Perhaps you started your practice ten or fifteen years ago, before it was important to have an online presence. Or, perhaps you have a few online accounts but rarely post and never see much client engagement.
Either way, you are likely missing out on opportunities to connect with new clients and grow your business. Keep reading to understand why it is important for health practitioners to utilise social media marketing.
Increase Brand Awareness and Boost Credibility
It is essential for most businesses these days to establish an online presence, particularly small and medium-sized practices that rely on a combination of drop-ins, repeat clients, and referrals. If your business has an outdated website and no presence on other online channels, consumers searching online may hesitate before calling or ultimately move on to another practitioner.
Setting up a couple of accounts helps your name be seen and become recognisable, increasing your practice’s credibility. Additional ways to boost credibility include connecting with a larger professional network and posting informative content.
The digital world makes communication so efficient and effortless that we may easily forget about the physical people on the other side of the screen. Simply put, individuals want to do business with other individuals, not businesses.
Having a profile on a popular online site can help your practice appear more personable, especially if you want to put a human touch behind each post. Ideas include:
- Identify which staff member is posting a status, tweet, or article
- Share behind-the-scenes photos or posts
- Create a series of posts that introduce each staff member
- Write about your individualised care and treatment plans
Since the Internet allows for instant communication, this makes it easy to connect with consumers on issues that matter to them. Browse the trending topics on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and share useful content while it is still trending.
The perks of instant communication are also ideal for sharing timely information about your practice, including holiday hours, early closings and weather-related updates.
Share Personalised Content
A key to great social media management includes putting out information to attract customers. Start by crafting informative posts that help establish you as an industry leader. Next, consider your target market and practice’s goals, and begin encouraging consumer interactions.
There are many ways to connect personally, including asking and answering questions, having a giveaway, encouraging feedback, and giving updates on your practice, services or equipment. There are many analytical tools for demographics and visit patterns that can help you understand your consumers and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
As you establish your business online, feel free to create new and informative content but also share relevant news articles and facts. Before posting something, think about how your audience might react.
For example, does the blog post’s introduction engage readers and encourage them to read to the end? Do you have a credible infographic that people will want to share? Are you familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO) so that your posts will show up in Google search results? Finally, will the content encourage new users to like or follow your page? Considering these questions and others will help you make the most of your account.
Strengthen Customer Service and Build Relationships
As you share the types of content mentioned above, focus on increasing business to consumer interactions. Your online presence should never be static. Instead of only putting information out there, give consumers a chance to communicate with you online. Increase engagement by welcoming feedback, encouraging likes, shares and comments, and having members of staff respond to consumer comments in a timely fashion.
If a client feels treated well both online and during an appointment, they will likely book a follow-up appointment and pursue a long-term relationship with your practice.
Extend Your Reach
The more you connect with customers online, the better chance your business has of gaining more market share. Using search engine optimisation, in particular, will increase the likelihood of an online search finding your Facebook page or Twitter.
Keep in mind that posting high-quality content across your pages encourages people to share content or like your page. If you also include prominent contact information and hours, interested readers may like your page or visit your website to see more about your services, specialisations and staff. The result is an increase in both website traffic and converted leads (a.k.a. more patients!).
Investing in long-term relationships wit your potential clients can help generate more leads as your satisfied clients share your practice’s name with colleagues, friends and family. Having an online profile gives consumers a way to do simple referrals by just referring them online. This accelerates the word-of-mouth referrals, which is often the best way that small practices get new clients. The process is also much less expensive than investing in traditional advertising campaigns.
The Bottom Line
It is time to fully embrace the Internet by creating and regularly updating a prominent profile or page. I understand though that running your own business keeps you busy and that you may not have had time to consider implementing strong digital marketing and consumer engagement strategies yet.
For help with social media marketing, related analytics and search engine optimisation, contact us online or by calling 0401 535 584 from Australia, or +61 (0) 401 535 584 from anywhere else, for a free consultation today.
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