February 18, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team
Social media has become a vital part of any healthcare organization, For your practice, social media can help you gain new patients, strengthen relationships with current patients and even help you create 'brand ambassadors' - patients who promote your practice for you through testimonials and referrals.
Now, doctors have also started establishing themselves on social media networks because these online platforms provide easy and effective ways to reach out to new patients and connect with existing patients outside of the exam room.
In this blog, we are going to discuss how you can engage with your patients using social media channels: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Blog Comments.
As a solid Twitter bio or Facebook presence starts to be the standard mode of connectivity across all aspects of life, perhaps it's time for physicians to jump on board. After all, social media holds more opportunities than just advancing an organization's brand and marketing strategies; it can also do a lot to help boost patient engagement. The key to connecting with your patients through social media is understanding which social media network can be used for what purpose. For instance, your medical practice's Facebook page can be used for posting health-related updates, office holidays or events, sharing informative links. On the other hand, your LinkedIn profile should be limited to blogging and marketing efforts. By doing this you can keep your accounts organized and easy to update.
Educating your existing patients and informing the wider public is an important aspect of social media engagement. You can achieve this by sharing your work, directing people to experts who can provide more information, and promoting general health literacy. However, always check the quality and accuracy of the information you are sharing with your audience. This will ensure that they get only what is useful for them.
Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram is an excellent way to connect with your patients and make them feel more comfortable with your practice. While you cannot and should not share personal medical information in a public forum, you can create a business page to share general health tips and information about your practice. Providing a behind-the-scenes look at your practice, along with some personal details about your staff, is a great way for patients to feel as if they "know" you. This increases trust and loyalty and will make them more comfortable coming in for an appointment.
There are lots of different online review platforms where patients can leave their feedback. Let's take a look at how reviews work on some of the popular platforms.
Facebook has its ratings and reviews system. Any registered Facebook user can leave their feedback on a Facebook Business Page. They can make the recommendation public, visible to friends, or private. Only recommendations that are shared publicly are included in your Page's overall rating. And ratings only appear if your Page has received enough recommendations.
Not everyone uses the online review sites above. For those patients who don't, you could create a testimonial and review section on your practice's website where they could feedback and comment directly.
Instagram has long been known for having an enthusiastic, highly engaged user base. Many brands have joined the platform as a result, hoping to capture some of that engagement for themselves. Start by engaging the people who have already commented on your posts. Community management is an important part of social media management, so have someone on your team try to respond to as many comments as possible (and all high-value comments that ask questions or raise concerns) within a day.
Twitter gives doctors a chance to nurture relationships with patients outside of the exam room. Doctors and other caregivers should be encouraged to use their own Twitter profiles to connect with patients, share interesting health-related content, and even answer questions. In addition, these providers should feel free to share their personal stories, family photos, and other thoughts to help patients get to know their caregivers better. This not only helps nurture the doctor-patient relationship. It helps build new ones by giving the doctor a social presence many others still lack. When new patients are looking for a doctor, they often have little more than a name, a short bio, and perhaps a referral to guide their choices. A healthy, active Twitter feed can give a new patient the chance to get to know the doctor, their personality, and interests.