Making the mistake of “dabbling” in healthcare social media can cost practices a lot in marketing potential and reputation management. In this new social world, establishing assets is not enough. Healthcare practices need to actively manage and engage on social media to truly reap the benefits. Failing to post regularly, place ads, or leaving rating and review sites unchecked can cost facilities opportunities in customer service recovery and prospective patients. However, the good news is, that with a little effort and the right tools, social media success can be just around the corner.
Identify Your Audience, Then Your Assets
A podiatry clinic probably doesn’t need SnapChat. But should a cosmetic surgeon establish an Instagram? Absolutely. Social media is far from one size fits all. However, it is important to know what sites will connect with your audience. Take the time to learn about each social platform’s purpose, tone, and best practices to see what is a fit for the facility or specialty being promoted. Discover where the practice’s time and money is best spent, and hone the social strategy to fit those platforms.
Review sites are a different matter. In order to have complete reputation control, it is paramount to claim and verify all relevant review sites. Because from Yelp to HealthGrades past patients are going to be writing reviews, that prospective patients will undoubtedly be reading. Ensure the information provided about the practice correct, and participate in active customer service recovery which requires continuous review monitoring to better control the practice’s reputation online.
- Don’t join ALL of the social platforms “just because.”
- Do not spend money without strategy.
- Remember to keep up on review sites.
- Keep active on platforms and sites.
Find The Right Content
Patients engage on social platforms to interact within the community and gather information. Specifically, with healthcare practices and facilities, patients are looking to find more information on the provider and practice, and want learn more about the services and medical expertise provided. Make sure all your social media platforms provide the insights patients seek.
Social media assets should also be as complete as possible and updated regularly to reflect changing phone numbers, hours, and practitioners associated with the facility. More importantly all posts should reflect the high-standards of the practice, in regard to tone and vetted information. Sharing a healthcare content or blogs to fill space, without understanding the validity of the information, is never a good strategy. Keep content fresh and relevant to the practice to encourage patient engagement and conversation.
- Don’t use fillers. Yes, cats are cute. Not for a medical practice.
- Stay away from unverifiable sources.
- Don’t unintentionally promote competitors. Check physician and office locations of article and blog authors.
- Use nationally recognized journals, media, and sources for sharing.
- Utilize your knowledgeable staff. Medical offices are full of educated, driven people. Ask them to contribute to content creation.
Don’t View It As A Chore
Yes, creating new and relevant content can be time consuming. However, with smart planning and a mind tuned to actively seeking opportunities to post, social engagement can become easy and natural.
- Don’t miss easy opportunities. Give a promotion? Win an award? Social Media Gold.
- Use content across channels. Always tailor the message to each platform.
- Use appropriate tools. Multi-platform curators can simplify the work, but also have authenticity and engagement set-backs.
- Embrace the opportunity to engage with patients in a new environment.
So it’s finally time to stop with the un-witty banter at dinner parties about the “scourge” that is social media in healthcare. Fully embrace social media to grow and learn naturally with the changing trends and technology. Or “dabble” the practice into online obscurity.
Still unsure you want to tackle healthcare social media alone? Don’t. Healthcare Marketing Group is ready to assess your practice and build a social media strategy that will work for you!