The need for social media and digital marketing in your healthcare practice

We all know that change is both difficult and inevitable.

So too is the change from conventional marketing like coupons in the mail or a large promotional listing in the yellow pages, to marketing in the digital age.

So why is social media and content marketing important for your practice? In the Digital Age, this is the way savvy healthcare practices connect and engage with prospective patients.  It’s the way new patients will find you. For example, 77% of patients use a search engine like Google prior to scheduling an appointment; and 41% of patients admit social media influences their selection of a healthcare provider.

You may have heard the phrase, “content is king”.  This statement has never been more true than it is today.  Creating and posting social content and blog articles improves where your practice appears in an internet search result, so content creation is essential in the Digital Age.

The more active your practice is using these social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube videos, and blogs, the more you will be rewarded with a higher ranking in an internet search and an ever growing base of social connections.

This said, it is important to understand what social media channels are best for healthcare practitioners and why using them is so important to help grow your practice.

Picking the right social media platforms for your practice is all about knowing how best to connect with your patients online.  This means if your patients have Facebook, so should you. Since there are 1.65 billion Facebook users, this is a good place for all healthcare providers to start. If you haven’t already, you should open up a Facebook account for your office and start posting regularly to connect with as many prospective patients in your area as possible.

Facebook is a great tool to deliver information to existing and prospective patients, and enables them to share it with others.  It is helpful to have a designated staff member or marketing company, such as IntellaHealth, help manage your Facebook account to ensure your practice’s Facebook posts are delivered consistently, reach the appropriate people, and the content connects with them.

Twitter and Instagram are also very popular, easy to use and a great way to increase your social connections and reach. Twitter messages are short texts and/or image content that can be posted quickly and frequently. Instagram is especially important for practices that serve teenagers and millennials as it is image-based and highly used by this segment.

Many of your patients will enjoy having their photo taken or even a quick video, then shared with their friends (followers) on their social media channels. Here again, it helps to have someone in the office or a marketing company help to post content to these sites regularly.

So, open an account with one or more social media channels and start blog writing. Set a goal of at least a few posts per week!

Kristine Grace, DDS, MS is the Director of IntellaHealth. She is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in Tacoma, Washington and serves as business advisor to multiple companies. She is completing an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Washington.

Feel free to contact me at kristineg@intellahealth.net

by Kristine Grace, Aug-3-2016

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