Lets tackle the first question, first: What is the gain for physicians to begin using social media?
Well, in case you haven't heard, social media is taking over the world! Any and all businesses are using or should be using social media as a tool to enhance their growth. Physicians can use it to keep in contact with current patients and colleagues, build their reputation as a specialist, earn the trust of people who follow them and attract new patients. Being active online is a great way of creating an awareness that would otherwise not exist, expanding the possibilities of reaching out and interacting with potential new patients.
Here are some tips for using social media to attract new patients:
- Social Media Candidate - Find a dedicated Internet or social media person, someone who can speak for you. Its important to have someone who will be taking care of all social media, so you know it's getting done and done correctly. The social media candidate will need to interacting with others, create promotions, and handle all aspects of your efforts.
- Consistency - Your social media efforts should include a consistent plan. That may include posting pictures, answering questions, posting interesting facts, and more. That way people know what to expect from your office and can learn a little about your philosophy, mission, and services.
- Motivation - Just having a Facebook page is not enough to get people to give your office a call to set up an appointment. You need to let your online followers know that you are accepting new patients and you would appreciate their referrals. Ask them to share your page with other friends who live in your area.
- Offer Information - People are always interested in learning more about health issues. Use your Facebook page to offer interesting health news, videos, suggestions, and tips. You can also take a weekly question from followers and post that and the answer each week for people. When people find the information you are posting to be helpful, they are more likely to head to your page when they have a health question.
The more transparent a physician can be the more the patient will learn to trust him/her.
The more information you can provide about yourself and your credentials, the more patients can trust the information they are getting online, and will use the information to be better informed and prepared when they do visit their doctor. Social media is an excellent avenue for providing that information to your patient-base.