An estimated 25% of the world’s population used social media websites in 2013, with the majority of that percentage being daily users. While the “social” in social media may be misleading to some, make no mistake about it—social media is one of the most powerful business marketing and communication tools available. The following five tips will help any healthcare business build a rewarding online presence:
Keep it Natural, Friendly, and Entertaining
Few things turn social media users off faster than businesses that do little more than post advertisements. Your social media pages should be about developing a community, one that reflects what is special about private medicine, your employees, your services, and your patients. Accomplishing this may involve sharing interesting information, photographs, videos, and other content that reflects personality and engages users. Your home page should always include basic info such as name, location, type of business and contact info in an easy to see yet unassuming manner.
Make Your Presence Communication Friendly
A social media page should never be used as the primary method of patient inquiries, trouble shooting, or other strictly business related communications. However, your social media pages should offer current and potential private medicine patients the ability to ask questions and hold discussions with both employees and current patients in a casual manner. Creating an on page dialogue between your private medical practice and users, highlights the communal, friendly aspect of your practice, as well as provides vital patient feedback.
Your Social Media Pages Need to be Referral Friendly
Social media is increasingly becoming one of the most popular methods for those seeking referrals for goods and services. A social media user is far more likely to follow personal referrals from friends and family when compared to a simple web or phonebook search. Providing interesting and entertaining content will encourage your followers to re-post or share the content, further building trust and referral opportunities
Highlight Special Events and Promotions
Social media is perhaps the most cost-effective way to advertise promotions and sales, provided you don’t overdo it. Your followers will appreciate this information, but posting it too frequently will take away from the all important personality of your online presence. Aim to only share special events and sales that are truly special and likely to attract patients’ attention.
Don’t Abandon Other Advertising and Marketing Practices
While social media has quickly become one of the most powerful tools, an effective marketing and advertising campaign still requires a multi-faceted approach. Print advertising, email campaigns, and other traditional tools remain effective and help further build your business’s social media follower base. Be sure to include the names and addresses of your social media pages on business cards, flyers, and other printed material whenever possible.
Building and maintaining a solid social media presence doesn’t require a lot of time or money, nor does it require any advanced training or skill set. Following the five tips listed above will help build your social media pages to encourage dialogue, spread vital information, and create a community of current and future patients. Best of all—it is fun!