Tired of your patients coming into the office with their self-diagnosis from the web? More and more, consumers go to the Internet to get questions answered and to seek advice. But the information available is often generic and sometimes insufficient or inaccurate. Wouldn't you rather your patients get accurate information from you?
As a medical professional or practice manager, you may be thinking that your professional presence and social media are two entirely different entities. But if this is your train of thought, get off the train! Social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, is an opportunity for medical staff to engage with your patients and build your business.
Your patients most likely do not read medical journals, but by sharing medical news, you can give them concise, straight forward information and advice related to your medical specialty. Not only are you building stronger doctor-patient relationships by communicating in an informal, yet professional manner, you are educating patients and the community about the latest medical news as well.
How can social media convey a professional image?
You might think that social media is only meant for sharing family photos, vacation plans, and funny pet videos. Medical professionals do not want to mix their personal and professional life. This can be avoided by separating your personal and professional profiles. You can keep your personal pictures separate from the page where you offer advice and medical news. This is easily accomplished by setting up a “company” (practice) page on LinkedIn and a “profile” page on Facebook. Or another option is to limit social media to only a professional presence to eliminate any confusion.
6 ways to keep your profile, professional –
Many companies use social media to promote their business, so why not the medical profession? You may not offer a coupon, but you can certainly offer information and updates to your patients in several areas:
- New staff member profiles
- A new insurance company that your office is accepting
- Ground-breaking new procedures or new equipment that your office is using
- Your office transition to EHR software
- New processes to create more efficient medical billing
- A reminder that your office appreciates referrals
There are many other sources for medical practice news. Are you partnering with another company, offering charitable services, or are there new hours at your practice or clinic? All can be communicated through social media.
Like any other service business, your best marketing will be word of mouth. Your patients trust you and your expertise. If you are skilled in a medical specialty, there is even more demand for your knowledge and opinion. Your posts to Facebook or Twitter can enlighten a patient eager to learn and understand medical breakthroughs, drugs and side effects, and even reviews on hospital care.
And finally it’s worth pointing out that your interaction with patients in social media allows your patients to post questions or comments without taking up valuable face-to-face time at the office. And if there are requests outside of your expertise, referrals are also easy using social media.
Jump in and give social media a try. And Contact us to let us know how it’s working for you. We enjoy hearing from you.