search-icon

Why is Social Media Important for your Practice?

Click Here to View Our Sample Work

Why is Social Media Important for your Practice?

Social networks and blogs are changing how potential patients fi nd your practice, how and where they share their experiences and, eventually, where they will spend their time and money. Read how these popular social networks can enhance your practice online to help you reach more patients.

Facebook

Facebook is a great tool for engaging with your patient base, promoting your practice and building your presence on the web.

Facebook allows you to engage with your patients in many ways while offering them a wealth of information. Readers will be able to navigate your page to learn about what you specialize in as well as basic information such as your location and business phone number.

Here, your fans can do everything from reading informational notes you posted, and viewing pictures of your practice to visiting your company website. A Facebook fan page is also similar to viral marketing in the sense that when someone “likes” your page, all their friends will see it on their news feed, which may direct more traffic to your practice.

Facebook is perhaps the most flexible form of social media in regard to how you can connect with your audience.

You can utilize one or all of the options they provide for your communication. Generally, wall posts will be the most effective way to reach your fan base in its entirety.’

Wall posts aren’t limited to just text; you can attach a video, link or photo as well. You can also use wall posts as an opportunity to encourage dialog with your fan base by asking for feedback on a question you posted or sharing insightful information about your field or practice.

Other options for engaging with your fans include inviting them to events you have created, discussion boards and posting photos and videos relevant to your specialty. Whatever content you decide to post, make sure it’s a meaningful exchange that will keep visitors returning for more.

Twitter

Twitter, like many social media outlets today, can be an effective tool used to connect with potential patients and colleagues, promote your practice as well as create interactive relationships with your followers.

Twitter is unique from other forms of social media in that it’s designed for short, to the point communication. Also referred to as a “micro-blogging” forum, Twitter limits posts to 140 characters or less.

It’s this characteristic that allows users to send and receive very concise, rapid updates to a limitless number of followers. Since the layout design of Twitter pages calls for similar brief descriptions for your profile, allowing only a snapshot of what you do, your updates become the reason people want to follow your stream.

While it is a great tool for posting announcements or promotions, it’s also an opportunity to highlight what you specialize in or what you’re highly knowledgeable about.

In other words, diversify your updates with useful or insightful information to your field. It’s perfect for sharing links to other content you may have created that may not fit in the 140-character maximum, such as blogs, podcasts or webinars.

Twitter is also useful in creating buzz around a certain event or service, developing and promoting your practice and connecting with media people, such as journalists in your field. Being “followed” by your patients, colleagues and potential patients is only half the picture.

Being a “follower” allows insight into what people are saying about your practice on their update streams while giving you the ability to contact or message those commentators directly.

You can stay active within the Twitter community by responding to posts or “retweeting” something positive that someone posted about your practice. Eventually, your tweets should develop into a voice or personality that your readers will recognize as unique to your practice.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform for keeping in touch with patients and colleagues, connecting with industry insiders and generating new leads and referrals for your practice. LinkedIn puts a large emphasis on knowledge and leadership, which lends a great opportunity for you to separate yourself from your competition.

LinkedIn allows you to engage with a targeted network of people as well as showcase your knowledge within your field with two main spheres that include: starting a group page or participating in LinkedIn Answers.

Asking and answering relevant questions in the “answers” section establishes you as a “thought leader” among patients and peers. In addition, you can add links to relevant articles, blogs or your practice website within your answers that will direct people to the content you want them to see. Every time you answer a question, all your network connections are informed in their news feed.

You can begin finding people to add to your network by searching people you already know and then broadening your search to companies
related to your practice.

Creating a group is another option for gaining visibility by establishing yourself as a leader in your market. You can start a group for your practice or your industry.

Forming a group for your industry may draw people in who are interested in your services but have not been a patient before. LinkedIn groups allow you to facilitate discussions, post news updates and send announcements to all members within them.

Yelp

In today’s economy, consumer ratings and word-of-mouth referrals have a great impact on whether a potential patient decides to visit your practice. Yelp allows you to create a trusted referral network of patients and potential patients by giving them a forum.

The influence of public opinion is beginning to outweigh the conventional measures of an attractive practice. The emphasis is growing less on how many accolades you’ve won and more on how the people who know you, view you. It’s a great way to allow the positive relationships you’ve built to be broadcast to a new audience.

Patients and potential patients will be able to earn more about your practice by visiting your company profile and reading what others have said about you, as well as look through photos you or others have posted. This will also be a place where they can rate your practice and share the experience they’ve had with you.

These reviews can include everything from the cleanliness of your practice to the wait time and the level of service provided by your staff. It might be easier to think of Yelp as a testimonials page and the more positive feedback you get, the more it will encourage potential patients to visit your practice.

Yelp is an opportunity to connect with current patients directly and allows you to message people who have rated your practice. It provides an opportunity for conversation, whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’ or dialog that creates a lasting relationship that will yield more profit for your practice in the long run.

You can also announce specials or promotions that are unique to Yelp users to encourage interaction. The more you get to know your patients, the more insight you’ll have into giving them what they need to keep them loyal and referring you to others.

Having a Yelp page for your practice is a great way to interact with your patient base, create consumer recognition and announce special promotions or services you’re offering.

Having a Yelp page will ultimately allow you to learn more about your patients and make the necessary improvements to sustain and grow
your practice.

YouTube

YouTube is a great way to showcase your expertise, share knowledge and market your practice to existing and future patients. Having a
YouTube channel allows your viewers to navigate through videos relevant to your practice all in one place.

Your YouTube channel can help brand your practice by allowing you to customize your color scheme to complement the look and feel of your practice’s website. You can also add links to your practice website and relevant information on your channel.

Your videos can serve many purposes but should generally give the viewers a refl ection of your practice and bring a level of personalization that may not be obvious through plain text or other forms of social media. Informational videos are an opportunity to show your expertise in a given field and establish you as a credible source among your viewers.

They can also be used as “how-to’s” explaining a product or service that you provide that sets you apart from your competition. Other options for videos may be patient testimonials, turning podcasts into videos or unique clips that may serve as a “commercial” for your practice. Tagging or labeling your videos appropriately may render more viewers who search more general terms and find your videos in their results stream.

You will also be able to engage and connect with your YouTube community through comments and messages. A good way to gain visibility throughout your social media efforts is linking them to one another. In other words, add your Facebook and Twitter links on your YouTube channel and vice versa.

Interested in additional social media solutions that will help you reach more patients? We also offer complete social media solutions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Yelp. Click on any of the icons below to visit our social media networks!

Contact us at (855).898.2710 to fi nd out more information on how our social media solutions can be effective for your practice.