect you, and your entire practice, more.
One key to social media engagement is to post or solicit conversation starting questions.
Get people involved and interacting with you and with each other. This will help you build a following and will draw attention to you and your practice. It can also help you build word-of-mouth referrals.
- Provide beneficial information
As we said above, there is not a lot of time to share information in the short amount of time that appointments generally last. Online you can post tips, research findings and more. You can improve patient education, detail symptom management and prompt patients to be more proactive toward their health.
You can also post pictures that familiarize patients with your staff and video clips that give valuable health information and position you as an expert.
By providing patients with more information and with images and videos you can decrease their fear of the unknown and set up yourself and your practice as the solution to what ails them.
Image-posting social media like Instagram is also a great way to get more people familiar with you and your staff and to show them what is possible when it comes to their healthcare.
- Get to know patients better
One more great thing about social media is that it allows you to gain a better understanding of your patients.
You’ll be able to communicate quickly with patients and receive enlightening feedback from them. You can find out what they like and dislike as people are more likely to be frank and honest online as opposed to when they are talking to someone face to face.
You can then use the information you gather to build a practice that better meets the needs of those who come to you.
- Attract specific patients
You can also use social media to attract the type of patients you are interested in treating. You’ll have a direct channel to reach the patients you have targeted. This type of targeting can allow you to tailor your practice to your personality or business goals or to better meet a certain market’s needs.
- Promote special programs
Another way to take advantage of social media is to use it to promote a special program that you are offering.
For instance, if you have a weightloss program you can post about the progress patients are experiencing, you can show before and after photos, you can talk about the science behind the program and why it works – all of this can build interest and awareness of the program and lead to increased enrollment.
The bottom line about social media:
We are living in a special time. Thanks to social media doctors have access to more information than ever before – information that can give them a unique view into who they are treating, what their beliefs are, what their questions are, what they respond to, what they like and dislike and so on.
This is valuable information that can improve patient care and increase profits. Still many doctors are hesitant to embrace social media. By you doing so now, you could gain an immediate advantage in the marketplace that will allow you to grow your practice.