The era of relying on word-of-mouth to grow your medical practice is long over. These days, many people look to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to find a new healthcare practitioners. That's where putting in a little bit of effort can make a big difference.
Unfortunately, many doctors fail to see the benefit of this approach and struggle with how to market themselves via social media. That’s why we have put together this list of ten tips for utilizing social media to bring in more patients to your practice.
#1: Create an Instagram Account and Post Consistently
One of the most underutilized platforms for healthcare providers is Instagram. No, this site isn’t just about young people flaunting their vacations and photos of avocado toast. There’s more to it and it is quickly becoming more influential than Facebook or word-of-mouth for local businesses. For best results, share posts one to two times a day and remain consistent. It is also important to remember that not all of your posts have to be about a medical condition or topic. Discussing current events or happenings in the community, sending holiday wishes, or sharing an inspirational quote are a great way to keep a posting schedule without keeping everything strictly about health.
#2: Take Time to Follow Other Instagram Users Daily
The thing most medical practices miss about social media marketing is the social part. It is important to spend a consistent amount of time each day finding other Instagram users, following their profiles, and commenting on their posts. This builds that relationship and, in most cases, gives them incentive to follow your account. The easiest way to do this is to set a target number of people per day and be consistent about getting it done.
#3: Use Instagram Hashtags to Your Advantage
Perhaps the most important tip for social media marketing on Instagram is to look for hashtags. For example, you can search for users who have tagged posts in your local area or those who have tagged specific medical conditions. You can also target people who have indicated they are parents or those who engage in certain types of sports that have a large potential for injury. Follow them, like them, and send a DM to let them know your practice is in their area and you would be happy to help. They will often remember you the next time they are sick or injured and give you a call.
#4: Post Regularly to Facebook and Be Personable
In some instances, medical practices can get a little too clinical when it comes to talking to potential patients. The best way to make your Facebook page stand out is to post regularly and be personable. For example, if you operate a family practice then speak to parents and relate to their wants, needs, and woes. And definitely try to use relatable humor where you can. (Example: Child stuck a crayon up their nose at kindergarten today? We can help!)
#5: Facebook Check-Ins from Repeat Patients
You work hard to ensure your patients feel comfortable at your medical practice. Ask them to carry that forward by checking in online on Facebook. This helps get the word out to friends and neighbors in the community. You can even run promotions where those who tag you in their posts and check-in get entered in a drawing to win a medium value item, such as a gift card or an iPad.
#6: Create Facebook Posts as Reminders
Another tip for marketing your practice on social media is to create Facebook posts to serve as reminders. For example, you could create a whole campaign around flu shots or youth sports physicals. Or, depending on your particular area of expertise, you could opt to do a series on getting yearly mammograms or heart health. The possibilities are endless, but the end effect is helping potential patients see the value in scheduling an appointment to improve their health.
#7: Ask for Yelp Reviews
Just like with Facebook reviews, it is important to ask current patients for Yelp reviews. Of course, there is a caveat to this. You need to have staff monitor these frequently and address any concerns that are posted on the site. Failure to address issues makes it seem like you staff doesn’t care, which can have an adverse effect on marketing efforts.
#8: Use Twitter to Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
Another great way to market your practice on social media is through Twitter. Schedule posts with industry articles and medical journal studies to help position yourself as a thought leader. As with other social media platforms, it is also important to take the time to like, comment, and follow other users. But, in this instance, you could even use it to start conversations on meaningful topics with other medical professionals.
If you’re looking to go a little advanced with your social media marketing, consider adding a YouTube channel to the mix. There are tons of family practice doctors and specialists out there who regularly post videos answering basic medical questions. This is a great way to build trust with those in your local area and nationwide.
#10: Utilize a Third Party to Give Staff More Time
Of course, all of these tips are great if you actually have the time to implement them. Our final tip is to make time for marketing by utilizing a medical billing company for your office backend. By outsourcing this process, you can easily free up staff funding for hiring a marketing assistant or other related personnel. And that gives you a huge opportunity to grow your practice in a meaningful and efficient manner, while ensuring your billing processes are as streamlined as possible. M-Scribe is proud to offer a variety of medical billing services centered around your needs. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help make your billing processes more efficient to save you money and time.