For the most part, physicians have been late arrivals to the field of social media. They recognize the power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube in connecting individuals with each other and creating online communities, but are not sure how to integrate social media into their practices.
Therefore, here are several suggestions for using social media to market a practice, strengthen patient relationships and improve staff productivity.
- Create a Facebook page and invite current patients to “like” your practice. That’s the first step toward building a community on the world’s largest social media site.
- Use Twitter to publicize your professional activities. If you’re giving a presentation or are receiving an award, send out a tweet. It can build awareness of your services and create interest in the community - and it only takes a minute or two of your time.
- Develop a series of YouTube videos. Why not have someone video you as you talk about your practice or your approach to patient care. Video is also an excellent way to explain diagnostic, medical and surgical treatment procedures – especially for patients with limited reading and writing skills.
- Post FAQs about common procedures. You can save staff time and improve patient compliance by preparing step-by-step instructions or responses to FAQs (frequently asked questions). Post them on Facebook, YouTube and other social media locations, as well as your website.
- Consider writing a blog. Consider having someone in your office prepare a monthly, semimonthly or weekly blog about your practice. You could talk about trends in healthcare, such as the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on healthcare reform. Another approach is to personalize the professionals in your office, providing insights into their experiences and backgrounds.
All these steps can help you get in touch with patients and the community in today’s digital and social world.