Your hospital is probably well established on Facebook. Maybe you’ve even found traction on Twitter, or are having luck with Pinterest. Social media is an effective way to engage and connect with health consumers, reaching them on platforms they routinely use to get and share information.
While most healthcare organizations are relatively good at using social media to build brand awareness, there’s still tremendous opportunity to use social media to promote physicians and fill their schedules. But doing this requires the active participation of your physicians. If you have physicians in your organization with a passion and commitment to use social media, it’s worth cultivating their skills to bring new patients in the door.
Not sure where to begin? Just want to make sure you’re on the right track? Check out our top ten tips for getting physicians involved and making sure their efforts deliver value.
Top Ten Social Media Tips for Physician Promotion
- Don’t try to be on every social network. We all see it — that lengthy line-up of social media icons on a hospital website. Find the social media networks that work for your patients and physicians. Then focus on creating great content for that audience.
- Provide useful content. Social media isn’t a vanity presence. It’s about your users and what they can use today. Can you provide content with quick health tips that demonstrates a physician’s expertise or personality? If you are a source of great information and project the type of warm personality that patients seek, your following will grow, and so will your potential patients.
- Post frequently, but don’t flood users. Choose your content carefully and provide value with each post. If you have nothing to share, wait until you have a great post you know your patients and potential patients will love.
- Reuse content across networks. Get the most value out of your efforts to create content. Whether it’s a video, a blog post, or some other content, cross-promoting on multiple social media
channels and accounts is a great way to get more followers and more traction from that content.
- Don’t fear negative criticism. Embrace the fact that users are engaging with you on social media and respond accordingly. Often a negative comment can be turned into a positive experience by listening to your commenter’s concerns and addressing them in a timely manner.
- Remember, this is not just another “marketing channel.” While you need to keep your brand (both professional and organizational) in mind, social media is about direct contact with prospective patients. Keep it conversational and engaging.
- Encourage physicians to separate private from personal accounts. The content shared socially by physicians as part of their professional identity is not the same content shared with close friends and family.
- Encourage providers who use social media to be themselves. Consumers engage more readily when the account feels like a real person. A distinct professional account that’s separate from a personal account does not mean the content should be dry and uninviting.
- Proactively educate your physicians on your organization’s social media policies, guidelines, and best practices. Not only can this improve the effectiveness of using social media for physician promotion, but it can avoid potential problems.
- Stay committed! If you’re going to take the plunge and encourage physicians to become active on social media, be sure to remind them that there are no awards given for just having an account. In fact, having an account that has gone stagnant is almost worse that not having an account at all! Your doctors and your organization are unlikely to realize the full potential of social media without the committed involvement of physicians.
Online Physician Promotion
Want to learn more great tips for using social media to promote your doctors? Be sure to check out our webinar on How to Promote Your Physicians Online. You can also download our comprehensive Online Physician Promotion eBook. You’ll not only learn more about using social media effectively, you’ll also hear ideas to improve physician profiles and tips for driving qualified visitors to your website’s provider directory.