Using social media to expand a healthcare practice is new, but the principles involved are the age-old successful promotional actions of old—just less legwork. With roughly 200 million U.S. Facebook users (according to Facebook), 13% of American adults now use Twitter and 84% of Americans have cellphones (according to a report from the Pew Research Center).
Social media is in now widespread use and is the new way people interact with friends, family, colleagues and patients. It’s a major shift in the way we deliver communication, but not in the message we send. How can a healthcare provider use this new communication media to grow one’s practice? A practitioner could spend many hours of his or her valuable time tweeting, posting and commenting. Or, could come up with a way to use this new media with as little effort as possible, yet still insure a definite return on your investment (ROI).
In advertising or promotion, it is important to use more than a single medium to reach people. A person sees your ad in a local newspaper, but that does not guarantee they will immediately respond. However, seeing that ad every week for three weeks, seeing a flyer in their mailbox about your practice, seeing you listed in Googlemaps and seeing you on Facebook all adds up to establishing one’s presence in the community. The better and more firmly established the presence, the more likely they are to respond and become a patient.
The value of using social media really starts to become clear when you see just how many people a practice can reach with just the right message at the right time.
Three Tips For Using Social Media Effectively
Master the art of social media messaging with these three invaluable tips:
1. Start with one post a day. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your Facebook page with too many posts that aren’t very relevant. Quality over quantity is key.
2. Not sure what to say? Use terms that your patients may find interesting. Post the title of a relevant article or blog and add the link in your post. Let everyone know about a special promotion or update to your practice. Questions or polls are also great additions – engage your community and make it personal. Your patients may love hearing that Maria at the front desk just had her first baby.
3. Check in with your Facebook and Twitter pages and continue the conversations with your patients. They don’t just want to hear from you, they want to know you are listening to them as well.
A computer and software can be a powerful tool to build and expand a healthcare office. Don’t get stuck thinking they are for billing only. By harnessing their power, one can experience the practice only previously dreamed of.
EON Systems was founded in 1988. With The Digital Office software, it provides a certified EHR system along with practice management, billing and scheduling. A start-up practice can build up to the full system by implementing one component at a time, or an existing practice can immediately introduce the software for multiple providers and users as well as across multiple offices. For more information, visit http://www.eonsystems.net.