Social media has taken the hype in the past few years, and it has shown to be a great marketing tool. It has become much more than just an online hangout for teenagers. Every layer of the consumer society nowadays actively seeks information on websites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. This includes health care patients, thus making it essential for medical service providers to make themselves visible and well known there.
While the need for being known on social media is becoming obvious, the exact details on how to do this effectively sometimes seem to be abstract and obscure for non-experts in the field of social media marketing. Here we offer you a few bits of advice on where to begin.
Start Your Blog and Maintain It Regularly
One of the best ways to express your opinions and inform your customers is starting a blog. This will not grant you a large number of regular readers straight away — but it is a solid foundation upon which you can continue building. Nowadays, there are free blogging services, such as WordPress.com which can suit your basic needs. If your needs are more advanced, you can always acquire inexpensive web hosting and install a blogging software — such as WordPress — there. An important part is to write regularly, especially on topics that interest your patients. Express your opinion on current health issues among your patients. Write an article about the questions you get frequently asked. Inform your readers about new technologies — especially ones that you use.
Socialize with Customers and Colleagues
By this, we mean keeping your Facebook, Twitter and similar social media profiles up to date. Do not make every tweet an advertisement for your own service, however. One in 10 such posts are more than enough —and some claim less is even better. Comment on other posts, publish links to your blog posts (previously mentioned), and comment on current affairs. Be active in any way — as such, you will attract more people to your social media profiles, which will then attract them to the aforementioned blog. Do not, however, get discouraged if you get a lot of Twitter or Facebook followers, but few blog readers. The former grows much quicker than the latter, but your blog is what makes you really interesting. Once you have a social network of colleagues and services that are relevant to your own, link to them on your blog and social media.
Communicate with Patients
Your social media profile is a great way to reach out to your patients —both existing and potential ones. They say that a kind word costs you nothing, but it can buy you anything in the world. This is especially true for communication with your patients, as it earns you more of their trust. You can use social media to publish your personal advice for your patients throughout a season, especially regarding various diseases that are spread at a time. You can also use private messaging (which most social media sites have) to arrange appointments with your patients. On top of that, this is a perfect opportunity to answer short patients’ questions, which would otherwise take up a lot of your (and their) precious time. But the most important thing is that people will learn about you, and will get an insight of your expertise and readiness to help, which will surely earn you more customers in the long run.
An important thing to understand about social media is that it is not a quick get-rich formula. It all still requires hard work. However, it gives you an ample opportunity to advertise yourself, to get in contact with your patients and to attract them to your services. You need to stand out among the competition, and social media can be the game changer.